Today’s burning question: Is there a maximum duration for which a fire department can keep an individual in an “acting” or “interim” capacity before the position must be awarded to the individual or awarded to another candidate?
Answer: There is no universal answer to your question. There are fire departments where permanent promotions have been held up for as long as nine (9) years while lawsuits played themselves out. Akron, Ohio is one case that comes to mind.
The answer in any given case will turn on state and local law. In some jurisdictions, the duration that acting or interim positions can be used is governed by state statutes, civil service regulations, local charters, personnel ordinances and perhaps even collective bargaining agreements. However, when a court enjoins a fire department from making promotions until a case is resolved, even statutory limits may have to yield.