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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
the [Department Name]. PMD also administers the CEA category concept establishment process outlined by the
State Personnel Board (SPB) in California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 548.5.

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 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.


The [Department Name] understands and agrees to abide by these fundamental principles of compensation,
leveling, salary cap and position establishment or revision:

The [Department Name] accepts responsibility to foster a good working relationship with CalHR based on mutual
cooperation and open communication.


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. 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. based on detailed, documented analysis of salaries for positions with objectively similar levels ofresponsibility and classification oversight in the organization.
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 may continue to apply the CEA salary rules for setting pay for candidates who come from within
State service, but applying consistent salary-setting methodology regardless of the candidate’s employment
background leads to greater pay equity and reduces the [Department Name] liability.


The CEA salary cap was initially 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 was
over the maximum salary of its approved level at the time of initial delegation, the actual current base salary was
used for this calculation. In limited circumstances, CalHR may have approved a higher negotiated maximum
salary for some positions to adjust for salary compaction or other compelling factors.

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 CEA salary cap will only be increased when:

  • ​A new CEA position is established by the process described in California Code of Regulations, title 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 statewide 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 decrease the salary cap if a CEA position is abolished or converted to an exempt or regular civil service

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.


CalHR reserves the right to establish the appropriate initial leveling for all newly established CEA concepts.
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
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;
  • Significant staffing increases;
  • Higher level policy from control entities; or
  • Increased consequence of error.
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 by well-documented facts and research.
  • Superficial comparisons to other departments’ levels and salaries without in-depth analysis of the 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 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.)
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.


All new CEA positions, and major revisions to existing CEA positions, must be established by the process
described in California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 548.5, subsection (a). CalHR administers the required
30-day public posting process prescribed by SPB for the establishment of or major revisions to a CEA concept

To maintain the integrity and purpose of the CEA category, all CEA position proposals must adhere to the criteria
for inclusion in the CEA category as defined by Government Code Section 18547, prior to being published on the
CalHR public website. How the proposed position meets the CEA category criteria should be clearly and
completely documented by departments on the CEA Position Request (CalHR 881) form. As a high administrative
and policy influencing position, each CEA concept shall clearly document the following:

  • ​How the concept is the chief policy maker within their program area.
  • How the concept has continuous and direct interface with department Executive Management.
  • How the concept has a decisive role and regular involvement in department or region-wide policy and program management.
Positions with the following fact pattern would not meet the intent of a CEA concept as defined by Government
Code Section 18547 and should not be submitted for posting:

  • A narrow, limited authority for decision-making;
  • An indirect or merely supporting role in achieving the department's
  • Significant overlap with other existing CEAs or Exempts;
  • No examples of objectives that can actually be altered by policy;
  • A limited extent of impact;
  • No sensitivity or long-term controversy;
  • Low consequence of error;
  • Limited, internal contacts only; or
  • No direct contact with department director.


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


Unless otherwise superseded by temporary restrictions due to unforeseen budgetary restrictions, under its
delegated authority the [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 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.


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

  • Adjust CEA levels to acknowledge and adapt to gradual changes in policy scope and position responsibility of CEAs 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.


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, 2023, CalHR has approved an annual salary cap in the amount of $XXX,XXX for the [Department Name].​


Subject to the entire conditions of this Agreement and California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 548.5,
subsection (a), the [Department Name] will have the primary delegated responsibility for ensuring that each
CEA concept submitted for 30-day public posting both initially and continuously meets the requirements of
Government Code 18547.

The [Department Name], will have full responsibility for developing new and modified CEA position proposals.

The [Department Name], will have delegated authority to develop new CEA positions or modify existing CEA
positions as part of a departmental reorganization without CalHR prior review and approval.

The [Department Name], will have delegated authority to advertise and recruit for the CEA position proposal
during the 30-day public posting period, only after the CEA proposal is published.



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 [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] shall consider internal comparisons of responsibility and the principles of pay equity
based on duties and other allocation factors.

The [Department Name] shall not retroactively approve CEA pay increases or Level changes beyond 120 calendar
days, nor will CalHR grant requests for retroactive CEA pay increases or Level changes beyond 120 calendar days.
Departments shall not retroactively approve 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.


CEA level determinations for existing CEA concepts 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 proposing the level of a new CEA allocation.

The [Department Name] shall not use its delegated authority to immediately override CalHR’s determinations on
initial CEA leveling.​

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 [Department Name] 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.


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

The [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.


The [Department Name] shall not submit incomplete or questionable CEA concepts for public posting.

The [Department Name] must submit the complete CalHR 881 form for public posting, and CalHR will publish the
proposed concept without review, unless an opposition is filed during the 30-day public posting period.

The [Department Name] shall confer with the Governor’s Office Appointments Unit before submitting for posting
any CEA concept that would overlap with or impact an Exempt position.

The [Department Name] shall ensure departmental reorganization plans involving new or modified CEA position
proposals do not diminish existing CEAs or Exempts, unnecessarily inflate levels, or create negative employee
impact. The [Department Name], when initiating a reorganization, shall ensure that all impacted CEA positions
are fully justified and documented on the CalHR 881.

The [Department Name], shall not fill a proposed CEA position during the mandatory 30-day public posting

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

In the event that a CEA position has been approved or modified under [Department Name]'s delegated authority
via the SPB-prescribed process in California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 548.5 (a), 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] 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.​

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 standard
quarterly report due dates are:

  • March 10th: December through February information
  • June 10th: March through May information
  • September 10th: June through August information
  • December 10th: September through November information
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 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.

CalHR will continue to conduct routine CEA concept audits after position establishment to monitor the
implementation of this delegation and [Department Name]'s adherence to the established statutory
requirements and guidelines for use of the CEA category.

If a violation of delegated authority is discovered, CalHR will take necessary action, which may include mandating
a Corrective Action Plan and training. If violations persist or if the seriousness of the violation warrants, CalHR
reserves the right to restrict or revoke delegation indefinitely for non-compliant departments.

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.


The [Department Name] agrees to participate in this Delegation Agreement for two years effective July 1, 2023
through June 30, 2025. 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 Fundamental Principles for CEA Delegation, 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 concept review, 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.

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

/s/ Personnel Officer

Personnel Officer


/s/ Chief of Administration

Chief of Administration


/s/ Director



/s/ Program Manager

Program Manager
California Department of Human Resources


/s/ Personnel Management Consultant

Personnel Management Consultant
California Department of Human Resources​

  Updated: 8/29/2023
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