Civil Service Act of Dothan
Do the "Civil Service Act of Dothan" and the rules of the Dothan Personnel Board provide the City discretion to hire from the outside where it is not practicable to promote a current city employee?
The circuit court and the Court of Civil Appeals appear to have based their decisions on a conclusion that the City's personnel rules and regulations require that where current city employees are listed on the register of persons qualified for a vacant position, the job must be filled by one of those current employees listed on the register. We disagree with that conclusion.
Section 14 of the "Civil Service Act of Dothan," as amended by Act No. 92-442, Ala. Acts 1992, reads:
"Section 14. FILLING VACANCIES. When any vacancy occurs in the classified service, the personnel director, subject to the approval of the personnel board, may direct the filling of such vacancy by appointment, promotion, reappointment, transfer, or demotion, where practical.
"(a) Appointment: When it is necessary to fill a vacancy by appointment, the appointing authority shall submit to the director a personnel requisition containing a statement of the title of the position and the desired qualifications of the person to be appointed, and request the director to certify to him the names of persons eligible for appointment to the position.
The director shall certify to the appointing authority the names of three ranking eligibles from the most appropriate register, and if more than one vacancy is to be filled, the name of one additional eligible for each additional vacancy, or if agreeable to the appointing authority, all the names on the register, if there is less than the above-required number. ... In the event the requested number of eligibles cannot be certified to the appointing authority, he may choose from the remaining certified names or may elect to make a provisional appointment as provided in this act. ...
"(b) Promotion: Vacancies other than entry level positions shall be filled by promotion insofar as practicable, from the appropriate promotional register. the certification of individuals for promotion shall be the same as provided for in paragraph (a) above ...."
Section 17 of the "Civil Service Act of Dothan" reads:
"Section 17. PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENTS. Whenever in the opinion of the personnel director it is impossible within a reasonable time to certify eligible persons for appointment to a vacancy in the classified service, the appointing authority may nominate a person for the vacancy to the director.
If such nominee is found by the director to have had experience and training which appear to qualify him for the position, the director may authorize the appointment of such person to such vacancy only until an appropriate eligible register can be established and an appointment made therefrom.
Such provisional appointments shall be for a period of 90 days and may, with the approval of the director, be extended for an additional 90 days; however, in no event shall a provisional appointment be made for a period aggregating more than 180 days."
The City's personnel rules contain the following provisions:
"2-60(3) Promotions: It is the policy of the City of Dothan to fill classified positions with the most qualified personnel available. to allow for upward mobility, all vacancies and promotional positions shall be advertised internally utilizing promotional registers; job announcements for same shall be posted on all departmental bulletin boards.
The City of Dothan shall, as an Equal Opportunity Employer, recognize its responsibility to insure equal opportunity in promotional decisions based only on valid and job oriented requirements.
"2-60(4) Outside Advertisement: If an insufficient number of City employees in the Classified Service are interested in and/or qualified for a vacant position, the Personnel Director shall advertise for applicants in whatever manner will provide a suitable number and quality of applicants including: advertisement of job announcements in local or national news media as appropriate; distribution of same to local employment agencies and/or colleges as required to attract the best qualified individuals; and utilization of eligible and reemployment registers.
"2-60(6) Selection: After oral interviews are completed, the department head shall examine the merits of all applicants and select the person who best meets the job requirements."