Sources of the Law Governing Civil Service

Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations

The Civil Service Law and the Rules and Regulations promulgated there under, implement the mandate of the State Constitution, Article V, section 6, which provides that:

"Appointments and promotions in the civil service of the State and all of the civil divisions thereof, including cities and villages, shall be made according to merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive, ..."

Article V, section 6 also provides for additional credits in competitive examinations for certain disabled and non-disabled veterans. Since this preference for veterans is inconsistent with the constitutional requirement of competition, it was necessary that provision for such credits be included in the Constitution itself.

The majority of the provisions pertaining to civil service procedures and requirements in the State service are contained in the Civil Service Law, the Rules for the Classified Service, the Regulations of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission's Regulations) and the Regulations of the Department of Civil Service (President's Regulations). The Rules and Regulations implement the Law and provide procedures for carrying out the principles expressed in the Constitution and Law. The Rules and Regulations, of course, must be consistent with the Law.

The principal rules governing the recruitment of personnel and personnel changes, including examinations, appointments, promotions, transfers and reinstatements, are contained in the Rules for the Classified Service. The Rules for the Classified Service are subject to the approval of the Governor and take effect when filed with the Department of State. These Rules apply to all employment under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Civil Service.

The Attendance Rules for Employees in New York State Departments and Institutions, commonly referred to simply as the Attendance Rules, govern such matters as vacation, sick leave, holidays and other time allowances. They apply to officers and employees in the classified service in the Executive Branch of the State government.

In addition to the Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations, there are many other laws containing provisions dealing with civil service matters. For example, there are provisions affecting the employment of people in the civil service in the Public Officers Law, Public Authorities Law, Military Law, Town Law and Village Law. Even the executive budget approved by the Legislature each year is, in a sense, a law dealing with civil service matters. State and federal human rights and employment laws and the Public Employees' Fair Employment Act (The Taylor Law) significantly influence the administration of the civil service system.

Furthermore, there is a fairly large body of court decisions and Opinions of the Attorney General and the State Comptroller dealing with civil service issues.

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