About Civil Service and the State Personnel Board of Review
Ohio's connection and involvement in Civil Service history is important and significant. When northeastern Ohio-born President James A. Garfield was assassinated in 1881 by a disgruntled office seeker, this tragedy spurred a need for personnel reform for government jobs. The old President Jackson approach of "to the victors belong the spoils" needed change. In 1882, U.S. Senator George H. Pendleton from Cincinnati, Ohio, presented a bill in Congress to eliminate the old system and to introduce, in its place, a non-partisan civil service at the federal level. Congress adopted the bill, which became known as the Pendleton Civil Service Act and served as a model and inspiration for use across America at the state and local levels.
In 1912, civil service was introduced on a state-wide basis in Ohio. The delegates of the 4th Constitutional Convention agreed that the civil service system should be instituted "so far as practicable" and the Civil Service Act was subsequently written and passed in 1913. The Civil Service Act was amended in 1915 to provide for an appeal to the Civil Service Commission by those classified employees "who had been reduced in pay or position, laid off, suspended, discharged or discriminated against by the appointing officer."
In 1959, House Bill 794 abolished the State Civil Service Commission and created the State Personnel Board of Review (SPBR) and Office of State Personnel (later renamed the Department of Administrative Services).
Ohio's State Constitution makes specific mention of Civil Service protections and their importance, plus the state legislature has written O.R.C. Section 124 to outline the details for these important rights and responsibilities. SPBR and the trial courts follow these state laws and the various higher court rulings to better define legally these protections and processes.