1209 - Casual Employment



Audience List

  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Staff
  • Personnel Transactions Supervisors


This policy provides:

  • The standards and restrictions for the use of the skilled trades (casual employment) classifications.

  • The time limitations surrounding casual employment.


Skilled trades (casual employment) classifications were established to provide departments the flexibility to hire individuals with skilled trades on short notice for construction and maintenance projects of short duration. The skilled trades (casual employment) classifications are designated as temporary appointments for six months or less. In order to facilitate recruitment on short notice departments hire from local union halls and compensate based on local prevailing wages located on the Department of Industrial Relations’ website.


A department may make a temporary appointment to the skilled trades (casual employment) classification when the following criteria apply:

  • There is a need for a short-term project in which the anticipated duration will not exceed six months.

  • The job assignment is temporary.

  • The work is of a nonrecurring nature.

The use of current permanent civil service employees in casual employment classes is prohibited.

Not all short-term projects are appropriate for the skilled trades (casual employment) classifications. If a project is described as short term due to funding restrictions but is expected that funding will be renewed and the duration of the project will exceed six months, then a limited-term or permanent appointment would be appropriate.

If the work is of a recurring nature such as several short-term projects year round or a project of four to six months duration each year then permanent intermittent appointments are appropriate.

The skilled trades (casual employment) classification specification limits appointments to casual employment positions to a maximum of six months. Under extraordinary circumstances a department may extend the six-month time limit up to an additional three months. An extension may be granted only when failure to complete the project was due to delay or change which was not foreseeable on or before the date the project started and when all other alternatives for completing the project are found to be impractical. Delegated departments should maintain the justification for the extension and shall be maintained pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 26.


When processing a casual employment appointment departments should consider the following:

  • An individual appointed to a skilled trades (casual employment) classification holds a temporary appointment.

  • Skilled trades (casual employment) classifications are non-testing.

  • There are no permissive or mandatory reinstatement rights associated with skilled trades (casual employment) classifications.

  • A department or individual appointed to a skilled trades (casual employment) classification may terminate the appointment at any time.

  • Casual employment incumbents may be reappointed, as long as the time limits established for casual employment appointments do not exceed six months per appointment and 9 months or 189 working days maximum in a 12 month consecutive period. When counting 189 days, everyday worked including partial days are counted.

    Note: Casual employment incumbents do not receive credit for vacation, retirement, sick leave, or any other related benefits as provided for other state employees for service rendered during their temporary casual employment.

    Note: For potential labor implications, consult with your department’s Labor Relations Office.

    Note: The information is provided as general guidance. For represented employees, refer to the applicable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  In instances where the MOU differs from any of the information, the MOU controls.



Web Pages

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division

Contact Person

Personnel Management Division
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Management Division
Phone: 916-909-3709
Fax: 916-327-1886
Email: pmd@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan