Department of General Services (DGS) will adhere to and comply with the provisions of Government Code section 7290 to 7299.8, also known as the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act, which requires the following:

  • State and local agencies ensure that they provide information and services in the various languages spoken by their clients where a "substantial" number of non-English-speaking people require such services.
  • State agencies must employ a sufficient number of qualified bilingual staff in public-contact positions and translated documents explaining available services into languages spoken by their clients.
  • State agencies are to conduct a biennial survey to determine the level of bilingual needs in each local office and the staffing available to provide the services.
  • State agencies to develop a plan to respond to any deficiencies identified by the survey.


Certified bilingual position

A position where the incumbent uses bilingual skills on a continuous basis and averages 10 percent or more of the total time.

NOTE: The program's Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst must review the position duty statement to confirm the percentage of time performing bilingual skills.

Certified bilingual employee

An employee who has successfully participated in an Oral Fluency Examination and is in a designated bilingual position.

Bilingual pay differential

A monthly pay differential that is granted to a certified bilingual employee who is in a designated bilingual position.

Note: The position, not the employee, receives the bilingual designation. If the employee leaves that position, they no longer qualify for the bilingual pay unless their new position is also certified as a bilingual position.


The following chart describe scenarios that could occur.

When...  And... Then...
The vacant position is designated bilingual The selected employee is not certified
  • Follow the process described below
The position is not designated bilingual and the duties are changing to where bilingual skills are necessary The employee is not certified
  • The position duty statement is reviewed by the C&P Analyst
  • The position certified as bilingual
  • Follow the process described below
The vacant position is designated bilingual The selected employee is already certified
  • Substantiation is provided
  • Personnel Transactions Unit (PTU) is notified and the pay differential is processed

Information required for fluency examination

Employees cannot be approved for bilingual pay until they have successfully passed a fluency examination.

The following is a list of employee information that is obtained by the Employee Resource Liaison from the hiring supervisor and submitted with a written request to OHR for an oral fluency exam:

  • Employee's name
  • Employee's telephone number 
  • Employee's home address
  • Employee's Social Security Number
  • Department's address
  • Department and Section employed
  • Supervisor's name and telephone number
  • Language to be tested

Process to certify an employee

The following table describes the stages necessary to certify an employee.


Hiring Supervisor

  • Notify Employee Resource Liaison

Employee Resource Liaison

  • Obtains required information from employee
  • Submits written request for an Oral Fluency Exam to Selection Analyst

Classification and Pay Analyst

  • Reviews duty statement. If approved, transmits written request to SPB.
  • Sends copy of exam results to PTU

SPB Bilingual Services Program

  • Makes exam arrangements
  • Notifies employee and Personnel Analyst of exam results

Personnel Transactions Unit

  • Initiates bilingual pay for the employee
  • Files original document in employee's Official Personnel File


Responsible Control Agencies

  • California Department of Human Resources
  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • Government Code section 7290-7299.8

Other Reference Materials


Classification and Pay Unit

Department of General Services
Office of Human Resources

707 3rd Street, 7th Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Contact your assigned Classification and Pay Analyst.