(1) The provisions of this chapter do not apply to:
(a) The members of the legislature or to any employee of, or position in, the legislative branch of the state government including members, officers, and employees of the legislative council, joint legislative audit and review committee, statute law committee, and any interim committee of the legislature;
(b) The justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts or of the inferior courts, or to any employee of, or position in the judicial branch of state government;
(c) Officers, academic personnel, and employees of technical colleges;
(d) The officers of the Washington state patrol;
(e) Elective officers of the state;
(f) The chief executive officer of each agency;
(g) In the departments of employment security and social and health services, the director and the director's confidential secretary; in all other departments, the executive head of which is an individual appointed by the governor, the director, his or her confidential secretary, and his or her statutory assistant directors;
(h) In the case of a multimember board, commission, or committee, whether the members thereof are elected, appointed by the governor or other authority, serve ex officio, or are otherwise chosen:
(i) All members of such boards, commissions, or committees;
(ii) If the members of the board, commission, or committee serve on a part-time basis and there is a statutory executive officer: The secretary of the board, commission, or committee; the chief executive officer of the board, commission, or committee; and the confidential secretary of the chief executive officer of the board, commission, or committee;
(iii) If the members of the board, commission, or committee serve on a full-time basis: The chief executive officer or administrative officer as designated by the board, commission, or committee; and a confidential secretary to the chair of the board, commission, or committee;
(iv) If all members of the board, commission, or committee serve ex officio: The chief executive officer; and the confidential secretary of such chief executive officer;
(i) The confidential secretaries and administrative assistants in the immediate offices of the elective officers of the state;
(j) Assistant attorneys general;
(k) Commissioned and enlisted personnel in the military service of the state;
(l) Inmate, student, and temporary employees, and part-time professional consultants, as defined by the Washington personnel resources board;
(m) Officers and employees of the Washington state fruit commission;
(n) Officers and employees of the Washington apple commission;
(o) Officers and employees of the Washington state dairy products commission;
(p) Officers and employees of the Washington tree fruit research commission;
(q) Officers and employees of the Washington state beef commission;
(r) Officers and employees of the Washington grain commission;
(s) Officers and employees of any commission formed under chapter 15.66
(t) Officers and employees of agricultural commissions formed under chapter 15.65
(u) Executive assistants for personnel administration and labor relations in all state agencies employing such executive assistants including but not limited to all departments, offices, commissions, committees, boards, or other bodies subject to the provisions of this chapter and this subsection shall prevail over any provision of law inconsistent herewith unless specific exception is made in such law;
(v) In each agency with fifty or more employees: Deputy agency heads, assistant directors or division directors, and not more than three principal policy assistants who report directly to the agency head or deputy agency heads;
(w) Staff employed by the department of commerce to administer energy policy functions;
(x) The manager of the energy facility site evaluation council;
(y) A maximum of ten staff employed by the department of commerce to administer innovation and policy functions, including the three principal policy assistants exempted under (v) of this subsection;
(z) Staff employed by Washington State University to administer energy education, applied research, and technology transfer programs under RCW 43.21F.045
as provided in RCW 28B.30.900
(aa) Officers and employees of the consolidated technology services agency created in RCW 43.105.006
that perform the following functions or duties: Systems integration; data center engineering and management; network systems engineering and management; information technology contracting; information technology customer relations management; and network and systems security;
(bb) The executive director of the Washington statewide reentry council.
(2) The following classifications, positions, and employees of institutions of higher education and related boards are hereby exempted from coverage of this chapter:
(a) Members of the governing board of each institution of higher education and related boards, all presidents, vice presidents, and their confidential secretaries, administrative, and personal assistants; deans, directors, and chairs; academic personnel; and executive heads of major administrative or academic divisions employed by institutions of higher education; principal assistants to executive heads of major administrative or academic divisions; other managerial or professional employees in an institution or related board having substantial responsibility for directing or controlling program operations and accountable for allocation of resources and program results, or for the formulation of institutional policy, or for carrying out personnel administration or labor relations functions, legislative relations, public information, development, senior computer systems and network programming, or internal audits and investigations; and any employee of a community college district whose place of work is one which is physically located outside the state of Washington and who is employed pursuant to RCW 28B.50.092
and assigned to an educational program operating outside of the state of Washington;
(b) The governing board of each institution, and related boards, may also exempt from this chapter classifications involving research activities, counseling of students, extension or continuing education activities, graphic arts or publications activities requiring prescribed academic preparation or special training as determined by the board: PROVIDED, That no nonacademic employee engaged in office, clerical, maintenance, or food and trade services may be exempted by the board under this provision;
(c) Printing craft employees in the department of printing at the University of Washington.
(3) In addition to the exemptions specifically provided by this chapter, the director may provide for further exemptions pursuant to the following procedures. The governor or other appropriate elected official may submit requests for exemption to the office of financial management stating the reasons for requesting such exemptions. The director shall hold a public hearing, after proper notice, on requests submitted pursuant to this subsection. If the director determines that the position for which exemption is requested is one involving substantial responsibility for the formulation of basic agency or executive policy or one involving directing and controlling program operations of an agency or a major administrative division thereof, or is a senior expert in enterprise information technology infrastructure, engineering, or systems, the director shall grant the request. The total number of additional exemptions permitted under this subsection shall not exceed one percent of the number of employees in the classified service not including employees of institutions of higher education and related boards for those agencies not directly under the authority of any elected public official other than the governor, and shall not exceed a total of twenty-five for all agencies under the authority of elected public officials other than the governor.
(4) The salary and fringe benefits of all positions presently or hereafter exempted except for the chief executive officer of each agency, full-time members of boards and commissions, administrative assistants and confidential secretaries in the immediate office of an elected state official, and the personnel listed in subsections (1)(j) through (t) and (2) of this section, shall be determined by the director. Changes to the classification plan affecting exempt salaries must meet the same provisions for classified salary increases resulting from adjustments to the classification plan as outlined in RCW 41.06.152
(5)(a) Any person holding a classified position subject to the provisions of this chapter shall, when and if such position is subsequently exempted from the application of this chapter, be afforded the following rights: If such person previously held permanent status in another classified position, such person shall have a right of reversion to the highest class of position previously held, or to a position of similar nature and salary.
(b) Any classified employee having civil service status in a classified position who accepts an appointment in an exempt position shall have the right of reversion to the highest class of position previously held, or to a position of similar nature and salary.
(c) A person occupying an exempt position who is terminated from the position for gross misconduct or malfeasance does not have the right of reversion to a classified position as provided for in this section.