The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 17, 2013
Audit: Departments wrongly doled out hourly jobs to managers

Some of California's most prominent departments improperly gave salaried managers additional jobs that pay an hourly wage, violating civil service rules, according to a audit released late this afternoon.

The state's prison and hospital systems, CalPERS and the Department of Social Services together accounted for nearly all the 504 salaried managers and supervisors who held a second hourly-pay position in 2012. Human resources auditors in the Gov. Jerry Brown's administration said 428 employees, or 85 percent, shouldn't have received secondary job titles because the hourly work fell within the scope of their salaried job duties.

Brown's human resources department and the State Personnel Board investigated 11 agencies whose managers also held hourly part-time jobs last year. The audits launched after The Bee first reported on the policy in January. Brown subsequently banned additional appointments for state managers and supervisors.

The state human resources department dedicated 10 staffers to research and write their reports over the course of three months. Still, their findings lack some basic information, such as how much the departments spent overall on managerial additional appointments last year. CalHR spokeswoman Pat McConahay couldn't come up with that figure when asked this afternoon.

Investigators concluded the mistakes were clerical errors. Departments will either collect the overpayments from employees or make good on the underpayments, McConahay said.

The personnel board, which is tasked with ensuring the civil service system is based on merit. It's auditors found that departments violated several rules aimed at making job appointments fair and open, including advertising the part-time positions, taking applications and competitively interviewing candidates.

Departments offered various reasons to auditors for using managers to do lower-level work for hourly wages, such as meeting crushing workloads, covering vacancies or leveraging managers' knowledge and skills for less money than hiring new employees or consultants.

The Brown administration today told the departments to refer questions about their additional appointments to the Department of Human Resources and personnel board spokeswoman Pat McConahay.

"This is our investigation," McConahay said when asked why the administration forbade departments to speak for themselves. "Their responses are detailed in the reports, and the reports speak for themselves."

Click here to open the CalHR page with links to its reports and the State Personnel Board's audits.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives