It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) that in order to be a valid civil service appointment, both the potential employer and employee must make and accept a position in “good faith."

Government Code (GC) section 19257 states that to be valid, a civil service appointment must be made and accepted in “good faith” under the civil service statutes and State Personnel Board (SPB) regulations.

“Good faith” is defined as, having honest intentions or in compliance with standards of decency and honesty.

SPB Rule 8
For purposes of administering the civil service statutes, including GC sections 19257 and 19257.5 and Board rules, ‘good faith’ is presumed to exist in the following circumstances:

  1. In order to make an appointment in “good faith,” an appointing power must:
    1. Intend to observe the spirit and intent of the law; and
    2. Make a reasonable and serious attempt to determine how the law should be applied; and
    3. Assure that positions are properly classified; and
    4. Assure that appointees have appropriate civil service appointment eligibility; and
    5. Intend to employ the appointee in the class, tenure, and location to which appointed under the conditions reflected by the appointment document; and
    6. Make reasonable and serious attempt to provide the relevant reference materials, training, and supervision necessary to avoid any mistakes of law or fact to the persons responsible for the pertinent personnel transactions; and
  2. In order to accept an appointment in “good faith,” an employee must:
    1. Intend to serve in the class to which the employee is being appointed under the tenure, location, and other elements of the appointment as reflected by the appointment document; and
    2. Provide the appointment power with complete, factual, and truthful information necessary for a proper appointment; and
    3. Make a reasonable attempt to seek correction of any aspects of the appointment that the employee knows are illegal.

Lack of Good Faith
If a lack of good faith exists on the part of either the appointing power or the employee, the SPB may cancel the improper appointment without regard to the one-year limitation set forth in GC section 19257.5. Knowingly offering, accepting, or approving an illegal appointment may also be a basis for punitive action.


Responsible Control Agency

  • California Department of Human Resources
  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • Government Code section 19257 and 19257.5, 19680, 19681, 19682, 19683, 19764, 19572, 19583.5, 19682.
  • SPB, Article 1, Rule 8, Page 1

Other Resource Materials

  • Personnel Management Policy and Procedures Manual section 395