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Article X: Civil Service Systems

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The Louisiana Department of State Civil Service is established by Article X in the Louisiana State Constitution.

Section 1 - Civil Service Systems

ARTICLE X. PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES

PART I. STATE AND CITY CIVIL SERVICE

§1.  Civil Service Systems

Section 1.(A) State Civil Service. The state civil service is established and includes all persons holding offices and positions of trust or employment in the employ of the state, or any instrumentality thereof, and any joint state and federal agency, joint state and parochial agency, or joint state and municipal agency, regardless of the source of the funds used to pay for such employment. It shall not include members of the state police service as provided in Part IV of this Article or persons holding offices and positions of any municipal board of health or local governmental subdivision.

(B)City Civil Service. The city civil service is established and includes all persons holding offices and positions of trust or employment in the employ of each city having over four hundred thousand population and in every instrumentality thereof. However, paid firemen and municipal policemen may be excluded if a majority of the electors in the affected city voting at an election held for that purpose approve their exclusion. The election shall be called by the municipal governing authority within one year after the effective date of this constitution.

Amended by Acts 1990, No. 1106, §1, approved Oct. 6, 1990, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Section 2 - Classified and Unclassified Service

§2. Classified and Unclassified Service

Section 2.(A) Classified Service. The state and city civil service is divided into the unclassified and the classified service. Persons not included in the unclassified service are in the classified service.

(B) Unclassified Service. The unclassified service shall include the following officers and employees in the state and city civil service:

(1) elected officials and persons appointed to fill vacancies in elective offices;

(2) the heads of each principal executive department appointed by the governor, the mayor, or the governing authority of a city;

(3) city attorneys;

(4) registrars of voters;

(5) members of state and city boards, authorities, and commissions;

(6) one private secretary to the president of each college or university;

(7) one person holding a confidential position and one principal assistant or deputy to any officer, board, commission, or authority mentioned in (1), (2), (4), or (5) above, except civil service departments;

(8) members of the military or naval forces;

(9) teaching and professional staffs, and administrative officers of schools, colleges, and universities of the state, and bona fide students of those institutions employed by any state, parochial, or municipal agency;

(10) employees, deputies, and officers of the legislature and of the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, each mayor and city attorney, of police juries, school boards, assessors, and of all offices provided for in Article V of this constitution except the offices of clerk of the municipal and traffic courts in New Orleans;

(11) commissioners of elections, watchers, and custodians and deputy custodians of voting machines;

(12) railroad employees whose working conditions and retirement benefits are regulated by federal agencies in accordance with federal law; and

(13) the director, deputy director, and all employees of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Additional positions may be added to the unclassified service and those positions may be revoked by rules adopted by a commission.

Acts 2009, No. 538, §1, approved Oct. 2, 2010, eff. Nov. 2, 2010.

Section 3 - State Civil Service Commission

§3. State Civil Service Commission

Section 3.(A) Composition. The State Civil Service Commission is established and shall be domiciled in the state capital. It shall be composed of seven members who are electors of this state, four of whom shall constitute a quorum. No more than one appointed member shall be from each congressional district.

(B)(1) Appointment. The members shall be appointed by the governor, as hereinafter provided, for overlapping terms of six years.

(2) No person who has served as a member of the commission for more than two and one-half terms in three consecutive terms shall be appointed to the commission for the succeeding term. This Subparagraph shall not apply to any person appointed to the commission prior to the effective date of this Subparagraph,1 except that it shall apply to any term of service of any such person that begins after such date.

(C) Nominations. The presidents of Centenary College at Shreveport, Dillard University at New Orleans, Louisiana College at Pineville, Loyola University at New Orleans, Tulane University of Louisiana at New Orleans, and Xavier University at New Orleans, after giving consideration to representation of all groups, each shall nominate three persons. The governor shall appoint one member of the commission from the three persons nominated by each president. One member of the commission shall be elected by the classified employees of the state from their number as provided by law. A vacancy for any cause shall be filled by appointment or election in accordance with the procedure or law governing the original appointment or election, and from the same source. Within thirty days after a vacancy occurs, the president concerned shall submit the required nominations. Within thirty days thereafter, the governor shall make his appointment. If the governor fails to appoint within thirty days, the nominee whose name is first on the list of nominees automatically shall become a member of the commission. If any nominating authority fails to submit nominees in the time required, or if one of the named institutions ceases to exist, the governor shall make the appointment to the commission.

Amended by Acts 2008, No. 935, §1, approved Nov. 4, 2008, eff. Dec. 8, 2008.

1Dec. 8, 2008.

Section 4 - City Civil Service Commission

§4. City Civil Service Commission

Section 4.(A) Creation; Membership; Domicile. A city civil service commission shall exist in each city having a population exceeding four hundred thousand. The domicile of each commission shall be in the city it serves. Each commission shall be composed of five members, who are electors of the city, three of whom shall constitute a quorum. The members shall serve overlapping terms of six years as hereinafter provided.

(B) New Orleans; Nomination and Appointment. In New Orleans, the presidents of Dillard University, Loyola University, Tulane University of Louisiana, and Xavier University, after giving consideration to representation of all groups, each shall nominate three persons. In addition, the employees in the classified service of the city of New Orleans shall nominate three persons in the classified service of the city of New Orleans by means of an election called for that purpose. The municipal governing authority shall appoint one member of the commission from the three persons nominated by each nominating authority.

(C) Other Cities; Nomination and Appointment. In each other city subject to this Section, the presidents of any five institutions of higher education in the state, selected by the governing authority of the respective city, each shall nominate three persons, after giving consideration to representation of all groups. The municipal governing authority shall appoint one member of the commission from the three persons nominated by each.

(D) Vacancies. A vacancy shall be filled by appointment in accordance with the procedure for the original appointment and from the same source. Within thirty days after a vacancy occurs, in a seat held by a university nominee, the university president concerned shall submit the required nominations. Within sixty days after this amendment is ratified by the electors of the state of Louisiana, and when a vacancy occurs in a seat held by a nominee nominated by employees in the classified service, there shall be held an election at which the employees in the classified service shall nominate three persons in accordance with this Section. Within thirty days thereafter, the municipal governing authority shall make the appointment. If the municipal governing authority fails to make the appointment within the thirty days, the nominee whose name is first on the list of nominees automatically shall become a member of the commission. If one of the nominating authorities fails to submit nominees in the time required, or if one of the named institutions ceases to exist, the municipal governing authority shall make the appointment.

(E) New Orleans; Implementation of Certain Member. The member appointed from nominations by the classified employees of the city of New Orleans shall be the successor to the member nominated by the president of St. Mary's Dominican College and the initial member so appointed shall take office at the expiration of the term of the member who took office on April 30, 1987.

Amended by Acts 1987, No. 949, §1, approved Nov. 21, 1987, eff. Dec. 24, 1987.

Section 5 - Removal

§5. Removal

Section 5. A member of the state or of a city civil service commission may be removed by the governor or the governing authority, as the case may be, for cause, after being served with written specifications of the charges against him and being afforded an opportunity for a public hearing thereon by the appointing authority.

Section 6 - Department of Civil Service; Directors

§6. Department of Civil Service; Directors

Section 6.(A) State Department. A Department of State Civil Service is established in the executive branch of the state government.

(B) City Departments. A department of city civil service shall exist in each city having a population exceeding four hundred thousand.

(C)Directors. Each commission shall appoint a director, after competitive examination, who shall be in the classified service. He shall be the administrative head of his department. Each director shall appoint personnel and exercise powers and duties to the extent prescribed by the commission appointing him.

Section 7 - Appointments; Promotions

§7. Appointments; Promotions

Section 7. Permanent appointments and promotions in the classified state and city service shall be made only after certification by the appropriate department of civil service under a general system based upon merit, efficiency, fitness, and length of service, as ascertained by examination which, so far as practical, shall be competitive. The number to be certified shall not be less than three; however, if more than one vacancy is to be filled, the name of one additional eligible for each vacancy may be certified. Each commission shall adopt rules for the method of certifying persons eligible for appointment, promotion, reemployment, and reinstatement and shall provide for appointments defined as emergency and temporary appointments if certification is not required.

Section 8 - Appeals

§8. Appeals

Section 8.(A) Disciplinary Actions. No person who has gained permanent status in the classified state or city service shall be subjected to disciplinary action except for cause expressed in writing. A classified employee subjected to such disciplinary action shall have the right of appeal to the appropriate commission pursuant to Section 12 of this Part. The burden of proof on appeal, as to the facts, shall be on the appointing authority.

(B) Discrimination. No classified employee shall be discriminated against because of his political or religious beliefs, sex, or race. A classified employee so discriminated against shall have the right of appeal to the appropriate commission pursuant to Section 12 of this Part. The burden of proof on appeal, as to the facts, shall be on the employee.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 883, §1, approved Sept. 11, 1982, eff. Oct. 16, 1982.

Section 9 - Prohibitions Against Political Activities

§9. Prohibitions Against Political Activities

Section 9.(A) Party Membership; Elections. No member of a civil service commission and no officer or employee in the classified service shall participate or engage in political activity; be a candidate for nomination or election to public office except to seek election as the classified state employee serving on the State Civil Service Commission; or be a member of any national, state, or local committee of a political party or faction; make or solicit contributions for any political party, faction, or candidate; or take active part in the management of the affairs of a political party, faction, candidate, or any political campaign, except to exercise his right as a citizen to express his opinion privately, to serve as a commissioner or official watcher at the polls, and to cast his vote as he desires.

(B) Contributions. No person shall solicit contributions for political purposes from any classified employee or official or use or attempt to use his position in the state or city service to punish or coerce the political action of a classified employee.

(C) Political Activity Defined. As used in this Part, "political activity" means an effort to support or oppose the election of a candidate for political office or to support a particular political party in an election. The support of issues involving bonded indebtedness, tax referenda, or constitutional amendments shall not be prohibited.

Section 10 - Rules; Investigations; Wages and Hours

§10. Rules; Investigations; Wages and Hours

Section 10.(A) Rules. (1) Powers. (a) Each commission is vested with broad and general rulemaking and subpoena powers for the administration and regulation of the classified service, including the power to adopt rules for regulating employment, promotion, demotion, suspension, reduction in pay, removal, certification, qualifications, political activities, employment conditions, compensation and disbursements to employees, and other personnel matters and transactions; to adopt a uniform pay and classification plan; to require an appointing authority to institute an employee training and safety program; and generally to accomplish the objectives and purposes of the merit system of civil service as herein established. It may make recommendations with respect to employee training and safety.

(b) Nothing herein shall prevent the legislature from supplementing the uniform pay plans for sworn, commissioned law enforcement officers employed by a bona fide police agency of the state or its political subdivisions and for fire protection officers employed by a port authority, from any available funds of the state, the department, the agency, or the political subdivision, provided that such supplement may be made available only for those sworn, commissioned law enforcement officers employed on a full-time basis who serve the welfare of the public in the capacity of a police officer by providing police services to the general public, by effecting arrests, issuing citations, and serving warrants while patrolling waterways and riverfront areas and for those fire protection officers employed on a full-time basis who provide fire protection services to a port authority.

(2) Veterans. The state and city civil service departments shall accord a five-point preference in original appointment to each person who served honorably in the armed forces of the United States during a war declared by the United States Congress; or in a peacetime campaign or expedition for which campaign badges are authorized; or for at least ninety days after September 11, 2001, for reasons other than training; or during war period dates or dates of armed conflicts as provided by state law enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature. The state and city civil service departments shall accord a ten-point preference in original appointment to each honorably discharged veteran who served either in peace or in war and who has one or more disabilities recognized as service-connected by the Veterans Administration; to the spouse of each veteran whose physical condition precludes his or her appointment to a civil service job in his or her usual line of work; to the unremarried widow of each deceased veteran who served in a war period, as defined above, or in a peacetime campaign or expedition; or to the unremarried widowed parent of any person who died in active wartime or peacetime service or who suffered total and permanent disability in active wartime or peacetime service; or the divorced or separated parents of any person who died in wartime or peacetime service or who became totally and permanently disabled in wartime or peacetime service. However, only one ten-point preference shall be allowed in the original appointment to any person enumerated above. If the ten-point preference is not used by the veteran, either because of the veteran's physical or mental incapacity which precludes his appointment to a civil service job in his usual line of work or because of his death, the preference shall be available to his spouse, unremarried widow, or eligible parents as defined above, in the order specified. However, any such preference may be given only to a person who has attained at least the minimum score required on each test and who has received at least the minimum rating required for eligibility.

(3) Layoffs; Preference Employees. When a position in the classified service is abolished, or needs to be vacated because of stoppage of work from lack of funds or other causes, preference employees (ex-members of the armed forces and their dependents as described in this Section) whose length of service and efficiency ratings are at least equal to those of other competing employees shall be retained in preference to all other competing employees. However, when any function of a state agency is transferred to, or when a state agency is replaced by, one or more other state agencies, every preference employee in classifications and performing functions transferred, or working in the state agency replaced, shall be transferred to the replacing state agency or agencies for employment in a position for which he is qualified before that state agency or agencies appoint additional employees for such positions from eligible lists. The appointing authority shall give the director written notice of any proposed lay-off within a reasonable length of time before its effective date, and the director shall issue orders relating thereto which he considers necessary to secure compliance with the rules. No rule, regulation, or practice of the commission, of any agency or department, or of any official of the state or any political subdivision shall favor or discriminate against any applicant or employee because of his membership or non-membership in any private organization; but this shall not prohibit any state agency, department, or political subdivision from contracting with an employee organization with respect to wages, hours, grievances, working conditions, or other conditions of employment in a manner not inconsistent with this constitution, a civil service law, or a valid rule or regulation of a commission.

(4) Effect. Rules adopted pursuant hereto shall have the effect of law and be published and made available to the public. Each commission may impose penalties for violation of its rules by demotion in or suspension or discharge from position, with attendant loss of pay.

(B) Investigations. Each commission may investigate violations of this Part and the rules, statutes, or ordinances adopted pursuant hereto.

(C) Wages and Hours. Any rule or determination affecting wages or hours shall have the effect of law and become effective only after approval by the governor or the appropriate governing authority.

Amended by Acts 1989, No. 848, §1, approved Oct. 6, 1990, eff. Nov. 8, 1990; Acts 1990, No. 1106, §1, approved Oct. 6, 1990, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, No. 1327, §1, approved Oct. 21, 1995, eff. Nov. 23, 1995; Acts 2004, No. 930, §1, approved Nov. 2, 2004, eff. Dec. 7, 2004; Acts 2007, No. 485, §1, approved Oct. 20, 2007, eff. Nov. 19, 2007.

Section 11 - Penalties

§11. Penalties

Section 11. Willful violation of any provision of this Part shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

Section 12 - Appeal

§12. Appeal

Section 12.(A) State. The State Civil Service Commission shall have the exclusive power and authority to hear and decide all removal and disciplinary cases, with subpoena power and power to administer oaths. It may appoint a referee, with subpoena power and power to administer oaths, to take testimony, hear, and decide removal and disciplinary cases. The decision of a referee is subject to review by the commission on any question of law or fact upon the filing of an application for review with the commission within fifteen calendar days after the decision of the referee is rendered. If an application for review is not timely filed with the commission, the decision of the referee becomes the final decision of the commission as of the date the decision was rendered. If an application for review is timely filed with the commission and, after a review of the application by the commission, the application is denied, the decision of the referee becomes the final decision of the commission as of the date the application is denied. The final decision of the commission shall be subject to review on any question of law or fact upon appeal to the court of appeal wherein the commission is located, upon application filed with the commission within thirty calendar days after its decision becomes final. Any referee appointed by the commission shall have been admitted to the practice of law in this state for at least three years prior to his appointment.

(B) Cities. Each city commission established by Part I of this Article shall have the exclusive power and authority to hear and decide all removal and disciplinary cases, with subpoena power and power to administer oaths. It may appoint a referee to take testimony, with subpoena power and power to administer oaths to witnesses. The decision of a commission shall be subject to review on any question of law or fact upon appeal to the court of appeal wherein the commission is located, upon application filed with the commission within thirty calendar days after its decision becomes final.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 883, §1, approved Sept. 11, 1982, eff. Oct. 16, 1982.

Section 13 - Appropriations

§13. Appropriations

Section 13.(A) State. The legislature shall make adequate annual appropriations to the State Civil Service Commission and to the Department of State Civil Service to enable them to implement this Part efficiently and effectively. The amount so appropriated shall not be subject to veto by the governor.

(B) Cities. Each city subject to this Part shall make adequate annual appropriations to enable its civil service commission and department to implement this Part efficiently and effectively.

Section 14 - Acceptance of Act; Other Cities, Parishes, City and Parish Governed Jointly

§14. Acceptance of Act; Other Cities, Parishes, City and Parish Governed Jointly

Section 14.(A) Local Option. Each city having a population exceeding ten thousand but not exceeding four hundred thousand, each parish, and each parish governed jointly with one or more cities under a plan of government, having a population exceeding ten thousand, according to the latest official decennial federal census, may elect to be governed by this Part by a majority vote of its electors voting at an election held for that purpose. The election shall be ordered and held by the city, the parish, or the city-parish, as the case may be, upon (a) the adoption of an ordinance by the governing authority calling the election; or (b) the presentation to the governing authority of a petition calling for such an election signed by electors equal in number to five percent of the registered voters of the city, the parish, or the city-parish, as the case may be.

(B) Acceptance. If a majority of the electors vote to adopt ths Part, its provisions shall apply permanently to the city, the parish, or the city-parish, as the case may be, and shall govern it as if this Part had originally applied to it. In such case, all officers and employees of the city, the parish, or the city-parish, as the case may be, who have acquired civil service status under a civil service system established by legislative act, city charter, or otherwise, shall retain that status and thereafter shall be subject to and be governed by this Part and the ruels and regulations adopted under it.

(C) Rejection. If a majority of the electors vote against the adoption of this Part, the question of its adoption shall not be resubmitted to the voters of the political subdivision within one year thereafter.

Section 15 - City, Parish Civil Service System; Creation; Prohibition

§15. City, Parish Civil Service System; Creation; Prohibition

Section 15. Nothing in this Part shall prevent the establishment by the legislature, or by the respective parish governing authority, of a parish civil service system in one or more parishes, applicable to any or all parish employees, except teaching and professional staffs and administrative officers of schools, or the establishment by the legislature or by the respective municipal governing authority of a municipal civil service system in one or more municipalities having a population of less than four hundred thousand, in any manner now or hereafter provided by law. However, paid firemen and paid municipal policemen in a municipality operating a regularly paid fire and police department and having a population exceeding thirteen thousand, and paid firemen in all parishes and in fire protection districts, are expressly excluded from such a civil service system.

Nothing in this Part shall permit inclusion in the local civil service of officials and employees listed in Section 2 of this article.

No law enacted after the effective date of this constitution establishing a civil service system applicable to one or more parishes to one or more municipalities having a population of less than four hundred thousand shall be effective in any parish or in any municipality until approved by ordinance adopted by the governing authority of the parish or municipality.