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Georgia State Code
Title      45
Chapter      20  
Section Navigation        1 ... 9          10 ... 19    
    20 ... 54.1       55 ... 110    111     
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Title 45, Chapter 20, Section 1 (45-20-1)

(a) It is the purpose of this article to establish in the state a system of personnel administration which will attract, select, and retain the best employees based on merit, free from coercive political influences, with incentives in the form of equal opportunities for all; which will provide technically competent and loyal personnel to render impartial service to the public at all times and to render such service according to the dictates of ethics and morality; and which will remove unnecessary and inefficient employees. It is specifically the intent of the General Assembly to promote this purpose by allowing agencies greater flexibility in personnel management so as to promote the overall effectiveness and efficiency of state government. To this end, and in accordance with Code Sections 45-20-2 and 45-20-6, all positions filled after July 1, 1996, shall be included in the unclassified service of the state merit system, except as provided in Code Section 15-11-24.3. It is also specifically the intent of the General Assembly that employees in the classified service prior to July 1, 1996, shall continue to be covered employees in the classified service and shall remain subject to the rules and regulations of the state merit system so long as they remain in covered positions or as otherwise provided by law. It is further specifically the intent of the General Assembly that state government operate within a framework of consistent personnel policies and practices across all state agencies and entities and that the state's most valued resource, its employees, be managed in a manner to promote work force productivity and sound business practices.

(b) In order to achieve these purposes, it is the policy of the state that agencies treat all employees, whether included in the classified or unclassified service, in accordance with the following principles:

(1) Assuring fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religious creed, or political affiliations. This "fair treatment" principle includes compliance with all state and federal equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination laws;

(2) Recruiting, selecting, and advancing employees on the basis of their relative ability, knowledge, and skills, including open consideration of qualified applicants for initial employment;

(3) Providing equitable and adequate compensation based on merit, performance, job value, and competitiveness within applicable labor markets;

(4) Training employees, as needed, to assure high quality performance and to provide work force skills needed to maintain and advance the state's goals and objectives;

(5) Retaining employees on the basis of the adequacy of their performance, correcting inadequate performance where possible and appropriate, and separating employees whose performance is inadequate; and

(6) Assuring that employees are protected against coercion for partisan political purposes and are prohibited from using their official authority for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or nomination for office.

(c) With respect to employees in the unclassified service, it shall be the responsibility of the state merit system to perform the following functions:

(1) Establish and maintain a state-wide system of pay ranges for all job classes;

(2) Define common job classes, establish associated minimum qualifications for those classes and assign those classes to appropriate pay ranges;

(3) Develop and maintain a common employment application form to be used by all applicants for state employment, which form may be supplemented as necessary by agencies in seeking information about agency job classes;

(4) Serve as the central contact point for all potential employees in order to streamline state-wide recruiting for applicants, to provide for a state-wide applicant data base, to refer applicants to agencies, and make applicant data available to agencies for review and consideration;

(5) Upon request, develop, validate, or develop and validate applicant screening devices being utilized by agencies;

(6) Upon request, administer screening devices on behalf of agencies;

(7) Make employment related training available to agencies and allow agencies the opportunity to provide input into the nature and scope of said training programs;

(8) In consultation with agencies, establish state-wide model standards and processes and best practices criteria which agencies shall use in developing internal processes for (i) classification, (ii) compensation, (iii) pay for performance, and (iv) performance management, including processes involved in defining job classes, establishing and applying associated minimum qualifications, assigning jobs to appropriate state-wide pay ranges, developing and applying applicant screening methods, and measuring worker effectiveness;

(9) Audit agencies' processes as referred to in paragraph (8) of this subsection and report findings annually to the Governor and the General Assembly in conjunction with an annual report on the overall status of the state work force;

(10) Serve as consultant to agencies on work force planning and effective work force strategies, provide technical support assistance, and direct services to agencies as requested; and

(11) Maintain and make available to the public at large a state-wide central registry of employment vacancies and job announcements in state government as provided to the state merit system by agencies.

(d) With respect to employees in the unclassified service, it shall be the responsibility of the employing agency to perform the following functions:

(1) Within state-wide human resource standards, processes, and best practices criteria, define agency unique job classes, establish and apply associated qualifications for those job classes, and assign those job classes to pay ranges on an appropriate state-wide compensation plan;

(2) Allocate agency positions to defined job classes;

(3) Recruit and screen applicants for job vacancies;

(4) Develop and administer appropriate job applicant screening devices to ensure the integrity of the hiring process; and

(5) Develop agency unique policies to ensure compliance with all applicable employment related state and federal laws.

(e) Subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section shall not apply to the legislative or judicial branches, to the board of regents, or to any agency which employed no classified employees as of July 1, 1996.

(f) Each agency shall develop an annual work force plan according to state-wide criteria and guidelines and shall provide a report of such plan annually to the state merit system for incorporation into the state-wide work force plan to be submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly.

(g) In the event agencies do not use a competitive civil service examination to fill some or all of their unclassified positions, it is expressly the intent of the General Assembly that appropriate consideration be given to veterans as defined under Article IV, Section III, Paragraph II of the Constitution of Georgia and Article 2 of Chapter 2 of this title in the filling of job vacancies in this state. Guidelines defining consideration practices shall be developed at the state level. Agencies shall specify agency policies and practices to implement appropriate consideration of military veterans in filling agency job vacancies.

(h) The rules of statutory construction contained in Chapter 3 of Title 1, relating to general provisions concerning the construction of statutes, as now or hereafter amended, shall apply to this article.

Saturday May 23 13:07 EDT

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