On April 24, 2012, Governor Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act into law. The TEAM Act calls for two divisions of state service: preferred service and executive service. Executive service employees remain “at-will” as they currently serve. Preferred service replaces the traditional “career service” designation and preserves a streamlined appeals process along with other considerations. Some of the changes to the state employment system made by the legislation include:
- A new hiring system that requires agencies to define minimum qualifications and to identify specific knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies required for each position.
- Veterans and their spouses will receive interview preference for both appointments and promotions, and if there are two candidates with equal qualifications, knowledge, skills, etc., preference will be given to the veteran.
- An overhaul of the state’s performance evaluation system to provide for performance standards and expected outcomes that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time sensitive (SMART goals).
- In the event of a layoff, job performance becomes the primary consideration followed by seniority, abilities and disciplinary record, which also must be considered.
- A new nine-member board of appeals to conduct a streamlined, three-step appeals process.
- And a mediation process will also be established by the Department of Human Resources through rules.