126-11. Local personnel system may be established; approval and monitoring; rules and regulations.

(a) The board of county commissioners of any county may establish and maintain a personnel system for all employees of the county subject to its jurisdiction, which system and any substantial changes to the system, shall be approved by the State Human Resources Commission as substantially equivalent to the standards established under this Chapter for employees of local departments of social services, local health departments, and area mental health programs, local emergency management programs. If approved by the State Human Resources Commission, the employees covered by the county system shall be exempt from all provisions of this Chapter except Article 6.

(a1) With approval of each of the boards of commissioners of the county or counties which comprise the area mental health authority, the area mental health authority may establish and maintain a personnel system for all employees of the area mental health authority, which system and any substantial changes to the system, shall be equivalent to the standards established under this Chapter for employees of area mental health authorities. If approved by the State Human Resources Commission, the employees covered by the area mental health authority system shall be exempt from all provisions of this Chapter except Article 6.

(b) A board of county commissioners may petition the State Human Resources Commission to determine whether any portion of its total personnel system meets the requirements in (a) above. Upon such determination, county employees shall be exempt from the provisions of this Chapter relating to the approved portions of the county personnel system.

(b1) The board of an area mental health authority, with the approval of each of the boards of commissioners of the county or counties which comprise the area mental health authority, may petition the State Human Resources Commission to determine whether any portion of its total personnel system meets the requirements in subsection (a1) above. Upon such determination, area mental health authority employees shall be exempt from the provisions of this Chapter relating to the approved portions of the area mental health authority personnel system except as provided in G.S. 122C-121.

(c) The Office of State Human Resources shall monitor at least annually county or area mental health authority personnel systems approved under this section in order to ensure compliance.

(d) In order to define "substantially equivalent," the State Human Resources Commission is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the federal merit system standards and these regulations at a minimum shall include: recruitment and selection of employees; position classification; pay administration; training; employee relations; equal employment opportunity; and records and reports. (1965, c. 640, s. 2; 1975, c. 667, s. 2; 1983, c. 674, s. 1; 1991, c. 65, s. 5; c. 564, s. 1; 2013-382, s. 9.1(c).)