It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) to make emergency appointments for up to 60 working days in accordance with State Personnel Board (SPB) Rules 301 through 304, which specify the different types and appropriate use of emergency appointments.

Emergency appointments allow appointing powers to hire staff for a short period without respect for employment lists, in order to:

  • Respond to true emergencies such as fire or flood
  • Perform unusual, short duration work (30 days or less)
  • Fill temporary vacancies (20 to 60 days) in established positions

In most cases, the approval of emergency appointments is delegated to DGS. Exceptions to this delegation are:

  • Appointments made under Rule 302.1 that result in the employee spending more than 60 days in a 12-month period
  • Acting assignments of non-State employees for more than 30 working days
  • Acting assignments made to classes for which there are examinations in progress

Types of appointments

The following describes the three types of emergency appointments and its provisions.

  1. True Emergency - SPB Rule 302.1
    • To prevent the stoppage of public business in the case of fire, flood or other emergency 
    • Service is generally limited by Rule 303 to 60 working days in a 12-month period
    • Appointments may be exempted from this limitation by the Executive Officer of the SPB
    • Temporary employment is limited by the Constitution to 9 months in a 12-month period
    • Civil servants and non-civil servants are eligible for appointment
    • Appointment is at the discretion of the appointing power
  2. Short Duration Work - SPB Rule 302.2
    • To employ persons up to 30 working days in a 12- month period to perform work that is distinct from the range of work normally performed by the appointing power's regular staff (work is distinct because of its unusual urgency, nature, volume, location, duration, or other special characteristics)
    • Not appropriate if work necessitates employment of one or more individuals for more than 30 days in a 12-month period
    • Selection of individuals is at the discretion of the appointing power
  3. Acting Assignment - SPB Rule 302.3
    • To fill established positions for 20 to 60 working days when such positions are temporarily vacant
    • Not authorized for acting assignments of less than 20 days
    • Limited to situations where there is a reasonable operating need that cannot be feasibly met through other civil service or administrative alternatives

Roles and Responsibilities

The following table describes the roles and responsibilities when processing an emergency appointment.

Employee Resource Liaison (ERL)
  1. Prepares and forwards a Request for Personnel Action (RPA) to the Classification and Pay Analyst including the following information:
  • Name of appointee
  • Description of work to be performed including duties of the position
  • Justification for use of emergency appointment
  • Classification to be used, or in those cases where there is no appropriate class, the working title to be used
  • Estimated total days to be worked and hours of work
Classification and Pay Analyst
  1. Completes review of the RPA and determines if the emergency appointment requirements are met (may request additional information)
  2. May need to request approval from SPB
  3. Informs ERL of determination
  4. Forwards RPA to Personnel Specialist for processing


Responsible Control Agency

  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • Government Code section 18531, 19888-19888.1
  • SPB Rule 300-304

Other Resource 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.