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Glossary Of Terms

State of California Employment Terms


Administration Method: Defines the way that a particular exam is going to be administered (i.e. in-person or online).

Agency: Includes “department,” “board,” “office,” “authority,” “commission,” and any other governmental unit.

Applicant: An individual who has submitted an application (STD.678) to compete in a State civil service examination or for a vacant position.

Application (STD. 678): The official State Application form for examinations and employment. It is available in hard copy (paper) or electronic through a CalCareer Account. It contains a person’s personal information, basic employment questions, education, work history, demographic/EEO data.

Application Method: The established manner which the department chooses to accept applications. Applications are submitted electronically, in-person, or through the mail.

Appointing Authority: Also, Appointing Power, is a person or group having authority to make appointments to positions in the state civil service.

Appointment: The offer to and acceptance by a person of a position in the State civil service. The official placement in a position.

Bilingual Employee: An employee that has been certified by CalHR, or an authorized agent, to possess sufficient fluency to provide services to the public in a non-English language. An employee working in a designated Bilingual Position is eligible for a pay differential.

CalCareer: An employment system available to State of California job-seekers. Provides for an application portal allowing self-management and tracking of employment activities with various available employment tools. Read more about Your CalCareer Account

CalPERS: California Public Employees' Retirement System. The pension for California State Employees. Read more about CalPERS on the California Job Blog.

Career Executive Assignment (CEA): An appointment to a high administrative and policy influencing position within the state civil service in which the incumbent’s primary responsibility is the managing of a major function or the rendering of management advice to top-level administrative authority. Such a position can be established only in the top managerial levels of state service and is typified by broad responsibility for policy implementation and extensive participation in policy evolvement.

Class: A group of positions with similar duties and responsibilities that the same title may reasonably and fairly be used to designate each position allocated to the class and that substantially the same tests of fitness may be used and that substantially the same minimum qualifications may be required and that the same schedule of compensation may be made to apply with equity.

Conditions Of Employment: A set of preferences indicating which location, tenure/timebase and department(s) an applicant is interested in being considered for employment. Read more about Conditions of Employment on California Job Blog.

Demotion: The appointment of an employee to a position in a different class with a lower salary range.

Departmental Eligible List: A list of candidates who have taken an exam in an open, competitive examination and are eligible for certification for a specific class for a specific appointing power (Department) only.

Departmental Reemployment List: A list for the reemployment of employees in a particular classification, but for a specific department.

Disabled Veteran: A Veteran who is currently declared by the United States Veterans Administration to be 10 percent or more disabled as a result of service in the armed forces. Proof of such disability from the United States Veterans Administration is required.

Eligible List: The list of candidates who have been examined in an open, competitive examination and are eligible for certification for a specific class. Eligible Lists are divided into “Ranks.”

Employment List: The types of lists include: limited-term list, eligible list, departmental eligible list, subdivisional promotional list, departmental promotional list, multidepartmental promotional list, servicewide promotional list, departmental reemployment list, subdivisional reemployment list and general reemployment list.

Filing Period: The amount of time that a position is open for applications. A department will post a vacancy, and accept applications during the filing period only. Filing periods vary but always have a minimum of 10 days. It's possible that a vacancy is advertised as "until filled," in which case the position will be open for applications until a candidate has been selected.

Full-time: A position or appointment in which the employee is to work the amount of time required for the employee to be compensated at a full-time rate. For the State, this is 40 hours.

General Reemployment List: A list for the reemployment of employees in a particular classification from all State agencies. This list is for people who have been laid off.

Intermittent: A position or appointment in which the employee is to work periodically or for a fluctuating portion of the full-time work schedule. It’s usually part-time, and as “needed” by the department.

Limited Term Employee: An employee whose appointment as a result of reinstatement or certification from an employment list shall not exceed two years.

Military Leave: A leave of absence status of a permanent employee or probationer who leaves a position to serve in the armed forces of the United States in time of national emergency or state military emergency and who has the right under statutes relating to reinstatement of persons after military service to return to his position.

Part Time: A position or appointment in which the employee is to work a specific fraction of the full-time work schedule. Quarter, half and three-quarters time are the most common.

Permanent Employee: An employee who has obtained permanent status by successful completion of a probationary period and is retained in the classification/position.

Probationary Status: The status of an employee who has been certified and appointed from an employment list, or has been reinstated after resignation, or has been transferred or demoted but who has not completed the probationary period. Probationary periods are 6 or 12 months. After successfully passing probation, an employee is considered “permanent.”

Promotion: The appointment of an employee to a position in a different class with a higher salary range.

Retired Annuitant: A retired State of California Employee that returns to work on an intermittent basis, up to 960 hours per year. Retired Annuitants no longer pay into CalPERS or earn service credit but continue to earn a pension.

Savings Plus: CalHR administered, tax-advantaged 401(k) and 457(a) retirement savings plans. Read more about Savings Plus on California Job Blog.

Statement of Qualifications: A document written by applicants and used by hiring departments to determine the most qualified candidate for a position.

Temporary Employee: An employee holding a position under temporary appointment. “Temporary appointment” means an appointment made in the absence of any appropriate employment list.

Transfer: (A) The appointment of an employee to another position in the same classification but with a different department. (B) The appointment of an employee to a different classification, but which has substantially the same duties, responsibilities and pay.

Typing Test: For certain State of California positions, usually designated with (Typing) in the classification name, a typing certification is required. The minimum typing ability is 40 words per minute with 3 or fewer mistakes. Read more about the State Of California typing test here.

Veteran: A person who has served full time in the armed forces in time of a national or state emergency, or during any expedition of the armed forces. Applicant must have been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Veterans' Preference: An assistance program for military veterans who seek employment with the State of California. Veterans Preference is applied to examinations, allowing eligibility for certain job classifications.

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