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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Human Resources

Knowledgeable | Helpful | Responsive

Phone: 503-823-3572

Benefits Line: 503-823-6031

1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 987, Portland, OR 97204

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Civil Service Board

The Civil Service Board (Board) consists of three commissioners appointed to voluntary positions by the Mayor under the City Charter, Chapter 4 - Civil Service.   The commissioners are appointed to reflect the perspectives of labor, management and the general public.

Proceedings conducted by the Board are not the same as judicial proceedings before a court, but there are parallels. Courts have a much wider range of authority, both civil and criminal. The Board's authority is narrower and its procedures are less formal, reflecting the fact that many appellants in Civil Service Board appeals participate without legal representation.

 Please note:

  •          The Board does not conduct an investigation of an appeal.
  •          The Board serves as the decision maker and does not act as a lawyer or advocate for any of the parties.

 The current Board members are:

  • David Shaff, Presiding Officer

  • Richard H. Schwarz, Commissioner

  • Harvey E. McGowan, Commissioner


  In general, subject to rules on Hearings and Appeals, the Board shall:

  • Review the suspension, demotion or discharge of a permanent employee, where the employee alleges that the discipline was for a political or religious reason, or was not made in good faith for the purpose of improving the public service.

  • Review appeals of classification actions taken by the HR Director affecting an employee in the classified service, where such action is alleged to be without rational basis or contrary to law or rule or taken for a political reason.

  • Review appeals of candidates for appointment or promotion to a position in the classified service, where applicant or job candidate alleges that the HR Director's decision was contrary to rules promulgated by the Director for examinations, or that the decision was contrary to law or for a political reason.

Specific rules and procedures governing the appeals process are contained in Human Resources Administrative Rule 3.15 - Civil Service Board.



Hearings are open to the public with the exception of disciplinary cases.  Hearing schedules are available upon request to the Civil Service Board Administrator.  Click here for contact information:


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the Civil Service Board: