Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–608.01. Creation of Career Service.

(a) The Mayor shall issue rules and regulations governing employment, advancement, and retention in the Career Service which shall include all persons appointed to positions in the District government, except persons appointed to positions in the Excepted, Executive, Educational, Management Supervisory, or Legal Service. The Career Service shall also include, after January 1, 1980, all persons who are transferred into the Career Service pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of § 1-602.04. The rules and regulations governing Career Service employees shall be indexed and cross referenced to the incumbent classification system and shall provide for the following:

(1) A positive recruitment program designed to meet current and projected personnel needs;

(2) Open competition for initial appointment to the Career Service;

(3) Examining procedures designed to achieve maximum objectivity, reliability, and validity through a practical assessment of attributes necessary to successful job performance and career development as provided in subchapter VII of this chapter;

(4) Appointments to be made on the basis of merit by selection from the highest qualified available eligibles based on specific job requirements, from appropriate lists established on the basis of the provisions of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection with appropriate regard for affirmative action goals and veterans preference as provided in subchapter VII of this chapter;

(5) Appointments made without time limitation in accordance with paragraph (4) of this subsection, as permanent Career Service status appointments upon satisfactory completion of a probationary period of at least 1 year;

(6) Temporary, term, and other time-limited appointments, in appropriate cases, which do not confer permanent status but are to be made, insofar as practicable, in accordance with paragraph (4) of this subsection, except that such appointments to positions at the DS-12 level or equivalent or below may be made non-competitively;

(7) Appointments to continuing positions (in the absence of lists of eligibles), which do not confer permanent status, subject to meeting minimum qualification standards and subject to termination as soon as lists of qualified eligibles for permanent appointment can be established in accordance with paragraph (4) of this subsection;

(8) Emergency appointments for not more than 30 days to provide for maintenance of essential services in situations of natural disaster or catastrophes where normal employment procedures are impracticable;

(9) Promotions of permanent employees, giving due consideration to demonstrated ability, quality, and length of service;

(10) Reinstatements, reassignments, and transfers of employees with permanent status;

(11) Establishment of programs, including trainee programs, designed to attract and utilize persons with minimal qualifications, but with potential for development, in order to provide career development opportunities for members of disadvantaged groups, persons with disabilities, women, and other appropriate target groups. These programs may provide for permanent appointments to trainee or similar positions through competition limited to these persons;

(12) Reduction-in-force procedures, with:

(A) A prescribed order of separation based on tenure of appointment, length of service, including creditable federal and military service, District residency, veterans preference, and officially documented work performance;

(B) Priority reemployment consideration for employees separated;

(C) Consideration of job sharing and reduced hours; and

(D) Employee appeal rights; and

(13) Separations for cause, which shall be subject to the adverse action and appeal procedures provided for in subchapter XVI-A of this chapter.

(b) Selections to the Career Service shall be made in accordance with equal employment opportunity principles as set forth in subchapter VII of this chapter.

(b-1) Not Funded.

(c) Repealed.

(d) The Mayor may issue separate rules and regulations concerning the personnel system affecting members of the uniform services of the Police and Fire Departments which may provide for a probationary period of at least 1 year. Other such separate rules and regulations may only be issued to carry out provisions of this chapter which accord such member of the uniform services of the Police and Fire Departments separate treatment under this chapter. Such separate rules and regulations are not a bar to collective bargaining during the negotiation process between the Mayor and the recognized labor organizations for the Metropolitan Police and Fire Departments, but shall be within the parameters of § 1-617.08.

(d-1) For members of the Metropolitan Police Department and notwithstanding § 1-632.03(a)(1)(B) or any other law or regulation, the Assistant Chiefs of Police, Deputy Chiefs of Police, and inspectors shall be selected from among the lieutenants and captains of the force and shall be returned to the same civil service rank when the Mayor so determines.

(d-2)(1) The Chief of Police shall recommend to the Director of Personnel criteria for Career Service promotions and Excepted Service appointments to the positions of Inspector, Commander, and Assistant Chief of Police that address the areas of education, experience, physical fitness, and psychological fitness. The recommended criteria shall be the same for Career Service promotions and Excepted Service appointments to these positions. When establishing the criteria, the Chief of Police shall review national standards, such as the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

(2) All candidates for the positions of Inspector, Commander, and Assistant Chief of Police shall be of good standing with no disciplinary action pending or administered resulting in more than a 14-day suspension or termination within the past 3 years.

(d-3)(1) The Fire Chief shall recommend to the Mayor criteria for Career Service promotions and Excepted Service appointments to the positions of Battalion Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief that address the areas of education, experience, physical fitness, and psychological fitness. The recommended criteria shall be the same for Career Service promotions and Excepted Service appointments to these positions. When establishing the criteria, the Fire Chief shall review national standards, such as the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard on Fire Officer Professional Qualifications.

(2) All candidates for the positions of Battalion Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief shall be of good standing with no disciplinary action pending or administered resulting in more than a 14-day suspension or termination within the past 3 years.

(e)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, an applicant for District government employment in the Career Service who is a bona fide resident of the District at the time of application shall be given a 10-point hiring preference over a nonresident applicant unless the applicant declines the preference. This preference shall be in addition to, and not instead of, qualifications established for the position.

(2) An applicant claiming a hiring preference shall submit 8 proofs of bona fide residency in a manner determined by the Mayor. If hired, the employee shall agree in writing to maintain bona fide District residency for a period of 7 consecutive years from the effective date of hire and shall provide proof of bona fide residency annually to the director of personnel for the agency or instrumentality for the first 7 years of employment. Failure to maintain District residency for the consecutive 7-year period shall result in forfeiture of employment.

(3) Any individual hired under a previous residency law who was subject to a residency requirement shall be treated as if the individual claimed a preference and was hired pursuant to the Residency Preference Amendment Act of 1988 [D.C. Law 7-203].

(4) In reductions-in-force, a resident District employee shall be preferred for retention and reinstatement of employment over a non-resident District employee. For purposes of this paragraph only, a non-resident District employee hired prior to January 1, 1980, shall be considered a District resident. When the provisions of this paragraph conflict with an effective collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement shall govern.

(5) A District employee hired in the Career Service prior to March 16, 1989, who elects to apply for a competitive promotion in the Career Service and to claim a preference, shall be bound by the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(6) The Mayor shall, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue proposed rules to implement the preference system established by this subsection. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council no later than February 1, 1989, for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.

(7)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Mayor may not require an individual to reside in the District of Columbia as a condition of employment in the Career Service.

(B) The Mayor shall provide notice to each employee in the Career Service of the provisions of this subsection that require an employee claiming a residency preference to maintain District residency for 7 consecutive years, and shall only apply such provisions with respect to employees claiming a residency preference on or after March 16, 1989.

(e-1)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 14 of Title 2 [§ 2-1401.01 et seq.], an applicant for District government employment in the Career Service shall be given a 10-point hiring preference if, at the time of application, the applicant:

(A) Is within 5 years of leaving foster care under the Child and Family Services Agency and is a resident of the District; or

(B)(i) Is currently in the foster care program administered by the Child and Family Services Agency; and

(ii) Is at least 18 years old and not more than 21 years old, regardless of residency.

(2) An applicant claiming a hiring preference pursuant to this subsection shall submit proof of eligibility for the preference by submitting to the hiring authority a letter or other document issued by the Child and Family Services Agency or the Family Court of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia showing that the applicant is or was in foster care or showing the date the applicant left court supervision.

(3) An applicant who receives a hiring preference pursuant to this subsection and who is a resident of the District shall remain eligible to receive any other preference available under this chapter in addition to the preference received pursuant to this subsection.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “foster care” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 4-342(2).

(5) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subsection. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules by resolution within the 30-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.

(f) Repealed.

(g) Each subordinate agency head shall submit to the Mayor and the Council quarterly reports detailing the names of all new employees and their pay schedules, titles, and place of residence. The report shall explain the reasons for employment of non-District residents. The Mayor shall integrate into each subordinate agency’s yearly performance objectives the rate of success in hiring District residents. The Mayor shall conduct annual audits of each subordinate agency’s personnel records to ensure that all persons claiming a residency preference at time of hiring complies with the provisions of subsection (e)(2) of this section. Audit reports shall be submitted annually to the Council.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 801, 25 DCR 5740; Aug. 1, 1979, D.C. Law 3-14, § 2(a), 25 DCR 10565; Aug. 7, 1980, D.C. Law 3-81, § 2(g), 27 DCR 2632; May 22, 1981, D.C. Law 4-2, § 2(a)-(c), 28 DCR 2586; Apr. 3, 1982, D.C. Law 4-92, § 2(a)-(c), 29 DCR 745; Aug. 1, 1985, D.C. Law 6-15, § 7(a), 32 DCR 3570; Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-203, § 2(a), 36 DCR 450; Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1277, Pub. L. 101-168, § 110B(b)(1); June 10, 1998, D.C. Law 12-124, § 101(e), 45 DCR 2464; July 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-138, § 2(a), 45 DCR 2972; Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681-146, Pub. L. 105-277, § 153; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-260, § 2(c), 46 DCR 1318; Apr. 12, 2000. D.C. Law 13-91, § 103(h), 47 DCR 520; Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 822(a), 47 DCR 6308; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 104(a), 51 DCR 9406; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 3(d), 53 DCR 6198; Feb. 6, 2008, D.C. Law 17-108, § 203(d), 54 DCR 10993; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 3(c), 55 DCR 6758; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 223(c)(2), 56 DCR 1117; Mar. 14, 2012, D.C. Law 19-115, § 2(a), 59 DCR 461; July 13, 2012, D.C. Law 19-162, § 3, 59 DCR 5713; Mar. 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-173, § 201(a), 61 DCR 12582; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-211, § 2(c), 65 DCR 12603.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-608.1.

1973 Ed., § 1-338.1.

Section 203 of D.C. Law 20-173 provided that the amendments by §§ 201 and 202 of the act shall expire 2 years after March 7, 2015.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-602.01, § 1-602.02, § 1-602.04, § 1-608.59, § 1-609.57, § 4-1303.03, § 34-801, and § 50-2301.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91, in par. (13) of subsec. (a), substituted “subchapter XVII-A” for “subchapter XVII”.

D.C. Law 13-172 inserted subsec. (d-1).

D.C. Law 15-194 added subsecs. (d-2) and (d-3).

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a)(11), substituted “persons with disabilities” for “handicapped persons”.

D.C. Law 17-108, rewrote subsecs. (e)(1) and (2); in subsec. (e)(7)(B), substituted “7 consecutive years” for “5 consecutive years”; and added subsec. (g).

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (c)(1), substituted “spouse, domestic partner” for “husband, wife”.

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 19-115 repealed subsec. (c).

D.C. Law 19-162 added subsec. (e-1).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-173 substituted “the Assistant Chiefs of Police, Deputy Chiefs of Police, and inspectors shall be selected from among the lieutenants and captains of the force and shall be returned to the same civil service rank when the Mayor so determines” for “the Assistant and Deputy Chiefs of Police and inspectors shall be selected from among the captains of the force and shall be returned to the rank of captain when the Mayor so determines” in (d-1).

Cross References

Traffic adjudication, hearing examiners powers and duties, see § 50-2301.04.

D.C. retirement board, see § 1-711.

Mayor and Council members, coverage, see § 1-602.02.

Merit system, effective date provisions, see § 1-636.02.

Procurement, employees subject to ethical conduct requirements, see § 2-310.01.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-211: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-211 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 22-211 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(c) of the Legal Service Establishment Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-620, January 22, 1999, 46 DCR 1343).

For temporary (90-day) designation of section as Part A, Career Service Created, and temporary addition of a Part B, Lateral Police Career Appointments, consisting of §§ 1-608.11 to 1-608.15, see § 2(b) of the Lateral Appointment of Law Enforcement Officers Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-137, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6802).

For temporary (90-day) designation of section as Part A, Career Service Created, and temporary addition of a Part B, Lateral Police Career Appointments, consisting of §§ 1-608.11 to 1-608.15, see § 2(b) of the Lateral Appointment of Law Enforcement Officers Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-175, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9236).

For temporary (90-day) designation of section as Part A, Career Service Created, and temporary addition of a Part B, Lateral Police Career Appointments, consisting of §§ 1-608.11 to 1-608.15, see § 2(b) of the Lateral Appointment of Law Enforcement Officers Clarifying Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-231, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 506).

For temporary (90-day) designation of section as Part A, Career Service Created, and temporary addition of a Part B, Lateral Police Career Appointments, consisting of §§ 1-608.11 to 1-608.15, see § 2(b) of the Lateral Appointment of Law Enforcement Officers Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-305, April 7, 2000, 47 DCR 2701).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 822(a) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 822(a) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Department of Parks and Recreation Term Employee Appointment Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-50, April 27, 2009, 56 DCR 3584).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 201(a) of the Metropolitan Police Department Commencement of Discipline and Command Staff Appointment Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-524, Dec. 18, 2014, 61 DCR 13112, 20 STAT 4438).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) additions, see § 2 of Lateral Appointment of Law Enforcement Officers Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-61, October 12, 1999, law notification 47 DCR 1983).

For temporary (225 day) additions, see § 2 of Lateral Appointment of Law Enforcement Officers Clarifying Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-102, January 10, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 4339).

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-30 added a new subsec. (a)(6A) to read as follows:

“(6A) The position of a term employee in the Department of Parks and Recreation, paid by local appropriated funds and performing permanent services, that is renewed for more than 4 consecutive term appointments shall be converted to a career service employee position, subject to all laws regulating employee competition.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-30 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

The “Residency Preference Amendment Act of 1988”, referred to in subsection (e)(3), is D.C. Law 7-203.

Editor's Notes

Application of Titles I and VI of D.C. Law 15-194: Section 1301 of D.C. Law 15-194 provided: “Titles I and VI of this act shall apply to pre-1980 employees of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department upon their enactment by Congress.”

Section 203 of D.C. Law 20-173 provided that the amendments by §§ 201 and 202 of the act shall expire 2 years after March 7, 2015.

Repeal of Law

Repeal of Law 12-138

Section 153 of Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-146, repealed D.C. Law 12-138, which had added a subsection (f) to this section.