Interpretation's Date: March 29, 2004
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: V. Personnel
March 30, 2004
Ronald Duerring, Ed.D.
Dear Dr. Duerring:
I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent's Interpretation regarding the posting of job vacancies and job descriptions.
Specifically, you ask:
"Can a county board of education meet the statutory requirements by making job descriptions available through its web site and by also maintaining copies on CDs at each work location rather than attaching a hard copy to each vacancy posting?"
You go on to explain that permitting this practice would save thousands of pages of paper annually as each job vacancy that is posted has a multi-page description that is physically attached to the posting in every work location in Kanawha County.
As your request indicates, 18A-4-7a states, in pertinent part:
"(o) Openings in established, existing or newly created positions shall be
processed as follows:
West Virginia Code 18A-4-8b states, in pertinent part:
"(g) Boards shall post and date notices of all job vacancies of established existing
or newly created positions in conspicuous places for all school service employees
to observe for at least five working days. The notice of the job vacancies shall
include the job description, the period of employment, the amount of pay and any
benefits and other information that is helpful to the employees to understand the
particulars of the job."
Significantly, both of these code sections provide that job vacancies shall be posted in conspicuous working places for school personnel to observe, neither specifically mandates how the vacancies are to be posted.
You have proposed continuing to post hard copies of job vacancies in their usual locations, but wish to make the job descriptions available, by reference, through use of the Kanawha County Schools web site and through the maintenance of CDs at each work location. You would cease attaching hard copies of job descriptions to each vacancy posting. I believe that this scenario will comply with the statutory requirements if each hard copy of a posted vacancy incorporates the job description, by reference, and specifies its location. Further, both the CDs and computers to access the CDs and/or the county's web site should be maintained in close proximity to the job postings and must be available to employees during their regular work hours. In this manner, I believe that the job descriptions will be sufficiently linked to the posted notices of vacancy. Additionally, the hard copies of the posted vacancies should state where employees can obtain technical assistance in accessing the job descriptions and should state that hard copies of all job descriptions are available in the county's personnel office.
I do wish to encourage the use of technology to enhance services and reduce administrative costs at the county level. However, counties must also ensure that employees without access to technology are not hindered from accessing information about job vacancies and job descriptions.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,