Appeals Division General Information

The SPB laws and administrative regulations (rules) govern the specific requirements, such as time frames for filing appeals within the Board’s jurisdiction. Copies of the SPB laws and rules are available for review in department personnel offices, union offices, the State Library, and at the SPB. The following is to provide general information related to appeals and is not intended as legal advice.

Many disputes are resolved informally without the filing of an appeal and subsequent hearing or investigation. Employees/individuals are encouraged to consult with department and/or union staff before filing an appeal with SPB.

The SPB is a neutral body responsible for administering a merit system of civil service employment within California state government. The SPB’s authority to enforce the civil service statutes is set forth in Article VII, section 3 of the California Constitution. The Board enforces the civil service laws and SPB rules under Government Code sections 18577 and 18701.

Appeals Under SPB Jurisdiction

The following actions may be appealed to and/or heard by the SPB:

  • Adverse Action
  • Rejection During Probationary Period
  • Medical Termination/Demotion/Suspension
  • Non-Punitive Termination/Demotion/Transfer (License Registration/ Revocation)
  • Termination of Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) Appointment
  • Termination of Career Executive Assignment (CEA) Appointment
  • Termination/Automatic Resignation of Permanent Intermittent Employee
  • California State University (CSU) Appeal
  • Appeal from Counties Without Approved Merit System
  • Request to File Charges
  • Complaints of Discrimination based upon disability, medical or mental condition (including denial of reasonable accommodation)
  • Examination Appeal
  • Request to Test - Dismissed Employee
  • Whistleblower Complaint
  • Merit Issue Complaint
  • Withhold from Certification
  • Voided Appointment
  • Pre-Employment Medical/Psychological Disqualification
  • Failure of Pre-Employment Drug Test
  • Out-of-Class Claim (Examination)
  • Petition for Rehearing

Many of these appeals are heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Certain merit appeals are heard by a Staff Hearing Officer. Finally, designated merit appeals and lesser adverse actions under Government Code section 19576, may be investigated, with or without a hearing. The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has jurisdiction for certain non-merit appeals. Please contact CalHR or visit their website for more information.

Filing an Appeal

Most appeals may be filed directly with the SPB Appeals Division. CalHR appeals must be filed with CalHR, not SPB; CalHR then forwards these appeals to the SPB Appeals Division for processing. Some complaints must be filed with the department first; and if unresolved, an appeal may then be filed with the SPB Appeals Division.

SPB Rule 52.4 requires all appeals to be in writing. An appeal must also clearly identify the facts that form the basis for your request, all known parties, and specify the remedy or relief requested. To assist you in properly filing an appeal, the SPB has developed the SPB Appeal Forms for filing with instructions. Please complete all information requested by the form.

Appeals within SPB's jurisdiction should be mailed or delivered to:

State Personnel Board
Appeals Division
801 Capitol Mall, MS #22
Sacramento, CA 95814

When to File

Appeals must be filed with SPB within the time frames specified by statute or rule or it may be dismissed.

SPB Appeals Process

The SPB appeals process may involve an evidentiary hearing before an ALJ, a less formal non-evidentiary hearing before a staff hearing officer, or an informal investigation, with or without hearing. The SPB strives to resolve appeals 6 months from the date of filing. Decisions in evidentiary appeals are rendered within a reasonable time from submission. Normally, SPB hearings are open to the public. A party may be represented by counsel, any other person or organization, or may represent him/herself.


The SPB has broad remedial authority when it grants an appeal. Remedies may include reinstatement; back salary, benefits, and interest at 7%; change in work assignment and/or location; and assignment of an alternative or passing score. SPB may also grant compensatory damages in discrimination cases.

Other Information

The SPB also publishes other general materials which provide more specific information on the appeals process. The brochure entitled "Appeal Hearing Procedures" is sent to appellants when they file an appeal with the SPB. Copies of the brochure are available at the SPB Service Center in Sacramento. To obtain a copy via the mail, you must send a written request to the SPB at the address listed above.

Contact Information

Appeals Division E-mail Address

Telephone inquiries regarding appeals should be made to the SPB Appeals Division at the following numbers:

General Information Sacramento
(916) 653-0799

(916) 653-1498
*TDD is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf and is reachable only from telephones equipped with such a device.

(916) 653-5505
(916) 654-6417

(916) 651-8949 Appeals Calendar Fax line

Transcript, Administrative Records, and Public Records Act Requests
(916) 651-3165

FAX Line
(916) 654-6055