(Revised: 11/2020)


The SROA/Surplus process helps prevent layoffs by placing employees onto an SROA/Surplus list when a department is facing layoffs. An employee has 120 days to find a new job once placed onto the SROA or surplus list. If, at the end of that time, a layoff occurs, the employee goes on a reemployment list. A department must hire employees on the reemployment list if one exists for a classification. If not, the department must hire any eligible SROA/Surplus employees.

State Restrictions of Appointment

The SROA process is defined as an alternative to layoff that gives the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) the authority to restrict the methods of appointment available to appointing powers in order to give employees impacted by layoffs an opportunity to retain State employment. SROA is a common method used when departments are facing staffing reductions.

Upon the event that an employee’s position is designated as surplus, the Department of General Services (DGS) shall brief the employee of their rights and obligations before placing the surplus employee on the SROA hiring certification lists for the employee’s current classification and the geographic area where the employee is currently employed. DGS will issue each affected employee an SROA letter, which will include classification title, status as SROA and surplus, the reasons for and the dates of the layoffs. Employees will be given an opportunity to request to be removed from the SROA Program without prejudice and without affecting their surplus status. Employees may also elect to identify their preference for other geographic locations they are willing to be employed.

Employees, who are eligible for the SROA Program, will remain on an SROA list for up to 120 calendar days from the date CalHR designates the classification surplus. SROA eligibility may be extended an additional 120 calendar days with CalHR approval. Every employee on an SROA list is considered surplus for any other classification to which they are eligible to transfer and may compete for positions in those classifications with employees on the SROA lists for those classifications.

Employee participation in the SROA program is voluntary, and employees may not place themselves on inactive status once their names are placed active on any SROA listing. However, employees may request that specific classes be removed from their SROA listing, if they do not wish to receive job inquiries for those classes.

If a surplus or SROA employee has received a layoff notice prior to a hiring department making a hiring commitment, the employee will be entitled to relocation expenses if a move is necessary.

An employee on a SROA list may waive an unlimited number of contacts, but if they do not respond to a written or telephone contact or do not appear for an interview, their name should be removed from the SROA list by the hiring department. A SROA/Surplus candidate CANNOT refuse a job offer. Declining a job offer, or failure to report to work, may result in removal from the SROA list and/or layoff.


Surplus status is declared when a department has more employees in a classification than it has vacancies. Employees will be notified by their department that they are surplus status. DGS will issue each affected employee a surplus letter, which will include classification titles, status as SROA and surplus, the reasons for and the dates of the layoffs. While on surplus, employees can transfer to any classification pursuant to the State Personnel Board’s (SPB) transfer rules in California Code of Regulations (CCR), title 2, section 250. Employees who are designated surplus must seek out their own job opportunities and vacancies in any location or classification the employee is qualified for and can transfer into. Surplus employees are required to seek out these vacancies because typically “transfers” do not involve a certification list, therefore surplus employees will not receive contact letters. If a job offer is made with a specific start date and an employee accepts it prior to notification from their current employer that they are no longer surplus, the employee is still considered surplus. Surplus status will end at the point in time an employee is noticed by their department that they are no longer surplus and have requested CalHR to remove their surplus status.


An employee’s name is placed on the general, departmental, and subdivisional (if any) reemployment lists for each class of layoff in the primary pattern and is placed on the departmental and subdivisional (if any) reemployment lists for each class of layoff in the secondary pattern. In addition, if any employee is laid off from a department-specific class in which the chance of reemployment is virtually nonexistent, the appointing power may request that CalHR place the employee’s name on a general reemployment list for a similar class.

  • Subdivisional Reemployment List is defined as a list established for the reemployment of persons in a particular class in a particular subdivision of a state agency.
  • Departmental Reemployment List is defined as a list established for the reemployment of persons in a particular class in a particular state agency.
  • General Reemployment List is defined as a list established for the reemployment of persons in a particular class in any state agency, irrespective of the state agency in which the persons were previously employed.

Super SROA

Hiring departments filling vacancies in a Bargaining Unit (BU) 2 or 9 classifications must fill these vacancies with qualified Super SROA employees. To qualify, employees must meet the minimum qualifications, have eligibility for the salary level of the vacancy, and be in the same geographic area and BU. "Same geographic area" means any county that touches the county in which the vacancy exists. The contracts provide no exemptions. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State and BU 2 and 9 contain the following clause, which is referred to as “Super SROA”:

Departments filling vacancies shall offer positions to current employees facing layoff, demotion in lieu of layoff or mandatory geographic transfer who meet the minimum qualifications for the vacancy being filled, provided that the vacancy is equivalent in salary and responsibility and in the same geographic area and bargaining unit.

DGS must fill each vacant position with an employee who meets the Super SROA criteria, if one applies. If no BU 2 or 9 employee who is qualified for Super SROA applies, DGS will follow the provisions of the regular SROA Program.


CCR, Title 2, Sections 599.854 to 599.854.4 and Government Code Sections 19998 to 19998.1 govern CalHR's authority and define layoff reemployment and the SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA process. Super SROA seniority calculations are governed by the applicable Bargaining Unit MOUs.


It is the policy of DGS to conform with the policy of the State, that when facing a potential layoff, due to lack of work or funds, SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA measures shall be initiated in order to give employees an opportunity to retain State employment. This policy contains a description of the SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA process and adheres to the processes outlined in the SROA Manual.


DGS' Office of Human Resources (OHR) Classification and Pay (C&P) Unit is responsible for administering the SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA programs in accordance with CalHR and SPB laws, rules and policies, as appropriate.

SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA participants have priority consideration in all recruitments and over all other types of appointments such as, but not limited to, list appointments, transfers, and Post and Bid. If a candidate has no SROA letter, is not present on any certification list, or is SROA for a different classification, but has claimed SROA/Surplus/Reemployment in their application package, these candidates shall maintain priority consideration. Before a hiring unit can proceed with considering candidates with other forms of eligibility, they must document the clearance of SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA candidates.


According to CCR section 599.854.4, “Requests for special exemptions based on critical hiring needs will be granted only when the appointing power has demonstrated that the SROA candidates do not have the knowledge, skills and background required for the position, or that the training period required to qualify the SROA candidate would be of such length that the effectiveness of a specific program would be jeopardized unless the exemption is granted.”

If the hiring unit determines that a SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA candidate does not possess the qualifications necessary for the class or position, they must contact their C&P Analyst and seek an exemption from CalHR. CalHR’s exemption approval is required before proceeding with recruitment. The hiring unit will be required to provide the following requirements in the written request to OHR, per CalHR:

  1. The nature of the critical hiring need and why it cannot be met through the SROA process.
  2. A statement that ALL interested SROA list employees and surplus applicants were interviewed.
  3. Copies of the applications of the SROA/Surplus employees.
  4. The application of the proposed appointee.
  5. An analysis of why the need cannot be met with one of the SROA/Surplus employees.
  6. An analysis of why the proposed appointee cannot meet the need.
  7. A copy of the position’s duty statement, organization chart, and job opportunity bulletin.
  8. The consequences of not being granted an exemption.
  9. A statement that indicates whether the appointment of the proposed appointee will create a vacancy that can be filled by the SROA process. If a vacancy does result but it cannot be filled by SROA, explain the reasons why.
  10. If necessary, CalHR may require additional information necessary to substantiate the request, including historical data pertaining to the department’s participation in the SROA/Surplus program.


The following chart outlines the procedure for all recruitments involving SROA/Surplus/Reemployment and Super SROA candidate:

Step Action

Certification Unit

  • Sends an email with the names of SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates on the certification list to the Employee Resource Liaison (ERL) once the position is advertised.


  • Conveys names of SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates to the Hiring Manager.

Hiring Manager

  • Reviews all applications for additional documentation in Examination and Cert Online System (ECOS) that may indicate SROA/surplus eligibility and reaches out to the Certification Unit to request to reveal these documents.
  • Contacts and interviews all eligible SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates.
  • Notates and confirms with candidates in writing (via email) who have declined the interview or withdrawn their application.
  • Emails ERL and C&P Analyst if SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidate(s) declined the interview.


  • If no SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates have applied, checks “SROA Cleared” box in Tracker indicating clearance of SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates.
  • If SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates have applied, notates in Tracker that SROA/Surplus/Reemployment candidates have applied.
  • Submits the eSheet to Examinations (Exam) Unit in Tracker with all SROA candidates listed no sooner than three (3) days after the final filing date to allow all paper applications to be received.

Exam Analyst

  • Confirms SROA/Surplus/Reemployment status.
  • Conducts minimum qualifications check, and notates which candidates are reachable (per the certification rules) in the comments section of the eSheet.
  • Forwards eSheet to C&P Analyst.

C&P Analyst

  • Validates layoff seniority, if necessary, and documents in Tracker.
  • Performs transfer determination, if necessary.
  • Submits eSheet to C&P Manager for final eligibility determination.

C&P Manager

  • Validates eSheet and routes results to Program.

Hiring Manager

Once final eligibility has been determined by OHR,

  • Makes job offer to eligible candidates, SROA/Surplus/Reemployment or otherwise.

C&P Analyst

  • If an SROA/Surplus/Reemployment/Super SROA declines an interview or job offer, works with C&P Manager to notify CalHR’s Personnel Services Branch (PSB).
  • For BU 2 and 9 recruitments, C&P Analyst fills out Super SROA Compliance Audit form, obtains signature, and sends advertisement, Super SROA listing and Super SROA Compliance Audit form to PSB (psb@calhr.ca.gov).


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.