Nebraska Revised Statute 19-1830

Chapter 19


Civil service commission; organization; meetings; appointment; discharge; duties of commission; enumeration; rules and regulations.

(1) Immediately after the appointment of the commission, and annually thereafter, the commission shall organize by electing one of its members chairperson. The commission shall hold meetings as may be required for the proper discharge of its duties. The commission shall appoint a secretary and a chief examiner who shall keep the records of the commission, preserve all reports made to it, superintend and keep a record of all examinations held under its direction, and perform such other duties as the commission may prescribe. The commission may merge the positions of secretary and chief examiner and appoint one person to perform the duties of both positions. If the municipality has a personnel officer, the commission shall appoint such personnel officer as secretary and chief examiner, if requested to do so by the appointing authority. The secretary and chief examiner shall be subject to suspension or discharge upon the vote of a majority of the appointed members of the commission.

(2) The commission shall adopt and promulgate procedural rules and regulations consistent with the Civil Service Act. Such rules and regulations shall provide in detail the manner in which examinations may be held and any other matters assigned by the appointing authority. At least one copy of the rules and regulations, and any amendments, shall be made available for examination and reproduction by members of the public. One copy of the rules and regulations and any amendments shall be given to each full-time firefighter and full-time police officer.

(3) The commission shall provide that all tests shall be practical and consist only of subjects which will fairly determine the capacity of persons who are to be examined to perform the duties of the position to which an appointment is to be made and may include, but not be limited to, tests of physical fitness and of manual skill and psychological testing.

(4) The commission shall provide, by the rules and regulations, for a credit of ten percent in favor of all applicants for an appointment under civil service who, in time of war or in any expedition of the armed forces of the United States, have served in and been discharged or otherwise separated with a characterization of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) from the armed forces of the United States and who have equaled or exceeded the minimum qualifying standard established by the appointing authority. These credits shall only apply to entry-level positions as defined by the appointing authority.

(5) The commission may conduct an investigation concerning and report upon all matters regarding the enforcement and effect of the Civil Service Act and the rules and regulations prescribed. The commission may inspect all institutions, departments, positions, and employments affected by such act to determine whether such act and all such rules and regulations are being obeyed. Such investigations may be conducted by the commission or by any commissioner designated by the commission for that purpose. The commission shall also make a like investigation on the written petition of a citizen, duly verified, stating that irregularities or abuses exist or setting forth, in concise language, the necessity for such an investigation. The commission may be represented in such investigations by the city attorney or village attorney, if authorized by the appointing authority. If the city attorney or village attorney does not represent the commission, the commission may be represented by special counsel appointed by the commission in any such investigation. In the course of such an investigation, the commission, designated commissioner, or chief examiner shall have the power to administer oaths, to issue subpoenas to require the attendance of witnesses and the production by them of books, papers, documents, and accounts appertaining to the investigation, and to cause the deposition of witnesses, residing within or without the state, to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the courts of this state. The oaths administered and subpoenas issued shall have the same force and effect as the oaths administered by a district judge in a judicial capacity and subpoenas issued by the district courts of Nebraska. The failure of any person so subpoenaed to comply shall be deemed a violation of the Civil Service Act and be punishable as such. No investigation shall be made pursuant to this section if there is a written accusation concerning the same subject matter against a person in the civil service. Such accusations shall be handled pursuant to section 19-1833.

(6) The commission shall provide that all hearings and investigations before the commission, designated commissioner, or chief examiner shall be governed by the Civil Service Act and the rules of practice and procedure to be adopted by the commission. In the conduct thereof, they shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence. No informality in any proceedings or hearing or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order, decision, rule, or regulation made, approved, or confirmed by the commission, except that no order, decision, rule, or regulation made by any designated commissioner conducting any hearing or investigation alone shall be of any force or effect unless it is concurred in by a majority of the appointed members of the commission, including the vote of any commissioner making the investigation.

(7) The commission shall establish and maintain a roster of officers and employees.

(8) The commission shall provide for, establish, and hold competitive tests to determine the relative qualifications of persons who seek employment in any position and, as a result thereof, establish eligible lists for the various positions.

(9) The commission shall make recommendations concerning a reduction-in-force policy to the governing body or city manager in a city manager plan of government. The governing body or city manager in a city manager plan of government shall consider such recommendations, but shall not be bound by them in establishing a reduction-in-force policy. Prior to the adoption of a reduction-in-force policy, the governing body or, in the case of a city manager plan, the city manager and the governing body shall, after giving reasonable notice to each police officer and firefighter by first-class mail, conduct a public hearing.

(10) The governing body shall in all municipalities, except those with a city manager plan in which the city manager shall, adopt a reduction-in-force policy which shall consider factors including, but not limited to:

(a) The multiple job skills recently or currently being performed by the employee;

(b) The knowledge, skills, and abilities of the employee;

(c) The performance appraisal of the employee including any recent or pending disciplinary actions involving the employee;

(d) The employment policies and staffing needs of the department together with contracts, ordinances, and statutes related thereto;

(e) Required federal, state, or local certifications or licenses; and

(f) Seniority.

(11) The commission shall keep such records as may be necessary for the proper administration of the Civil Service Act.



  • The commission must timely make rules and regulations but absence of such does not prevent discharge for reasons set out in statute. Sailors v. City of Falls City, 190 Neb. 103, 206 N.W.2d 566 (1973).