Authorization for Exempt Positions & Exempt Appointments

Authorization for Exempt Positions

Certain positions are exempt from the classified service and are generally referred to as exempt positions. All positions are classified unless specifically authorized by statute or session law as exempt from the classified service.

Authorization for exempt positions is limited and governed by specific statutory authority. The Department of Human Resources is responsible for managing exempt positions, and determining if agencies and departments have authorization for each exempt position.

Exempt positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Elected officials - 3 VSA § 311(a)(1)
  • Appointed officials, including agency and department heads - 3 VSA § 311(a)(2) and (3)
  • Deputies, executive or principal assistants, executive directors, and private secretaries - 3 VSA § 311(a)(3)
  • Attorneys – 3 VSA § 311(a)(12) and (14)
  • Employees in the Governor’s office – 3 VSA § 311(a)(4)
  • Employees in the legislative and executive branches 3 VSA § 311(a)(1) and (5)
  • Positions for which the salary is set by statute 3 VSA § 311(a)(9)

Exempt Appointments

The appointment process for exempt positions is governed by statute. Agency and independent department heads are generally appointed the Governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Commissioners and exempt directors within agencies are appointed by the Secretary with the consent of the Governor. Some officials are elected by the general assembly, while others are appointed by boards or commissions with the Governor’s concurrence.

Exempt employees, except elected officials, are employees at will, and serve at the Governor’s, or the appropriate appointing authority’s pleasure. They are not part of the merit system, and are not entitled to the protections of the classified service.