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Joseph
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Category: California Employment Law
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6 of us applied for a vacancy on the Soquel Creek Water District,

Resolved Question:

6 of us applied for a vacancy on the Soquel Creek Water District, a public agency in Santa Cruz County, CA. This is an elected position, but an incumbent resigned mid-term and the board can appoint someone until the next election.. After the published deadline, the previous incumbent decided to reapply for his old position. The deadline was never extended, and only this one person was permitted to ignore the deadline. Is the board legally obligated to reject the application, or extend the deadline giving everyone, not just him, to right to apply? Please cite any revelent statute or cases. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

No, unfortunately, as an at-will employer, the Soquel Creek Water District and decide to ignore the deadline with respect to only one applicant and allow him to reapply for his old position.

As an at-will employer, the Water District is free to make their own hiring practices, and can also decide to ignore those hiring practices, such as deadlines, for only certain applicants.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code 2922, which states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

I realize this is not the information that you wanted to hear, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate
a direct and honest answer to your question.

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4999
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the idea of at will employees. However, this is elected political office, not an ordinary employment situation. What code states that political office holders are subject to the same at will rules as other employees?

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Rick,

If the board has the authority to appoint someone to the position until it is filled for the next election, that is governed by the employment at-will doctrine, and since the board has the only and ultimate authority in the hiring process, it could decide to appoint someone who didn't even apply for the position, as well as extending the deadline for only one applicant.

So the board would not be under any legal obligation to extend the deadline or reject the application, unless they are in violation of any rules regarding appointing applicants to elected positions.

When the position is elected, then the official would be subject to whatever provisions are set out by the County or municipal code that govern elected offiicials. These procedures likely prescribe an impeachment process that would be necessary to go through for the termination of an elected official.

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