(Revised: 01/2021)


The Temporary Authorization Utilization (TAU) process provides departments an opportunity to fill a vacant position on a temporary appointment basis when there is no employment list from which a position can be filled.

Temporary Appointments

A temporary appointment is an appointment made in the absence of any appropriate employment list permitted by Article VII, Section 5, of the California Constitution. No person may serve in one or more positions under temporary appointment longer than nine (9) months in twelve (12) consecutive months.
TAU appointments are permitted when all the following conditions apply:

  1. No current eligible list for the classification exists.
  2. No eligible candidates on an open, promotional or reemployment list are interested in the position.
  3. Existing open lists have three or fewer eligible candidates interested in the position.
  4. Eligible candidates on an open, promotional, or reemployment list do not meet the vacancy criteria (e.g., location, time base).


Government Codes, the California Codes of Regulations (CCR), State Personnel Board (SPB), and Department of Human Resources (CalHR) provide laws, rules, regulations and policy that govern, authorize, and define TAU appointments.


Making appointments to fill vacancies using the TAU process should be minimized, when possible. It is the policy of Department of General Services (DGS) that all TAU appointments must be approved by the Office of Human Resources (OHR) in advance of appointment and only after all other options have been exhausted. Other options to be exhausted include:

  • Priority list candidates - Reemployment and State Restrictions of Appointment
  • Lateral transfers (from same class)
  • Transfers (from different class)
  • Reinstatements
  • Training and Development assignments
  • Use of another department’s list for the same or similar classification as an appropriate list
  • Transfer a candidate’s eligibility from another department’s list to DGS’ list
  • Retired annuitant
  • Out of Class Assignment

Consistent with CCR, Title 2, Section 265, DGS will not abolish eligible lists to make TAU hires. DGS will exhaust all other options before authorizing a TAU. TAUs shall not be used for service-wide classifications unless prior approval has been obtained from CalHR.


The TAU process may be initiated by a program at two distinct points when a position is initially being recruited for, and after a position has been advertised utilizing an eligible list, and then said list has effectively been exhausted. All TAU requests must be approved by OHR prior to advertising with TAU language on a job advertisement. Additionally, DGS is required by CalHR to complete a TAU Worksheet to determine if the intended TAU appointment is appropriate to fill the vacancy.

Testing Classifications

Temporary appointments may be made to testing and non-testing classifications. A testing classification requires that the department give the examination for that classification within nine (9) months of the appointment. The candidate then must take and pass the exam in order to be appointed permanently to the classification. If TAU appointee is successful in the examination process, is in a reachable rank, and the expiration date has passed, the candidate MUST be appointed. If the program does not wish to retain the TAU but failed to take the proper termination action, the candidate is now on probation and the program must work with the Office of Human Resource’s Constructive Intervention Unit (CIU) Analyst to resolve performance issues, including rejection on probation, if necessary. If TAU appointee will not be retained, termination MUST be made within sixty (60) days of the list date OR prior to the appointment expiration date, whichever comes first.

Non-Testing Classifications

A non-testing classification is a temporary appointment classification in which there is no examination, such as a Student Assistant, Graduate Student Assistant, Seasonal Clerk or causal employee in a skilled trades classification. These classifications are keyed as temporary (TAU) and do not require the use of the TAU Worksheet. Individuals in these classifications receive no permanent status in State service. The appointment shall not exceed nine (9) months in a twelve (12) month period. Temporary employees holding multiple temporary positions must combine all time toward the 1500-hour limitation during the 12-month period. Any person receiving State public assistance under the CalWORKs program who meets the minimum qualifications for any civil service position as a seasonal or an entry-level non-testing class, shall be given priority consideration. “Priority consideration” means that after consideration has been made for all conditions described in Government Code Section 19063, the state agency involved shall hire all qualified job applicants who are receiving state public assistance before hiring any other applicant.

Counting Time for Temporary Appointments

The time worked in a TAU assignment must be counted in a specific manner. The days worked to be counted are every day worked, including partial days worked and paid absences. For counting the twelve (12)-consecutive months, the first pay period worked is the first month of the twelve (12)-consecutive month timeframe. The maximum number of days an employee on a temporary assignment may work is 189 days.


The following steps are to be followed for a TAU request:

Step  Action

Employee Resource Liaison (ERL)

  • Sends complete Request for Personnel Action (RPA) to Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst, including a Job Control Report with “TAU” box checked only after the position has been advertised at least once.
  • Completes Section 1 of the TAU Worksheet (DGS OHR 215) and submits to Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst in Tracker.

Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst

  • Reviews RPA for appropriate allocation and content.
  • Reviews and validates information on Section 1 of TAU Worksheet, completes Section 2, and routes RPA to C&P Manager in Tracker.

C&P Manager

  • Reviews and validates RPA and signs Section 2 of the TAU Worksheet.
  • Obtains C&P Manager (SSM) II approval.
  • Routes TAU Worksheet to Examinations (Exam) Analyst via email.

Exam Analyst

  • Completes Section 3 of the TAU Worksheet.
  • Contacts CalHR for approval to utilize another department’s list (if applicable).
  • Obtains Exam Manager signature of approval.
  • Emails TAU Worksheet to Personnel Officer and copies the C&P Analyst, C&P Managers (SSM I and SSM II), and Exam Analyst.

OHR Upper Management

  • Replies all to the email chain and attaches completed TAU Worksheet.

C&P Manager

  • Routes RPA to Certification Unit for advertising.
  • The RPA is then completed per the Personnel Operations Manual and DGS’ Hiring Toolkit.

Benefits Received

Employees appointed as a TAU with no prior state service receive the following benefits.

Health Insurance

Employees whose positions are classified as TAU appointments, who are appointed to a position for at least six months and one day, and at a time base of half-time or more.

Dental Insurance

Employees whose positions are classified as TAU appointments, who are appointed to a position of six months and one day, and at a time base of half-time or more.

Cash Option

TAU-appointed employees are not eligible for Flex Cash or Flex Reimbursement. If/when employee becomes permanent and has benefits through another qualifying source, employee can enroll into Flex Cash and/or Flex Reimbursement when appointed to a permanent position at a time base of half-time or more.


Vacation begins accruing with the first full pay period; however, cannot be used until six months of employment have been completed.

Sick Leave

Sick leave begins accruing with the first full pay period and may be used the following pay period.

Annual Leave

Annual leave credit begins accruing after one qualifying pay period, and the accrual rate is pro-rated according to the time base of the position.

Documentation and Retention

DGS is required to maintain the appropriate documentation pertaining to the TAU appointment. Below is a list of documents that must be retained for five years:

  1. Job posting advertising the vacant position
  2. TAU Worksheet
  3. Selected candidate’s application (STD 678)
  4. Written record(s) of periodic reviews of the continued need for the TAU appointment
  5. Written records of the days, months, and hours worked by temporary employees

All documentation is subject to review by SPB and CalHR.