Skip to code content (skip section selection)
The regulations shall provide for:
(a) The preparation, maintenance and revision of a position classification plan for all positions in the civil service, based upon similarity of duties performed and responsibilities assumed, so that the same qualifications may reasonably be required for and the same schedule of pay may be equitably applied to all positions in the same class;
(b) A pay plan for all employees in the civil service. Each employee shall be paid at one of the rates set forth in the pay plan for the class of position in which he is employed;
(c) Open competitive examinations to test the relative fitness of applicants for the respective positions. Such examinations need not be held until after the regulations have been adopted, the service classified and a pay plan established, but must be held not later than one year after this charter takes effect. Such examinations shall be announced publicly at least fifteen days in advance and shall be appropriately advertised;
(d) The granting, as may from time to time be required by statute or ordinance, of preference in entrance examinations to qualified persons who have been members of the armed forces of the United States, and to the children and grandchildren of Philadelphia firefighters or police officers who were killed or who died in the line of duty; 151
(e) Promotions which shall give appropriate consideration to the applicant's qualifications, record of performance, seniority and conduct. Vacancies shall be filled by promotion whenever possible, and promotion shall be on a competitive basis except where the Personnel Director with the approval of the Civil Service Commission finds that competition is impracticable. Philadelphia police officers, firefighters and paramedics who are killed or who die in the line of duty shall be posthumously promoted to the rank that immediately follows the police officer's, firefighter's or paramedic's rank at his or her time of death; 152
(f) The establishment of eligible lists for appointment and promotion, upon which lists shall be placed the names of successful candidates in the order of their relative excellence in the respective examinations, provided that any candidate who shall have maintained a bona fide residence in the City for at least one year prior to the date of the examination shall prevail over any other candidate with the identical score. Such lists shall continue in force for at least one year from the date of their establishment and thereafter until exhausted or replaced by more recently prepared lists but in no case longer than two years. All such lists shall be available for public inspection; 153
(g) The rejection of candidates or eligibles who fail to comply with reasonable requirements in regard to such factors as age, physical condition, training and experience, or who have attempted any deception or fraud in connection with an examination;
(h) For the certification of the two persons standing highest on the appropriate eligible list to fill a vacancy. After an eligible has been rejected twice by an appointing authority in favor of others on the same eligible list, such name shall not again be certified to that appointing authority, except upon written request from the appointing authority but the passing over of a non-veteran eligible in order to appoint a veteran shall not constitute a rejection;
(i) The institution of accepted permanent identification methods for all employees in the civil service;
(j) A period of probation not to exceed six months before appointment or promotion may be made complete, and during which period a probationer may, with the consent of the Personnel Director, be discharged or reduced in class or rank, or replaced on the eligible list;
(k) Provisional and emergency appointment without examination and temporary appointments. Provisional appointments may be made only with the concurrence of the Personnel Director and in the absence of an appropriate eligible list and shall continue only until an appropriate eligible list can be established and certification made therefrom, but in no event for more than ninety days in any twelve month period, except during the first year after the effective date of this charter in order to avoid stoppage of the orderly conduct of the business of the City. Emergency appointments may be made only in case of an unforeseen emergency to prevent serious impairment of the public business and shall continue only during the period of the emergency and in no event longer than thirty days. Temporary appointments may be made with or without examination to positions that will not continue longer than six months. No person may serve as a temporary appointee for longer than six months in any twelve month period;
(l) The appointment of unskilled laborers after such qualifying tests of fitness as the Personnel Director may prescribe;
(m) Transfer from one position to a similar position in the same class and level of responsibility, and for reinstatement within one year of persons who resign in good standing or who are laid off from their positions without fault or delinquency on their part;
(n) The establishment of a system for determining and reviewing, and the keeping of records of, annual efficiency ratings of performance of all employees in the civil service, which efficiency ratings shall be considered in determining salary increases and decreases provided in the pay plan, as a factor in promotion tests, as a factor in determining the order of lay-offs because of lack of funds or work and for reinstatement, and as a factor in demotions, discharges and transfers;
(o) Lay-offs by reason of lack of funds or work, or abolition of a position, or material change in duties or organization, and for reinstatement of employees laid off, or who resigned or were granted leaves of absence;
(p) Suspensions from the service for not longer than thirty days;
(q) Discharge or reduction in rank or grade after appointment or promotion is completed only after the person to be discharged or reduced has been presented with the reasons for such discharge or reduction, specifically stated, and has been allowed a reasonable time to reply thereto in writing. The reasons and the reply shall be filed with the Personnel Director;
(r) Hours of work, holidays, attendance regulations, and special leaves of absence in the various classes of positions in the civil service;
(s) A system permitting employees appropriate annual vacation and sick leave;
(t) The development and operation of programs to improve the work effectiveness and morale of employees of the City, including safety, health, welfare, recreation, training and education and labor relations, including grievances and hearings thereon;
(u) Such residence qualifications for employees in the civil service as the Council may from time to time require but the Civil Service Commission may, upon the request of the Personnel Director, waive any such requirements whenever, in its discretion, the circumstances warrant such waiver;
(v) The establishment within the civil service system of a class or classes of employees to be designated as "Public Safety Enforcement Officers". 154
(w) Such other matters as may be proper and necessary. 155
Sources: A Model State Civil Service Law, Section 8.
Purposes: The civil service regulations constitute the framework of the entire civil service system. Their content is outlined in detail because of their importance.
Subsection (a). "To handle any personnel problem intelligently in a large organization it is obviously necessary to have a written record of the duties performed by each person in the service and of the responsibilities-administrative, research, or other-which he exercises. The taxpayers, the executive officers, the budget authorities, the chief executive, the legislative body, and the employs have a right to expect of the personnel agency that positions be grouped into classes and currently maintained, to portray conditions in the service at any time. This is essential to provide a basis for an intelligent approach to the personnel problem. The classification plan is an essential tool of administrative management." (A Model State Civil Service Law, pp. 11, 12).
Subsection (b). See Annotation to Section 7-400.
Subsection (c). "Effective recruiting demands more than the passive approach involved in announcing vacancies in the public service in obscure places and examining those who present themselves as a result of such stereotyped announcements. Adequate public announcement procedure requires that the personnel agency actively use all practical means available for attracting the best type of person to the public service. The work to be performed in the public service challenges the best ability possessed in the country. This ability must be sought out and persuaded to seek to serve the public.
"Tests prepared by the personnel agency should be designed to eliminate those who are not qualified for entrance into or promotion within the classified service and to discover the relative fitness of those who are qualified. The Director should be free to use any investigation of education and experience and any test of capacity, knowledge, manual skill, character or physical fitness which in his judgment serves this end.
"Public confidence in the testing process is best maintained by promptness in announcing the results, and by affording to each applicant the opportunity to see how his performance was graded." (A Model state Civil Service Law, p. 12).
Subsection (d). State law grants preferences to veterans and ordinances may grant such preferences also.
Subsection (e). Promotion upon merit and other recognized bases is an important incentive for achievement and continued municipal service and employment.
Subsection (f). Fairness to persons taking civil service examinations requires that they shall know their positions on eligibility lists. The one year minimum is imposed so that examinees will have a reasonable opportunity for employment. A two year maximum is necessary so that lists shall be replenished periodically with the names of the most competent candidates available for employment.
Subsection (g). "If proper attention is to be given to a truly selective ranking of competitors on the basis of their abilities, some means must be had for reducing the examination load by culling out applicants who obviously fail to met the essential requirements for the class of positions to which they seek appointment. Through this process, the efforts of the technical staff are conserved for and concentrated on the problem of rating those who show reasonable promise for successful performance in the position to which they seek appointment." (A Model State Civil Service Law, p. 13).
Subsection (h). An appointing authority is given a choice of the two highest persons on an eligible list so that he may consider factors such as personality, appearance and the like, in addition to an examination grade, in making an appointment. If an appointing authority has rejected twice the same candidate, he would not have any choice should the rejected candidate be again certified to him. Since veterans are entitled to preferences, a non-veteran may be passed over by a veteran with a lower qualifying grade and for that reason such a passing over does not constitute a rejection.
Subsection (i). Permanent personnel identification records, such as fingerprints files, are recognized as necessary aids in effective personnel administration.
Subsection (j). "The working test period, or probationary period, as it is sometimes called, should be considered as an opportunity for the appointing authority to participate in the selective process. No formal test however well devised, and however well conducted will prove infallible. The final test is actual performance. For this reason, the new appointee should be carefully supervised and critical observation should be made of his work during the working test period." (A Model State Civil Service Law, p. 14).
Subsection (k). Provisional appointments are authorized so that City work may be performed pending the availability of an appropriate eligibility list from which candidates for employment can be certified. Since it should ordinarily be possible to prepare such lists and certify candidates for a position within a ninety day period, a provisional appointment may last only ninety days. However, the first year this Charter is effective, provisional appointments may last a year since during that period the City government, including the office of the Personnel Director and the civil service system, will be in the organization and reorganization process.
Provision must be made to meet employment in unforeseen emergencies but here too there is a limitation, thirty days, to prevent abuse of the exception.
While provisional and emergency appointments may be made without examination, temporary appointments may be made with or without examination. A temporary appointment is one to a temporary position, of not longer than six months in duration in any year.
Subsection (l). Unskilled laborers need not take written examinations.
Subsection (m). "Transfers provide the means whereby employees may be adjusted to the service to provide the maximum of job satisfaction to the employee and to provide for their maximum utilization in work which they can do best. Transfers should be used for these purposes. Temporary transfers of groups of employees should also be encouraged to meet peak loads as they occur in the various departments to provide for the maximum utilization of present personnel without incurring the expense of adding untrained employees to the working force." (A Model State Civil Service Law, p. 14).
Subsection (n). Periodic efficiency ratings of performance, to serve as a factor in determining employment status, should be an incentive to employee efficiency and achievement, for good performance will be rewarded while performance not meeting job standards will serve as a basis for demotion, discharge, lay-offs, and reduction of salaries. Fairness to employees prompts the requirement for a review procedure of ratings assigned and employee representatives should be members of such reviewing panels.
Subsection (o). "When forces must be reduced because of lack of work or funds, or because of organizational changes, it is reasonable to demand that the personnel agency and appointing authorities cooperate in weeding out the least efficient employees and in retaining the most competent. Regardless of the deficiencies inherent in any system of service ratings to date, the problem of employee efficiency cannot be put aside by refusing to acknowledge that the problem exists or by failing to attempt to overcome these deficiencies. In one way or another, employees are being rated and must be rated from time to time in the ordinary conduct of business. A rating system requiring periodic reports on employees' services, regardless of its deficiencies, is superior to a rating based on the memory, current impressions, and ‘last looks' of departmental supervisors and should be used as one of the factors for determining the order of lay-offs. Seniority should also be given some consideration in determining lay-offs." (A Model State Civil Service Law, p. 15).
Subsection (p). "Suspensions are temporary separations most commonly used by appointing authorities as a means of effecting proper disciplinary control over subordinate employees, who have violated some departmental rule or who have let down in their performance and need jacking up. It is used as a disciplinary act intermediate between a verbal reprimand and an outright dismissal. The time limitation on summary suspensions is intended to confine it to this use. Where a suspension is to extend for more than a short period, the appointing authority should be required to resort to the procedure provided for in case of a dismissal." (A Model State Civil Service Law, p. 15).
Subsection (q). Employees discharged or demoted have a right of appeal to the Civil Service Commission. See Annotation to Section 7-201. This subsection is necessary so that they may know the reasons for the action taken and on that basis decide upon the question of appealing.
Subsection (r). Employees are entitled to know when they are required to work, their holidays, and other attendance regulations. These should be uniform and specified as far as is practicable.
Subsection (s). Annual vacation and sick leave should be uniform for all employees. Whether they should be cumulative from year to year, the number of days of each that should be allowed, and similar questions are matters for administrative regulation.
Subsection (t). See Annotation to Section 7-201. Enlightened personnel practices should provide a means for hearing employee grievances.
Subsection (u). Under the Charter of 1919, Council from time to time specified residence requirements for City employees and the continuation of this practice is permitted. Should Council fail to specify residence qualifications, employees would not have to be residents of any particular place. The Civil Service Commission may waive any residence qualification specified by Council when ever circumstances may warrant it, as for example, the unavailability of specialized personnel who meet residence requirements; the availability of better qualified personnel who do not meet residence requirements; emergencies. See Annotation to Section 3-306.
Subsection (d) amended by approval of the voters at the election held on November 7, 2006, and certified on November 27, 2006. See Bill No. 060507 (approved September 21, 2006); Resolution No. 060518 (adopted September 14, 2006). Amended by approval of the voters at the election held on November 6, 2012, and certified on December 3, 2012. See Bill No. 120531 (approved September 11, 2012); Resolution No. 120540 (adopted June 28, 2012).