Exempt Management Service (EMS)


Exempt is the term used to identify positions exempt from state civil service law. These positions do not share the same rights that are provided to classified positions. Exempt is different from general service because the incumbent of this appointment type typically serves at the leisure of the Appointing Authority. Incumbents who have previously gained permanent status in a classified position may have return rights to their previous position and/or agency. Typically RCW 41.06.070 exempts many positions from civil service rules, which most commonly includes executive and senior-level management positions.


Exempt positions are designated by statute or the State HR Director at the request of the Governor or other elected official(s). There are a number of exemptions identified throughout various statutes. The most common statute referred to is captured under RCW 41.06.070.

Additionally, specific exemptions may be identified in an agency's enabling statute. There are two forms of exempt positions B-Code exempt positions which fall under the authority of the State HR Director and EX-code exempt positions which fall under the authority of the agency's director.


To establish an exempt position, begin the process by working with your assigned HR Business Partner (HRBP). They will assist you in identifying the proper statute(s) that apply to your agency, and as to the type of exempt position(s) your agency may utilize. Once the exemption have been determined, your assigned HRBP will help serve as a guide through the exempt management position process.

PD Updates

To ensure consistent and accurate processing of Exempt PD updates, please refer to the exempt management position process. Please refer to your agency policy to ensure updates are occurring in the correct timeframe.

If you have any questions, please contact your HR Business Partner.