Glossary of Terms

This glossary of terms is informational only and should not be cited as legal authority.  The definitions in the Board Rules and the Colorado Revised Statutes are controlling.

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Administrative discharge – applies only to the exhaustion of leave; see Director's Administrative Procedure 5-6; Rules

Administrative law judge (ALJ) - a judge who hears administrative law cases.

Administrative separation – another name for Administrative discharge; Administrative Procedure 5-6; Rules

Agencies – another name for departments, such as Department of Corrections

Agenda – monthly order of business for Board meetings; Agendas

ALJ – administrative law judge

Allegation – a charge or claim, such as discrimination based on age

Annotations – summary or analysis of an Initial Decision of an Administrative Law Judge

Appeal – what an employee files to challenge a reduction in pay, tenure or status or loss of rights entitled by law; Board Rules 8-35 to 8-40; Rules.

Appeal form – consolidated appeal/dispute form; Forms

Applicant – a person who applies for a job or engages in the selection process

Appointing authority – see Administrative Procedures 1-8 to 1-11; Rules

Arbitrary – done in an unreasonable manner, such as a decision that is arbitrary, capricious or contrary to rule or law


Board – State Personnel Board

Board members – 5 persons on the State Personnel Board, 3 of whom are gubernatorial appointees and 2 of whom are elected by employees

Board orders – orders issued by either Administrative Law Judges or the full 5-member Board; Initial Decisions; Board Orders

Board Rule 6-10 - Rules

Board Rules - Rules

Briefs – documents written in support of an appeal of an Initial Decision or other final Order of an Administrative Law Judge; Board Rules 8-67 to 8-70; Rules


Capricious – done with willful and deliberate disregard, such as an arbitrary and capricious ruling

CCRD – Colorado Civil Rights Division

Certificate of delivery – section of document, order or pleading, usually at the end, which states that the document, order or pleading was sent or transmitted to the person named 

Certified employee – Board Rule 1-32.1; Rules

Claims – allegations or charges, such as discrimination

Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD)

Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) – the collection of compiled laws of Colorado which has been revised, collected, arranged in order, and re-enacted as a whole

Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP) - CSEAP is a professional assessment, referral, and short-term counseling service offered to State employees with work-related or personal concerns, as well as a resource for supervisors and managers

Commencement – time-limited beginning of a hearing; Board Rule 8-56; Rules

Complainant – a person who files an appeal or petition for hearing with the State Personnel Board; a claimant

Consolidated appeal/dispute form - appeal form; Forms

Continuance – the adjournment or postponement of a hearing or other proceeding to a subsequent day or time; Board Rule 8-57(E); Rules

Contrary to rule or law – in violation of rules, statutes or legal regulations 

Corrective action – Board Rule 6-11; Rules

CRS – Colorado Revised Statutes

CSEAP – Colorado State Employee Assistance Program; CSEAP

Counsel – an attorney or counselor at law


Deadlines – timeframes; a date upon which something is due

Decision – an order issued by an Administrative Law Judge; Initial Decisions

Demotion – a reduction to a lower rank or grade, to a lower type or position or lower pay scale

Deny – to refuse to grant a petition for hearing, as in a Preliminary Recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge; Board Rules 8-41 to 8-43; Rules

Designation of Record – the first document filed within 20 days of receipt of an Initial Decision to appeal; it tells the Board what parts of a file should be part of the official record of a case;  Board Rules 8-63 and 8-64; Rules

Director's review – Administrative Procedures 8-75 to 8-82; Rules

Disciplinary action – Board Rule 6-12; Rules

Disclosure – the act of revealing, as in Mandatory Disclosure; Board Rule 8-44; Rules

Discovery – disclosure of what was previously unknown; Board Rule 8-53; Rules

Discretionary hearing – a hearing for actions that do not adversely affect a certified employee's current base pay, status, or tenure, and where the employee does not have a right to a hearing, appeal, or review by law or rule; Board Rules 8-41 to 8-43; Rules

Discrimination – Board Rules 9-3 to 9-6; Rules

Dismissal order – an order disposing of an appeal or petition for hearing without a hearing of the issues


Employee – Board Rule 1-44; Rules

Employer – one who hires or employs another, such as the State of Colorado

Employment Lists – Board Rule 1-45; Rules

Exempt – Board Rule 1-47; Rules

Extension of time – an increase or enlargement of time in which something is due


Facilitator – a person who assists in the settlement process – Board Rules 8-12 to 8-16; Rules

Filing – delivery of a document to the State Personnel Board with the intent that it be registered with the Board

Filing deadlines – timelines upon which a document must be filed

Forms - Forms

Forced resignation – a resignation that was coerced or involuntary; Board Rule 7-4; Rules


Good cause – Board Rule 1-49; Rules

Good faith – an honest belief and the absence of malice or design to defraud or seek an advantage, applicable to a settlement conference, Board Rule 8-12; Rules

Grant – to bestow or confer a hearing, as in an order adopting a Preliminary Recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge; Board Rules 8-41 to 8-43; Rules

Grievance – a complaint filed by an employee regarding working conditions; Board Rules 8-5 to 8-8; Rules

Grievance decision – see grievance process, Board Rule 8-8; Rules

Grievance form - Forms

Grievance procedure – see Grievances; Board Rule 8-8; Rules

Grievance process – see Grievances; Board Rule 8-8; Rules


Hearing – Board proceeding in which Complainant and Respondent put on their cases before an administrative law judge and which results in an Initial Decision of the Administrative Law Judge


ID – Initial Decision – a final order of an Administrative Law Judge after a hearing; Initial Decisions

Information sheet - what each party must file in the discretionary hearing process; Board Rule 8-45; Forms; Rules

Initial decision (ID) - a final order of an Administrative Law Judge after a hearing; Initial Decisions

Investigation – the process of inquiring into or tracking down through inquiry, such as a Colorado Civil Rights Division investigation

Involuntary separation – a separation from service or employment without the consent of the employee, such as a layoff or a termination; Director's Procedure 1-54; Board Rule 7-1; Rules


Judge – Administrative Law Judge



Law – a body of rules of action or conduct having binding legal force

Layoff – a reduction in force that results in the elimination of one or more positions due to lack of funds, lack of work or reorganization; Board Rules 7-1 to 7-22; Rules


Mandatory disclosure – the obligatory revealing of information and documents which is part of the discretionary and mandatory hearing process; Board Rules 8-44 and 8-53 (B)(1); Rules

Mediation – a confidential process in which a trained, unbiased facilitator assists the parties in clarifying and understanding their different points of view, identifying common ground, generating and evaluating alternatives, and reaching a mutually acceptable resolution; Director's Procedures 8-9 and 8-10; Board Rule 8-11; Rules

Meetings – monthly coming together of three or more Board members for the purpose of conducting business, acting upon appeals, receiving legal advice from counsel, etc.; see Meetings

Members – in reference to the five members of the State Personnel Board; see Board members

Merit – the merit system is the system used by the state for hiring and promoting governmental employees to positions on the basis of competence; Colorado Constitution, Article XII, Section 13(8)

Mission – the State Personnel Board makes rules governing the state personnel system and hears appeals by applicants and employees in the state personnel system.  The Board's mission is:  to resolve disputes involving state employees and agencies in a manner that is fair, efficient, and understandable for all parties; to establish policies and rules that protect and recognize merit as the basis for state employment while balancing management's need for discretion and flexibility;  and to provide guidance in achieving and maintaining a sound, comprehensive, and uniform system of human resource management through rules, decisions, communication, and training

Motion – an application made to the Board for purpose of obtaining a rule or order directing some act to be done in favor of the filer of the application; Board Rule 8-52; Rules


Notice – information or advice intended to let someone know of some proceeding in which his interests are involved or informing him of some fact which it is his right to know and the duty of the notifying party to communicate; for example, a Notice of Hearing will provide the date, time and place of a hearing


Oral argument – presentation of a case in support of or in objection to legal relief sought; Board Rule 8-70; Rules

Orders – the decision or direction of an administrative law judge or Board entered in writing; Initial Decisions; Board Orders


Party – a Complainant or a Respondent in a State Personnel Board matter

Pay – salary; Director's Procedure 1-32 – base pay is an employee's salary without premium pay; Rules

PDQ - Position Description Questionnaire

Performance – the fulfillment or accomplishment of an obligation according to terms of one's Position Description Questionnaire and Performance Plan; Director's Procedures Chapter 3; Rules

Personnel system - Colorado Constitution, Article XII, Section 13; Rules

Petition for hearing – a challenge to a final grievance decision in which a person files for a discretionary hearing with the Board after receipt of the final department decision, or after expiration of 30 days of initiation of the written grievance process or any extension period granted by the Board; Board Rules 8-41 to 8-43; Rules

Petition for reconsideration – a request for re-examination and possibly a different decision following the issuance of an Initial Decision of the Administrative Law Judge, usually filed by the non-prevailing party; Board Rule 8-60; Rules

Prehearing statement – what each party must file in the mandatory hearing process; Board Rules 8-54 to 8-56; Rules

PR – Preliminary Recommendation

Preliminary Recommendation – an advisory order, not a final order, rendered by an administrative law judge either recommending that a petition for hearing be denied or granted; Board Rules 8-45 and 8-46; Rules

Probationary – Board Rules 1-62.1 and 4-41; Rules

Pro se – not represented by an attorney; for one's own behalf; representing yourself or appearing for yourself, such as in the case of an employee who does not retain a lawyer and appears for himself before the Board


Quorum – a majority of the entire body, such as a quorum of the Board (5 members) would consist of 3 or more members present at the meeting


Record – the complete file of a case, including transcripts of a hearing and other proceedings; Board Rules 8-63 to 8-66; Rules;  see also definitions in Chapter One for other kinds of records   

Record on appeal – see record

Reduction in pay – a decrease in one's base salary or one-time decrease in pay, classified as a disciplinary action; Board Rule 6-12; Rules

Relief – remedy requested by an employee for a wrong 

Remand - to send back, as the Court of Appeals will sometimes remand a case to the Board

Representative - someone who supports, stands up or speaks for another, frequently an attorney

Respondent - a party in an appeal who opposes Complainant/Claimant, a state agency or institution of higher education

Rights - a legally enforceable claim of one person against another, such as civil rights

Rule 6-10 – Board Rule 6-10; Rules


SEMP – State Employee Mediation Program - the Voluntary Colorado State Employee Mediation Program established in 1986 whose goal is to provide an alternative method of resolving workplace disputes

Settlement – Board Rules 8-12 to 8-18; Rules

Settlement agreement - a written compromise or contract entered into between two parties in dispute resolution; Board Rules 8-17 & 8-18; Rules

Settlement conference - a meeting between two parties with the assistance of a trained, unbiased facilitator in attempts to resolve a dispute; Board Rules 8-12 to 8-18; Rules

Settlement facilitator - a third party neutral who is trained and unbiased and whose duty it is to assist parties in a dispute; Administrative Procedure 8-10; Rules

Settlement program - an organized systematic approach to dispute resolution available to all parties to the dispute; Board Rules and Administrative Procedures 8-9 through 8-18; Rules

Show cause - an order issued by an administrative law judge to present reasons and consideration as one has to offer why a particular order should be entered

6-10 – Board Rule 6-10; Rules

State Employee Mediation Program (SEMP)

Status – Board Rule 1-73; Rules

Statute - a formal written enactment of a legislative body declaring, commanding or prohibiting something, such as Colorado Revised Statutes

Statutory deadlines - timelines conforming to the dictates of a particular statute 

Stay - a stopping or aresting of a judicial proceeding by the order of a court; a suspension of a case

Subpoena – document served on a person requiring attendance of a witness at a hearing; Board Rule 8-59; RulesForms

Subpoena formForms

Suspension – Board Rule 1-41; Rules


Tenure – Board Rule 1-75; Rules

Termination – Board Rule 1-76; Rules

Timelines - deadlines; period of time in which the end date is the due date

Training - preparation for a specific task through instruction and guidelines

Trial service – Board Rule 1-77.1; Board Rules 4-42 and 4-43; Rules


Untimely – not in compliance with the timelines prescribed for a given action;  for example, an appeal that is filed more than 10 days after a termination is untimely; Board Rule 8-36; Rules


Verification form (CCRD) – a form signed by an employee of the Colorado Civil Rights Division certifying that a person has filed a charge of discrimination; the form must be filed with the State Personnel Board within a prescribed period of time after the charge of discrimination has been filed; Rule 8-26(B); Rules

Voluntary demotion – reduction in salary and/or grade agreed to by an employee in a non-disciplinary process; Board Rules 1-55.1, 1-65 and 7-2; Director's Procedures 2-10(B)(1), 3-51 and 3-54; Rules


Waive - to surrender a claim; to give up a right

Waiver of investigation by Colorado Civil Rights Division - a form in which the investigation by CCRD is given up and an employee proceeds right to the Board

Weapons policy - State Personnel Board policy prohibits weapons of any type in hearings, settlement conferences, Board meetings, or any other State Personnel Board proceeding unless expressly allowed by the Board or presiding administrative law judge.

Whistleblower - an employee who refuses to engage in and/or reports illegal or wrongful activities of his employer or fellow employees; Board Rules 8-20 through 8-24; Rules

Whistleblower Act - State Employee Protection Act, found at Section 24-50.5 - 101, Colorado Revised Statutes

Whistleblower Complaint form - Forms

Whistleblower report - an annual report by the Board sent to the Governor and enumerating the State Employee Protection Act claims filed from year-to-year