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Career Executive Assignments Delegation Agreement Template

​Career Executive Assignments Delegation Agreement Template

This delegation agreement will be signed by each department's Director, or an executive level designee. Having the highest level of department management sign the Delegation Agreement reflects the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR’s) expectation that human resources staff will have executive support on difficult or unpopular allocation decisions when those decisions reflect an effort to adhere to sound allocation principles. In addition to the department's Director, this delegation agreement will also be signed by each department's Chief of Administration, Chief of Human Resources, and the Personnel Officer, depending on structure.


On behalf of the CalHR, this delegation agreement will be signed by the Delegation Program Manager and each department's Personnel Management Division (PMD) Consultant.



Pursuant to Government Code section 19889, the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Personnel Management Division (PMD) administers Career Executive Assignment (CEA) salaries and CEA position classification, also known as “Leveling,” which CalHR chooses to implement via this Delegation Agreement with [Department Name].

The [Department Name] agrees to work in partnership with CalHR PMD to implement the delegation plan outlined in this Agreement. This Delegation Agreement is developed in accordance with CalHR’s objective of encouraging partnerships between departmental human resources offices in order to simplify the personnel management system for CEAs and to optimize its effectiveness. This Delegation Agreement is intended to provide the [Department Name] with the authority and responsibility for reviewing and acting on the personnel management program elements identified for delegation.


Both parties agree to these fundamental principles of CEA Level allocation and compensation:


CEA compensation should first be based on the position’s relative value to the organization’s primary mission, and secondly should factor in the specific experience and unique skills of the candidate or incumbent. The [Department Name] shall consider internal comparisons of responsibility and the principles of pay equity based on duties and other allocation factors.


Per Labor Code section 432.3, employers shall not use a candidate’s prior external salary to set compensation. Employers must be able to defend differences in pay for positions with comparable responsibility and duties by attributing said differences to bona fide, job-related factors such as merit, quantity or quality of production, education, training, experience, or geography/unique assignment. Developing a CEA pay program plan that documents factors that lead to bona fide differences in pay within the organization can help the [Department Name] abide by the law.


Departments must document sound reasons for providing exceptional salaries and Levels that do not meet standards found on the CalHR CEA position request form CalHR 881.


A level increase for a CEA position may be justified based on significant growth or change in one or more aspects of the role, such as:

  • Scope/breadth of program responsibility;
  • Extent of decision-making impact;
  • Placement in the department’s organizational structure;
  • Sensitivity due to media and/or legislative attention;
  • Law changes;
  • Staffing;
  • Higher level policy from control entities; or
  • Increased consequence of error.


Factors that may justify higher than "default" starting salary rates for the CEA level may include:

  • Salary compaction with that of a subordinate (only in cases where the CEA carries the same technical/professional responsibility as the employees who report to them);
  • Candidate’s current State salary or bona fide competing job offer;
  • Recruitment/retention challenges (supported by data) or evidence of a highly competitive market;
  • Pay inequities with other truly comparable CEAs as an artifact of the traditional CEA salary rules. Parity is based on detailed, documented analysis of salaries for positions with objectively similar levels of responsibility in the organization.


Departments may continue to apply the CEA salary rules for setting pay for candidates who come from within State service, but must be aware that applying consistent salary-setting methodology regardless of the candidate’s employment background leads to greater pay equity and reduces department liability.


Unlike other civil service classes, CEAs are not entitled to annual "merit salary adjustments" though it is common practice to provide reasonable increases for high-performing incumbents up to the maximum of their CEA Level.


The "restricted zone" is not a "Level" and incumbents currently paid in the "restricted zone" shall have no right or expectation to continue receiving annual salary adjustments up to the top of the CEA pay band, though delegated departments have discretion to provide increases to incumbents in the restricted zone within their established CEA Salary Cap if sufficient justification is documented to support the increase.


Departments shall not intentionally create salary compaction via a reorganization to inflate the level allocation or salaries if there is no documented, legitimate business need driving the reorganization.


Factors that influence CEA Level allocation:

  • Position’s Occupational Function/Role
  • Program Staffing size and mix
  • Program Variety/Operating Budget
  • Direct Relationship to Executive Management Team and department mission
  • Department Size
  • Organizational Level within department
  • Scope of responsibility/decision-making authority
  • Extent of impact/consequence of error
  • Sensitivity/Media/Public/Legislative Interest
  • Influence over other governmental entities


Factors that do not typically influence Level allocation and salary:

  • Workload increases that are not associated with expansions of policy responsibility into additional/broader areas do not support level increases. However, significant and long-term increases in workload may warrant a reasonable salary adjustment only.
  • Presumptions, unsupported assertions, opinions or perceptions of insufficient salary that are not backed by well-documented facts and research.
  • Superficial comparisons to other departments’ levels and salaries without in-depth analysis of the duties and responsibilities of the "comparable" positions. (CalHR is not obligated to accept departmental comparisons as valid, especially if the "comparable" department has improperly adjusted levels or salaries outside of standards with its delegated authority.)
  • Relatively comparable placement on the department’s organizational chart is not necessarily indicative of truly comparable levels of responsibility. (CalHR does not accept the premise that every CEA at the same organizational level must be allocated at the same Level and salary if those CEAs do not share comparable responsibilities.)




Unless otherwise superseded by temporary restrictions due to unforeseen budgetary restrictions, under its delegated authority [Department Name] may:


  • Negotiate pay upon appointment of a CEA in excess of what is described in CCR section 599.991 if the department can accommodate the increase without exceeding its established salary cap and if the department can document sufficient justification for the salary exception using the CalHR 881 form for its records in the event of an audit.
  • Provide an existing CEA incumbent an increase of greater than five percent in a year if the department can accommodate the increase without exceeding its salary cap and if the department can document sufficient justification for the salary exception using the CalHR 881 form for its records in case of an audit.
  • Pay a CEA above the maximum of its level if the department can accommodate the increase without exceeding its salary cap and if the department can document sufficient justification for the salary exception using the CalHR 881 form for its records in the event of an audit.
  • Pay a CEA who is not an attorney, engineer, or physician above the maximum of Level C (into what has historically been considered the "restricted zone") if the department can accommodate the increase without exceeding its established salary cap and if the department can document sufficient justification for the salary exception using the CalHR 881 form for its records in case of an audit.
  • Adjust CEA levels to acknowledge and adapt to gradual changes in scope and responsibility of CEA positions over time as long as the department does not exceed its overall Salary Cap and if the department can document sufficient justification for the Level changes using the CalHR 881 form for its records in case of audit.


[Department Name] shall adopt a CEA pay program plan that outlines the standards/methodology by which CEAs are compensated within the organization. This plan shall include an evaluation of CEA positions within the organization and shall consider the principle of like pay for like work. The plan shall include documented allocation factors used to equate positions to each other within the organization as well as factors used to draw comparisons to other departments with similarly situated positions. The [Department Name] CEA pay program shall not recommend practices that are in opposition to any other guidance contained in this Delegation Agreement.


The [Department Name] will submit reports (CEA Reporting Worksheet) to its PMD Consultant that reflect any changes to a CEA position on a quarterly basis (i.e., new CEAs, level changes, salary changes, etc.).


The [Department Name] will maintain up-to-date staffing records on each CEA position as changes occur including the CalHR 881 CEA Position Request form, organizational charts, duty statements, etc. Access to these documents will be made available and provided to CalHR within five (5) working days of CalHR request.


The [Department Name] will maintain a personnel action tracking system to control and monitor its CEA program.


CalHR will conduct internal monitoring of the reports submitted by the [Department Name]. If there are discrepancies in these reports, or other salary or allocation issues, CalHR will conduct a more in- depth review.


CalHR reserves the right to revise, cancel, or impose additional restrictions on the terms of this Delegation Agreement agreed to by the [Department Name], including but not limited to requiring departmental employees to attend additional training for failure to adhere to the terms of the delegation requirements.


CalHR reserves the right to audit and order adjustment of CEA Levels or salaries on a prospective basis if an audit reveals no sufficient justification was documented for Level or salary increases performed under the department’s delegated authority.


The [Department Name] also reserves the right to request revisions or to cancel this Agreement if it deems such action is appropriate.


This delegation is based on the [Department Name]’s acceptance of responsibility for the proper leveling and salary movement of its CEA positions in accordance with the principles outlined in this delegation agreement.


The [Department Name], in partnership with CalHR, will consult with its PMD Consultant in developing new CEA positions. All new CEA positions must be established by the process described in California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 548.5, subsection (a). The [Department Name] shall not allow two individuals to occupy the same CEA role for longer than four (4) months, which is reserved only for knowledge transfer purposes between outgoing and incoming CEA incumbents.


CalHR shall determine the appropriate initial leveling for newly established CEA concepts. The [Department Name] shall not use its delegated authority to immediately override CalHR’s determinations on initial CEA leveling. Departments may adjust the Levels of their existing CEAs under their delegated authority if there is documented evidence on file of changes to policy scope and position responsibility that warrant the Level change over time.


In the event that a CEA position has been approved by CalHR, pursuant to Control Section 31.00 in the latest Budget Act, the [Department Name] must submit a Personnel Transactions Form (607) to the Department of Finance to establish and/or reclassify the CEA position.


The [Department Name] will provide a complete copy of the new CEA package to CalHR in support of CEA salary cap increases.


CEA level determinations shall be delegated to the [Department Name]. The CEA Level Guidelines Worksheet found in the CalHR Form 881 CEA Position Request, shall be used when making changes to an existing CEA position, as well as when establishing the level of a new CEA allocation.


Exceptions to the CEA Level Guidelines shall be documented using the CalHR 881 form and must be retained on file indefinitely. To properly justify a higher level than what the Level Guidelines recommend, [Department Name] must document how the position’s responsibility exceeds the guidelines in one or more allocation factors.


The CEA salary cap will be established for the [Department Name] by adding the number of positions assigned to each CEA level and multiplying them by the maximum salary rate of the level. If a CEA position is over the maximum salary of its approved level, the actual current base salary will be used for this calculation.


In limited circumstances, CalHR may approve a higher negotiated maximum salary for some positions to adjust for salary compaction or other compelling factors.


[Department Name] shall manage its own CEA salary program responsibly within its salary cap. CEA salary adjustments made under delegated authority shall not result in increases to the department’s budget or to the department’s overall CEA salary cap.


Departments shall not backdate CEA pay increases or Level changes beyond 60 workdays.


Departments shall not backdate CEA pay increases to be effective during any period in which a furlough or Personal Leave Program (PLP) was in effect if the outcome of the backdated pay is to offset the incumbent’s reduced wages due to a furlough or PLP program.


Once the Department’s salary cap is established with the signing of this Delegation Agreement, the [Department Name] must not exceed the salary cap at any time. Doing so may be grounds for CalHR to immediately revoke its CEA salary and level delegation. The [Department Name] is expected to remain within its CEA salary cap and is responsible for exercising sound personnel and fiscal management practices for its CEA program.


The CEA salary cap will only be increased when:

  • A new CEA position is established by the process described in California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 548.5, subsection (a);
  • A new program is added to the [Department Name] that supports increasing the level of a CEA position; or
  • A new pay program is approved for CEAs.


CalHR will not increase the salary cap for any other reason. In addition, CalHR will not increase the salary cap when an incumbent is paid above the appropriate level of the position.


CalHR will not entertain requests for Salary Cap adjustments if the department has vacancies or has encumbered 90% or less of its existing Salary Cap.


The assigned PMD Consultant has reconciled the [Department Name]’s current CEA positions and has made a final determination of the salary cap.


As of July 1, 2021, CalHR has approved an annual salary cap in the amount of $____________________ for the [Department Name].


CalHR will decrease the salary cap if a CEA position is abolished or converted to an exempt or regular civil service position.



We believe that we can make the state classification plan and state government better, and each of us accepts responsibility to do his or her part to accomplish these goals. We are committed to:

  • Maintaining a classification plan that is consistent with the standards and guidelines of the administration of the state's personnel management system.
  • Maintaining working relationships that promote discussion of resolution of issues that can be solved through classification actions. Such discussions would take place prior to recommending solutions to the Department's operations and programs.
  • Fostering good working relationships where there is trust, cooperation, and open communication to facilitate the resolution and avoidance of classification or compensation problems.



The [Department Name] agrees to participate in this Delegation Agreement for two years effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023. This Agreement will be reviewed and evaluated by CalHR at the end of the two- year period and may be extended, with or without modifications. The terms of the Delegation Agreement may also be reviewed at the request of the [Department Name] or CalHR prior to the expiration of the two-year period.


By signing this Agreement, the [Department Name] agrees to all of the specified conditions described above, agrees to abide by the provisions of the Values and Ethics Statement, and agrees there will be no increase to [Department Name]'s salary and wages budget as a result of this Delegation Agreement.


By signing this Agreement, CalHR agrees to provide delegation of CEA salary and level determinations, but reserves the right and responsibility to exercise any of the specified actions described above at any time at its discretion.



/s/ Personnel Officer / Date

Personnel Officer


/s/ Chief of Administration / Date

Chief of Administration


/s/ Director / Date



/s/ Program Manager / Date

Program Manager
California Department of Human Resources


/s/ Personnel Management Consultant / Date

Personnel Management Consultant
California Department of Human Resources


  Updated: 10/6/2021
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