Social Services Law Bulletin #49

Personnel Decisions for North Carolina's Consolidated Human Services Agencies

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Since 2012, twenty-eight North Carolina counties have established new consolidated human services agencies (CHSAs). All but one include both public health and social services. When a board of county commissioners (BOCC) decides to establish a new CHSA, North Carolina law gives the BOCC the option of making a significant change to the legal framework governing employees of the newly formed agency. Specifically, the BOCC can choose to make CHSA employees subject to county personnel policies and ordinances instead of keeping them subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA). If a BOCC creates a CHSA and does not explicitly elect to keep the CHSA’s employees subject to the SHRA, the county then faces a new hurdle. The county is required to ensure that its personnel policies for CHSA employees “comply with all applicable federal laws, rules, and regulations requiring the establishment of merit personnel systems.”

Why might a county choose to keep CHSA employees under the SHRA, or, conversely, move them over to the coverage of county personnel policies? How can a county with a CHSA ensure it is compliant with the federal merit personnel standards? Can a county that has not created a CHSA take any action to exempt its human services employees from any portion of the SHRA? This bulletin will address these questions and other topics related to CHSA personnel.

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Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles
Topics - Local and State Government