The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 10, 2009
Read the controversial 'retail e-mail' from Department of Health

Last week a Bay Area news station ran a story about state workers upset over a Department of Health memo that the piece said suggested people find retail work on their furlough days.

Click here to read our earlier post and view the KGO-TV piece.

We called the department and asked for the e-mail. Here it is:

Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 8:55 AM
To: CDPH All Exchange Users
Subject: Secondary Employment Activities

CDPH recognizes that employees who are facing the challenges of dealing with loss of income due to the three mandated furlough days each month may need to supplement their income through secondary employment. While this is a personal choice and the department wants to be as supportive as it can be to its employees, it is important to remember the guidelines concerning a second job.

In accordance with Government Code Section 19990, employees should not engage in any employment, activity or enterprise which is clearly inconsistent, incompatible or in conflict with his or her duties as a State employee.

An employee's outside employment, activity, or enterprise may be prohibited if it:
(1) involves the use for private gain or advantage of his or her time, facilities, equipment and supplies; or the badge, uniform, prestige, or influence of his or her office or employment or,
(2) involves receipt or acceptance by the officer or employee of any money or other consideration from anyone other than his or her department for the performance of an act which the officer or employee, if not performing such act, would be required or expected to render in the regular course or hours of his or her employment or as a part of his or her duties as an employee or,
(3) involves the performance of an act in other than his or her capacity as an employee which act may later be subject directly or indirectly to the control, inspection, review, audit, or enforcement of any other officer or employee or the agency by which he or she is employed, or
(4) involves the time demands as would render performance of his or her duties as an employee less efficient,
(5) involves using or having access to confidential information available by virtue of state employment for private gain or advantage or providing confidential information to person to whom issuance of this information has not been authorized.

It is not our intent to prevent or discourage outside employment opportunities; rather only to remind employees to be mindful of the types of employment that are compatible with their regular employment. Employment to venues such as Macys, Target, Kohls, etc. would not be considered in conflict with a State employee's regular employment. Working hours for the second employment would need to be of such a nature as not to impact the performance of an employee's regular employment.

For specific departmental requirements see Health Administration Manual (HAM), Section 8-1140, Outside Employment.

If you have any questions, please consult with the Human Resources Branch.

Please remember during these challenging times, that the Employment Assistance Program is also available to assist you

Sandra Cornwell, Chief
Human Resources Branch
California Department of Public Health

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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