New Jersey Civil Service Job Classification Reviews and Appeals

Classification.  In the New Jersey Civil Service System, jobs are “classified.”  This means that they are assigned to a division of the Civil Service System, and their duties and responsibilities are set out in specifications to make sure that employees with appropriate qualifications are in the right job, and that they are receiving the appropriate compensation.  The Commission classifies positions, not people. 

There are three classes of employees in the New Jersey Civil Service System: Career (or “classified”) employees, unclassified employees, and the service Senior Executive Service (SES) employees in State government.   Each position in the career and unclassified services is then assigned to a job title by the Commission.  Titles are classified by the Civil Service Commission.  The Commission establishes qualifications and duties for each title.  Employees must be placed in titles which correspond to the duties they actually perform.  Employers must notify the Commission of new positions or changes responsibilities in existing positions

Reclassification.  The Commission may review a title if requested.  Requests may be made by employees, employers or union representatives.  The Commission may also initiate review on its own.  If the Commission decides that the position’s duties have changed so that they aren’t similar to the specifications, it can reclassify the position; create a new title; or create another remedy which fits into the employer’s needs and structure. The employer must implement the New Jersey Civil Service Commission’s decision and order within 30 days.

Review of Classification or Reclassification Determinations.  State employees or their union representative initiate a classification review with their agency representative.  Appeals must be in writing and include the basis for the appeal and proposed remedy.   The State agency reviews the submission to make sure it contains the necessary information, request additional information or forward the appeal to the Commission with its recommendation within 10 days.  The Civil Service Commission must issue a decision within 60 days of no additional information is required.  It may also order a desk audit.  If the Commission finds the position was misclassified, and the employee is performing out-of-title duties the employer must cease having the employee perform the out-of-title duties.  If the New Jersey Civil Service Commission decides the position should be reclassified, it will initiate reclassification procedures.

Employees, union representatives, and employers may file written local service requests for review directly with the Civil Service Commission.  Requests for review must include the allegedly non-conforming duties; the proposed different title for the position, if any; and a completed position classification questionnaire and organization chart, if requested.  

Appeals of Review Decisions to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.  After receiving the New Jersey Civil Service Commission’s decision on the review, the aggrieved parties may appeal to the Commission. Appeals must be in writing and filed within 20 days of receipt of the decision.  They must include the decision being appealed, why the employee disagrees, and copies of the materials submitted.  While the Commission will not consider arguments and information not previously asserted, it may remand the appeal for consideration of new information.

The Commission may make its decision solely on the written record submitted, or it can appoint an independent classification reviewer to perform an informal review.  If the Commission agrees that the appellant is correct, its decision on classification or reclassification must be implemented by the employer.

The Civil Service Commission’s decision on the classification appeal may in turn be appealed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Contact Us.  Our New Jersey employment attorneys represent government employees in all areas of New Jersey employment law and New Jersey Civil Service law, including appeals, hearings, negotiations, litigation, arbitration and mediation.  Call us at (973) 980-0004 or fill out the contact form on this page.  We can help.

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