Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

About the Civil Service Board

The Civil Service Board (Board) consists of three commissioners appointed to voluntary positions by the Mayor under the City Charter, Chapter 4 - Civil Service. The commissioners are appointed to reflect the perspectives of labor, management and the general public.
On this page

Proceedings conducted by the Board are not the same as judicial proceedings before a court, but there are parallels. Courts have a much wider range of authority, both civil and criminal. The Board's authority is narrower and its procedures are less formal, reflecting the fact that many appellants in Civil Service Board appeals participate without legal representation.

Please note:

  • The Board does not conduct an investigation of an appeal.
  • The Board serves as the decision maker and does not act as a lawyer or advocate for any of the parties.

Current Board Members

  • Jonathan Uto

  • Mary Strayhand- Preston

  • Richard H. Schwarz, Commissioner

Duties of the Board

In general, subject to rules on Hearings and Appeals, the Board shall:

  • Review the suspension, demotion or discharge of a permanent employee, where the employee alleges that the discipline was for a political or religious reason, or was not made in good faith for the purpose of improving the public service.
  • Review appeals of classification actions taken by the HR Director affecting an employee in the classified service, where such action is alleged to be without rational basis or contrary to law or rule or taken for a political reason.
  • Review appeals of candidates for appointment or promotion to a position in the classified service, where applicant or job candidate alleges that the HR Director's decision was contrary to rules promulgated by the Director for examinations, or that the decision was contrary to law or for a political reason.

Specific rules and procedures governing the appeals process are contained in Human Resources Administrative Rule 3.15 - Civil Service Board.

Hearing Schedule

Hearings are open to the public with the exception of disciplinary cases. Hearing schedules are available upon request to the Civil Service Board Administrator. 

Board Timelines

In general, Appeals shall not be considered filed until received by the Board Administrator. Copies of appeals to the HR Director and the HR Director's response should be forwarded to the Board Administrator for the record.

Appeals from Suspensions, Demotions and Discharges

  • The Board may only review disciplinary actions of suspensions, demotions or discharge of permanent, non-probationary employees.
  • An employee so disciplined must file a written appeal with the Board within 21 calendar days from the effective date of the discipinary action.
  • Where a collective bargaining agreement provides a right of appeal to the Board concerning the discipline, and, as an alternative, the right to file a grievance under the labor agreement's grievance clauses, an employee who grieves the discipline shall be deemed by that action to have elected the labor agreement's grievance alternative, and no appeal to the Board after that election shall be allowed.

Classification Appeals

  • An employee or appointing authority must file a written request for reconsideration of the decision of the HR Director's classification action within 14 calendar days after the effective date of the classification action.
  • If the request for reconsideration is denied by the HR Director, a written appeal to the Board must be filed within 21 calendar days from the Director's written decision to deny.

Examination Appeals

  • A candidate must file a written appeal to the HR Director within 14 calendar days after notice of the examination results are mailed.
  • If denied by the HR Director, a written appeal to the Board must be filed within 21 calendar days after the Director's decision is mailed.