Civil service system

All positions in the city are grouped into classes for the purpose of including in each class those positions sufficiently similar in respect to their duties and responsibilities so that substantially similar requirements as to training, experience, knowledge, skill, personal qualities, and the same rates of compensation may be applicable thereto.

The director of human resources, under the direction of the chief administrative officer, periodically reviews the positions in the civil service system and recommends to the urban county council the reclassification of positions from one class to another class, or the reallocation of positions from one pay grade to another pay grade, whenever the director determines (subject to review by the commission for classified civil service positions) that the classification or pay grade is no longer consistent with the actual work performed.

Code of Ordinances, Sec. 21-02. – Adoption and amendment of the plan.
Code of Ordinances, Sec. 22-02. – Adoption and amendment of the plan.
Code of Ordinances, Sec. 23-02. – Adoption and amendment of the plan.
CAO Policy 17: Standard Operating Procedures for Position Studies

Classified civil service positions

Unless otherwise provided by law, all city positions are in the classified civil service. After successful completion of a six (6) month probationary period, no employee in the classified civil service will be reprimanded, suspended, dismissed, or reduced in grade or pay for any reason except inefficiency, misconduct, insubordination, or violation of law involving moral turpitude. Any classified civil service employee may appeal such actions to the civil service commission. Other benefits are provided in sections 21-31 through 21-42 in the code of ordinances.

Civil service commission

A five (5)-member civil service commission (“commission”) advises and helps human resources on all matters pertaining to the management and administration of the Classified Civil Service System (“classified civil service”). The commission officially certifies lists of qualified candidates eligible for positions in the classified civil service, before submission to the appointing authority. This body also hears disciplinary appeals filed by classified civil service employees and determines dismissal from the classified civil service.

Charter, Section 9.02. – The Classified Civil Service.
KRS 067A.230 Civil service commission – Membership – Terms – Rule-making and enforcement powers.
Code of Ordinances, Chapter 21 – Comprehensive Plan for Classified Civil Service System

Unclassified civil service positions

By charter, unclassified civil service positions are exempted from the classified civil service. They include (a) elected officials and persons appointed to fill vacancies in elective offices, (b) the chief administrative officer, (c) department commissioners of all executive departments, (c) temporary, seasonal, or part-time employees, and (d) all persons employed to conduct special inquiries, investigations, or studies for the city.

Temporary positions are established for a fixed, definite period and in no case for an indefinite period. They include seasonal positions and positions for the conduct of special inquiries, investigations, or studies for the city. Except as otherwise provided by law, any individual holding a position in the unclassified civil service shall serve at the pleasure of the respective appointing authority.

With regard to benefits for unclassified civil service employees, full-time, unclassified civil service positions (with the exception of seasonal employees) are eligible for the benefits provided in sections 21-31 through 21-42 in the code of ordinances for classified civil service employees. Part-time employees, who qualify under applicable federal, state, or local law, and consistent with the eligibility provision of the specified benefit plan document, may participate in the group health insurance approved by council. The cost associated with this participation shall be made by payroll deduction and any premiums due shall be paid by the employee.


KRS 067A.210 Definitions.
Code of Ordinances, Chapter 22 – Unclassified Civil Service.
Code of Ordinances, Sec. 22-56. – Temporary positions.
Code of Ordinances, Sec. 22-57. – Part-Time positions.
Code of Ordinances, Sec. 22-59. – Benefits.


Unpaid internships, where the intern volunteers without expectation of compensation, are generally permissible. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions apply to the intern if an employment relationship is formed.


A proposed internship must meet all of the seven qualifying factors below.

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; 
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship;
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship; and,
  7. Internships should last for 6 months or less, and for no more than eight hours a day. Hours spent should not exceed a normal school schedule.

Prepare for Internship

Unpaid internships may be available on a limited basis each semester. All activities engaged in by interns should be related to a college course/program. Interns must submit application with the City of Lexington via online process. To be eligible, interns must be enrolled in an accredited college, university, or post-secondary educational institution. The intern must be at least 18 years of age and may be subject to criminal background and reference checks as well as required to execute a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement.

Departments that would like an intern for the semester shall notify the Deputy Director of Human Resources, with the following information.

  1. Payroll coordinator name and contact information;
  2. Employee responsible for supervision, training, and evaluation of the intern;
  3. Start date and end date;
  4. Assigned duties of interns including details to establish compliance with FLSA;
  5. Number of interns;
  6. Desired academic field or degree program; and,
  7. Any other educational requirements.

Human Resources will post a general job description for interns. Applications and resumes will be screened and forwarded to the requesting departments.

Sworn positions

Sworn positions in Community Corrections, Fire and Emergency Services, and the Lexington Police Department are subject to the terms of their respective collective bargaining agreements. Members shall refer to their respective agreements.

Quick links