In 1968, the Legislature enacted laws establishing a merit system for state employees and a Personnel Commission comprised of five appointees to manage that system. This merit system consists of laws and rules developed to uphold principles of fairness, equality, and open competition in all areas of public sector employment. The 1968 legislation also allocated staff to administer the Commission’s day-to-day activities under a personnel director. In 1973, legislation moved the Personnel Commission to the Personnel Division within the Department of Administration (DOA), and the Personnel Commission was renamed the Personnel Board. In 1978, the Board was officially separated from DOA to ensure Board neutrality.
The Board, which consists of five governor-appointed members, hears and reviews disciplinary appeals and “whistleblower” complaints filed by state employees. Members, who serve three-year terms, include a person who for more than five years managed a component or unit of government or industry with more than 20 employees, one professional personnel administrator, one state employee, one person active in business management, and one public citizen. These Board members are responsible for providing an impartial hearing process to the State and its covered status employees with respect to three types of agency disciplinary actions: dismissals, suspensions for more than 80 working hours, and demotions. In 1989, the Board’s jurisdiction was expanded to include the consideration of whistleblower complaints, which involves any personnel action taken against an employee or former employee of the State, that the individual believes was taken in reprisal for his or her disclosure of information to a public body.