Prepare to represent your department at a Civil Service Commission hearing

City staff: If your department has to respond to an appeal during a hearing, here's what you need to know.

Before the hearing

Prepare and submit the staff report

When someone makes an appeal related to your department, you have to create a staff report in response.

Ask to change the hearing date (if you need to)

You can ask to delay the hearing (also called requesting a postponement). You can also ask for the hearing to take place after business hours (after 5 pm).

Ask for a delay.

Make sure you know the time, date, and location of the hearing

Check the letter or email you received. Civil Service Hearings usually take place at:
City Hall - Room 400
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Dress professionally

Most people can dress in regular work clothing.

Dress in your uniform if you're a member of the Uniformed Ranks of Police or Fire Department.

When the meeting starts

Check the meeting agenda

The appeal hearing will be one item on the agenda of a larger meeting. Find out where your hearing is on the agenda, so you're prepared. 

Turn off your phone ringer, pager, and other devices

If any of your electronic devices make noise during the meeting, you may be told to leave. 

Make any requests at the very start of the meeting by immediately notifying Commission Staff

For example, you can ask to have the hearing delayed to another day. You can also ask to move the hearing to a different spot in the agenda. The Commission will make the final decision.

During the hearing

Introduce yourself

When it's time for your hearing, say and spell your name. Tell the Commissioners why you have come before the Commission.

Explain your case and answer questions

  • Present the key pieces of information outlined in the staff report
  • Make sure to respond to the appellant's concerns
  • When relevant, explain how your recommendation reflects your department's mission
  • Be ready to answer questions from the commissioners
  • Be open to recommendations from the Commission

At the end of the hearing

The Civil Service Commission may choose to uphold, change, or reject the recommendations in the staff report. Their decisions are final and have the force and effect of law. 

Once the hearing is over, we will mail a Notice of Action to the appellant and department. The minutes will also be posted on our website.

Last updated October 31, 2022