Civil Service Topics
The Monroe County Civil Service Commission is composed of five members appointed by the County Executive for a six-year term. The Commission oversees the Civil Service function for all branches of local government in Monroe County, except for those covered under the Rochester Municipal Civil Service Commission, such as the City of Rochester and the Rochester Housing Authority.
As part of its services, the Monroe County Civil Service Commission provides Monroe County government and jurisdictions with the following:
- Determines position titles and develops job descriptions.
- Administers examinations for competitive titles and establishes lists of qualified candidates.
- Interprets Civil Service Law, and Rules covering appointment, promotion, discipline and discharge.
- R. Michael Loewke, Chairperson
- Donald O. Chesworth
- Robert J. Fischer
- Edward Premo II
All May through December 2022 meetings will be held at 10:00 AM in the Large Conference Room of the Ebenezer Watts Building located at 47 S. Fitzhugh Street, Rochester, NY 14614.
Monthly Meeting Schedule
- January 6, 2022
- February 3, 2022
- March 3, 2022
- April 7, 2022
- May 5, 2022
- June 2, 2022
- July 7, 2022
- August 4, 2022
- September 1, 2022
- October 6, 2022
- November 3, 2022
- December 8, 2022
In addition to other matters that may come before it from time to time, the Commission Agenda includes the following matters:
- Meeting Minutes
- Establish Eligible Lists
- Extend Eligible Lists
- New Classifications
- Job Audits
- Job Specifications
- Non-competitive Promotions
- Non-competitive and Provisional Appointments
- Other Matters
"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, ..."
Civil Service Law establishes how appointments, promotions, and discipline of government employees is handled. The Law applies to the state and all of its civil divisions, including cities, towns, villages, school districts, community colleges, special districts and authorities, and counties. The Rules of the Monroe County Civil Service Commission implement the Law and provide procedures for carrying out the principles expressed in the Constitution and Law. The Rules have the force and effect of Law.
Positions in government fall within two categories: the unclassified service and the classified service.
Unclassified Service consists of all elected officials, certain department heads, employees of the Monroe County Legislature and Board of Elections, teachers and some supervisory personnel in school systems. In Monroe County, the unclassified service positions comprise only a small percentage of the workforce.
Classified Service makes up the vast majority of positions and are assigned to one of the following classes:
- Exempt: there is a confidential relationship between the employee and the elected official, department head or policy making level positions. e.g. deputies and secretaries to department heads.
- Labor: have no minimum qualifications. e.g. entry level service employees and laborers.
- Noncompetitive: specific experience and education are required and it is impracticable to hold a competitive examination to fill them. e.g. various part-time positions, registered and licensed practical nurses, and mechanic positions. (Included in the noncompetitive class can be a competitive position that is reclassified for a disabled applicant Section 55-A of Civil Service Law, page 5).
- Competitive: require applicants to meet both minimum qualifications and pass an examination. Those candidates with the highest examination scores are the first to be considered for appointment.
Permanent Appointments are made to vacant classified service positions. A permanent appointment in the competitive class is made from a list of qualified eligible candidates who have passed an appropriate Civil Service examination. All permanent appointments are subject to successful completion of a probationary period. A permanent appointment cannot be terminated, interrupted or discontinued except in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the classified service, or an applicable labor contract.
Provisional Appointments may be made to a vacant competitive classified position if there is no appropriate civil service eligible list for that title. A qualified applicant may be provisionally appointed and serve in the position until an appropriate eligible list can be established and a permanent appointment made.
Temporary Appointments may be made to competitive class positions when a current employee is on a leave of absence from his/her position or when the appointment will not continue for more than six months. Temporary appointments may be made for a period of not more than three months without regard to existing eligible lists, providing the candidate meets the minimum qualifications. Appointments for more than three months, but not more than six months, may be made by selecting any candidate from the appropriate eligible list, without regard to their standing on the list.
Temporary appointments may be extended to one year, by the Commission. Temporary appointments may also be made for the duration of a leave of absence.
Transfer Appointments are movements of permanent competitive employees from their positions in one department or jurisdiction to the same or similar positions in the same or lower grade in another department or jurisdiction. The Civil Service Commission determines similarity. No employee may be transferred without his/her consent. Transfers must be approved by Civil Service Commission action.
Probationary Periods may vary in the minimum and maximum periods. But all permanent appointments to positions in the classified service include a required probationary period during which the employee must prove his/her ability to do the work.
An eligible list is a ranked list of all passing candidates (those with a score of 70% or above) from a Civil Service exam. All eligible candidates are listed first in order of score, then randomly within each score. An eligible list is established for a minimum of one year and can be extended to a maximum of four years. If a list is extended, all eligible candidates will be notified in writing.
You may also view the lists in person in our office; Monroe County Department of Human Resources, Room 210, 39 W. Main Street, Rochester, NY 14614-1471 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Types of Eligible Lists
Open-Competitive List contains the names of all successful open-competitive examination candidates for a particular title.
Promotional List contains the names of all successful promotional examination candidates who are currently employed in a lower level title in a specific Monroe County Department or jurisdiction of the Monroe County Civil Service Commission. Civil Service Law mandates that promotional eligible lists, if they exist, be used and exhausted before an open competitive eligible list may be used.
Preferred List contains the names of employees in the competitive class who had permanent appointments and are displaced from their position through a reduction in force or other similar action. Preferred lists must be used first in filling vacancies.
Certifications of Eligibles
Names of candidates on a Civil Service Eligible List will be certified for appointment to Monroe County Departments and Monroe County Civil Service Commission jurisdictions that have the title and want to fill a vacancy in that title. Certifications of eligibles will be sent to departments and jurisdictions seeking to fill vacancies and to those departments and jurisdictions employing provisional appointees. Upon request, as vacancies occur, certifications of eligible candidates will be sent to the jurisdiction. When the jurisdiction receives the certification of eligible candidates, it sends canvass letters to a sufficient number of eligibles in order to make an appointment following the “Rule of Three.”
The “Rule of Three”
Job vacancies are filled from eligible lists according to the “Rule of Three” which requires the selection of one of the top three eligibles on the list who indicate willingness to accept appointment.
What’s the fastest way to start a career in local government? Take the Office Clerk III Civil Service examination.
Applications are accepted continuously and examinations are given quarterly. Passing candidates are added to the Civil Service list and become eligible for employment in a short period of time. The Office Clerk III list is used by County government and almost every town, village and school district in Monroe County.
Candidates can only take an Office Clerk III exam once every 6 months. If you intend to take more than one of the exams listed, you must do so on the same date.
Please read the announcement carefully for special information and instructions regarding specific exam dates, cross filing and retesting.
The Monroe County Civil Service Commission also offers the examination for Office Clerk IV twice a year each June and December. The announcement for Office Clerk IV can be found on this website approximately two months prior to the exam date with an application deadline approximately one month prior to the exam date. Sign-up for email notification or follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Study guides for entry-level exams are available on this web site.
Monroe County Department of Human Resources
210 County Office Building
39 West Main Street
Rochester, New York 14614
Monroe County Civil Service Commission
210 County Office Building
39 West Main Street
Rochester, New York 14614
New York State Department of Civil Service
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12239
Rochester Municipal Civil Service Commission
30 Church Street
Rochester, New York 14614