California Department of Health Services Reviews | Glassdoor

California Department of Health Services Reviews

Updated July 26, 2017
35 reviews

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3.4
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California Department of Health Services Director Jennifer Kent
Jennifer Kent
4 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. "IT Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Information Systems Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Information Systems Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at California Department of Health Services part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This a fast paced troubleshoot position, utilizing a ticketing system to create work orders for clients. The analyst must be multifaceted in software, hardware, networking, and security concepts. Along with active directory and SharePoint experience

    Cons

    The analyst must take calls for requests.

    Advice to Management

    Hire individuals willing to go the extra mile for the team and customers. It is important to have a candidate that is knowledgeable as well as duty minded.


  2. "Should be called the Department of Political Correctness"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at California Department of Health Services full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They issued paychecks on time.

    Cons

    Those who produce are ignored. Those who create a hostile environment are ignored. Those who are unproductive and who make accusations about any of the endless forms of possible discrimination are immediately taken at their word and those they accuse are abruptly reassigned and ostracized. I've seen long, honorable, and distinguished careers ruined because of political correctness run amok here. I've seen productive and mature managers denied advancement and then witnessed young, fresh college graduates being promoted to upper management positions.

    Jennifer Kent is terrific. But when her predecessor was featured embarrassingly on CNN, the Audits and Investigations Division was forever turned inside-out to ensure that would never happen again. Our entire focus was then to protect her from ever suffering public embarrassment. It tortured our division until no one knew which way was us up. What a horror.

    Advice to Management

    Whatever you do, don't call yourselves public servants.

  3. "AGPA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AGPA in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - AGPA in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at California Department of Health Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You are nearly un-fireable with the union. You have nearly a 6 figure pay package with you consider the benefits you wouldn't get over private

    Cons

    There are a lot..... Nepotism is rampant and entirely out of control. They openly advocate for relatives employment and it is accepted as the way of the land. Very rarely if ever do we have a fair hire not already connected via relationship to an existing employee. Nearly every hire I have seen is someone's relative for friend. Everyone gets their +1 or "friend hire" via an archaic patronage hiring system. Many positions remain open for months despite work needing to be done. This is because rather than fill it and get the work done now they will leave it open so later it can be filled with their friend. This has destroyed equality of opportunity and opened us up for fraud since family results in collusion and group think and tribalism. This is particularly dangerous in accounting/IT/Finance which are not independent functions because the same relatives are in each department. People are permitted to operate in their native languages creating ethnic cliques and hurting security. By allowing people to hire family members the resulting group think and zero sum game results in groups forcing others out. This is because they can then move in a member of their group.

    Advice to Management

    Please stop the nepotism! Transfer out those who are in incompatible functions with their relatives for the security of the state. Our Medi-Cal Fraud is 10% for a reason. There are many related parties here and you simply cannot regulate that many. You really should stop this before you get on CNN again. The substance use audit section that got you on CNN has many relatives in it. We are a government agency so essentially everything that happened will inevitably come out I know it's not your fault Jennifer. The appointed big wigs have little if any power because the pieces beneath them are connected.


  4. "Office of Family Planning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at California Department of Health Services full-time

    Pros

    Talented employees and helpful peers.

    Cons

    Assistant Division Chief and Chief are unorganized and unprofessional.

    Advice to Management

    1/3 of your team is on leave. The rest of the EE's want to get out of the department. Your division is imploding on itself.


  5. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Large department so plenty of job opportunities. A good place to start out if you're an analyst. Promotional opportunities vary depending on your career path. Lots of medical field related classifications

    Cons

    I don't have many negative experiences of this department. Overall a supportive executive team who are willing to work hard. Management is challenging as with any large department but if you work hard you'll do well.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Administrative Litigation Team - Great Potential but Poor Execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at California Department of Health Services full-time

    Pros

    Great attorneys who are easy to work with.
    Sense of camaraderie among employees ("We're all in this together").
    Really interesting cases.
    High-level exposure to hearings and meaningful work early in your career.

    Cons

    Very poor mid-level management.
    Very low employee morale.
    Very high turnover.
    If you try to take initiative with a new project or be innovative, you are more likely to get shot down or even penalized for it than you are to get a green light for it.
    Managers on the administrative litigation team have been known to formally "counsel" employees for things like talking too loudly, or for other trivial matters. Counseling memos can go in an employee's personnel file and be visible to other state employers.
    Very long and sometimes unpredictable hours for no extra pay, relative to what other state attorneys make.

    Advice to Management

    Show that you value employees (attorneys and staff alike).
    Allow attorneys more independence with completing assignments.
    Delegate revision of legal documents to other senior attorneys and mentors. Don't take them all on yourself and then delay the filing of a brief because you have more edits.
    Really invest in workers. If someone wants to attend a class or learn about something new at DHCS, this should be encouraged.
    Don't "counsel" attorneys for trivial matters like talking too loudly in their office. Begin disciplinary proceedings or recording conduct only when it is appropriate to do so. Don't scare employees.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing Mission and Living in the Dark Ages"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at California Department of Health Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    You get to help Californians get health care, especially those who can least afford it. There are some amazing, wonderful people that work there, and you have a fairly stable paycheck depending on the budget and furloughs.

    Cons

    It is a beurocracy and full of red tape and people resistant to change. No one with authority wants to hear about industry standards, they think they can use Waterfall and call it Agile, and their reason is that's the way we have always done it. Its not the results you achieve or what you know but who you suck up to to get promoted. I'm sure its just like most places.

    Advice to Management

    Value your line staff and their knowledge skills and abilities and don't just allow Senior Management to keep the status quo.

  8. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Governmental Program Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Governmental Program Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at California Department of Health Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful building.
    Great coworkers.
    Supportive managers.
    Nice restaurants nearby.
    Excellent benefit package.
    Better than the last state agency I worked at.

    Cons

    Lots of uneducated people who want to move up but don't have the skills to, they will openly complain and put down educated workers.
    Unfortunately, salary is not negotiable, as it would be in corporate America. Even if you have an advanced degree, your salary will start at the lowest tier, which is too bad!

    Advice to Management

    Continue being great managers. Focus on the people and making sure your employees are happy to come to work everyday and their productivity will increase, or stay up, if it is already high.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "HORRIBLE Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Auditor in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Auditor in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at California Department of Health Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    -Work Flexibility is relatively ok, but as punishment or retaliation management will take it away from you.

    Cons

    -Very Political - You can't be promoted unless you kiss up to Upper Management
    -Racial Discrimination: Beware of "Racial Clicks" in the office
    -Language Bias: Lack of respect for speaking 1 language creates hostile and alienation of other single language employees.
    -Illegal Audio Recording: Some employees will illegally audio/video record your conversations to fire you, so be VERY careful.
    -Management will steal your ideas and take credit for your work and not let Upper Management know you are a great worker b/c then you might take management's job.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to following positions: CEA A / CEA B / CEA C:
    Practice what they preach and STOP retaliating against staff.
    Stop the racial discrimination and harassment and retaliation against certain races, nationality and religions.
    Promotions should be based on Merit, not on racial preference or retaliation.


  10. "One of the better California state departments"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - AGPA in Citrus Heights, CA
    Former Employee - AGPA in Citrus Heights, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at California Department of Health Services full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great investment in employees through the Workforce Planning and Development Department (OWPD). They offered lots of great classes that you could take for free.

    Cons

    Typical unionized environment that rewards longevity over productivity. Very little incentive to work harder. People with technical knowledge but lacking people skills are promoted to management resulting in dysfunctional teams.

    Advice to Management

    Emphasize people skills at least as much as technical skills for management positions.


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