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Understanding Texas Civil Service Systems

Civil service systems under Texas law have their origin in state law applicable to municipalities and counties, as well as in city charters and, in certain cases, collective bargaining labor contracts.

The attorneys at Denton Navarro Rodriguez Bernal Santee & Zech, P.C., have substantial experience in providing advice and counsel in connection with the creation and maintenance of all types of civil service systems recognized under Texas law for public safety personnel.

Drawing on deep knowledge of civil service law, our firm is able to provide advice and counsel in connection with the creation of a civil service system for those units of local government that take the initiative to do so. This includes the creation of a civil service system for municipalities under Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code for qualifying municipalities, or pursuant to applicable city charter provisions, and Chapter 158, Texas Local Government Code for counties.

Rule-Making Considerations

The first order of business once a civil service system is created is typically the establishment of a set of operational rules. Our firm has significant experience with the rule-making process, and can assist a newly formed civil service board or commission with understanding the scope of the rule-making authority, defining the operational objectives of the board or commission, establishing internal operating procedures, and understanding the scope of authority for the commission or board.

Testing For Entry Level And Promotional Candidates

By definition, a civil service system relies on qualifications, skills, and merit for hiring and promotions. This necessarily means establishing proper standards and criteria for screening applicant for entry-level positions in a police or fire department, and for promotional opportunities as well. The testing process must meet certain minimum legal requirements, and is subject to challenges to test questions. Our lawyers advise civil service boards and commission through this process.

How To Reach Us For Counsel

To schedule a meeting with our attorneys, you may call any of our offices: San Antonio (210-227-3243), Rio Grande Valley (956-421-4904), Austin (512-279-6431) or Texas Gulf Coast (832-632-2102).