2456 Forensic Toxicologist

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Recruitment #TEX-2456-066961


Applicants are encouraged to file immediately as this announcement may close at anytime, but not before 3/14/2019.

APPOINTMENT TYPE: Temporary Exempt (TEX), this position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.


The San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (SFOCME), a NAME and ABFT-Accredited facility, is currently recruiting in Class 2456 Forensic Toxicologist located at the SFOCME’s Forensic Laboratory Division.

The Office moved to a $65M state-of-the-art facility in November 2018.  The 52,000 sq. ft. facility includes a fully accredited laboratory with approximately $5M invested in new technologies including a Sciex QT0F X500R and 6500+ QTrap with accompanying Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography for high throughput analysis.  In-house histology services are with TissueTek automatic tissue processor, stainer and cover-slipper configured to ensure optimal output.

The facility was designed to specifically enhance the communication between the different divisions and most importantly enhance the work experience of staff.  A private second story office overlooking the San Francisco Bay and marsh lands, with secure parking on-site and conference suites outfitted with video teleconferencing capabilities.

Under the supervision of the Forensic Toxicologist Supervisor and the direction of the Chief Forensic Toxicologist/Forensic Laboratory Director, the 2456 Forensic Toxicologist is a forensic-trained scientist who performs laboratory procedures following established protocols in the process of ensuring that all forensic specimens are processed and tested in a proficient, reliable and accurate manner.  The Forensic Toxicologist utilizes existing or develops new extraction techniques and employs current instrumentation, including HS-GC, GC-MS/MS, LC-MS/MS, and LC-QTOF/MS, to develop, optimize, validate, and utilize analytical techniques for the accurate and timely detection and quantification of drugs and poisons in human fluids and tissues in medico-legal cases under the jurisdiction of the Division.  The Forensic Toxicologist performs forensic evaluations of evidentiary items including the identification, confirmation and quantitation of poisons, drugs and other chemicals in forensic specimens recovered as evidence during the investigation of medicolegal cases by various law enforcement agencies; processes specimens submitted for medicolegal diagnostic purposes, scientifically examines and evaluates the nature, origin and significance of physical evidence; records findings; interprets data; prepares technical laboratory records and reports of results of tests and examinations; testifies in courtroom proceedings and performs related duties as required.  Incumbents are responsible for the accurate interpretation and recording of results from complex forensic laboratory analyses, for ensuring that data generated conforms to the Division’s quality assurance program, conforms to quality control specifications and for maintaining the carefully controlled legal chain of custody requirements.  Nature of work involves continuous exposure to health hazards and disagreeable elements.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:  Nature of duties may require sustained physical effort involving manual skill, dexterity, hand/eye coordination, and the ability to lift and carry equipment and supplies up to 50 lbs. Requires close mental attention and concentration for long periods when conducting various tests and the technical skill and ability to make accurate observations and determinations and prepare related reports of findings.  Work environment may entail exposure to biohazards and potentially toxic chemicals, specimens from infectious and decomposed cases and/or persons who have died of drug or chemical poisoning; unpleasant odors or conditions; and exposure to disagreeable elements or situations inherent in this specialized field.  This work requires compliance with department policies pertaining to blood-borne pathogen exposure prevention, biohazard exposure prevention, toxic chemical exposure prevention, evidence handling and security requirements on evidence, standards and information.

Minimum Qualifications

1. Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a life or physical science with 16 semester hours in general and organic chemistry, a statistics course, and two (2) analytical and/or interpretive courses in forensic toxicology, pharmacology and chemistry; AND

2. Possession of a valid California driver's license at the time of appointment; AND

3. Possession or eligibility for certification by the State of California's Department of Public Health as a Title 17 Forensic Alcohol Analyst (certification must be obtained within one year of employment and maintained as a condition of continued employment); AND

4. Possession or eligibility for certification by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) as Diplomate (certification must be obtained by the end of the probation period and maintained as a condition of employment).

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Recent experience with Sciex (Analyst and Multiquant) and Agilent (ChemStation and MassHunter Workstation) software.
  • Recent experience in method validation of forensic toxicology techniques in accordance to published SWGTOX or other published forensic toxicology standards.
  • Knowledge or experience in ISO/IEC 17025:2005 or 17025:2017 accreditation requirements.

VERIFICATION: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process.  Written verification (proof) of qualifying experience must verify that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement.  Written verification must be submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying name of employee, dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed.  Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee’s class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Rules.  Experience claimed in self-employment must be supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to the minimum qualifications of the position.  Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupations and total earnings must be submitted.  If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456.

NOTE: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Submission of a college transcript and completion of the supplemental questionnaire is REQUIRED at the time of filing and must be attached to the online application. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Mailed, hand delivered or faxed documents/applications will not be accepted.

1. To submit a TRANSCRIPT using the online application:

  • Select the “transcript” tab on the online application
  • Follow instructions given on screen

2. To submit a SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE using the online application: 

  • Applicants will be prompted to complete the supplemental questionnaire during the online application process.

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.  If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the analyst at (415) 554-6000.

Selection Plan


Candidates are required to have a thorough background investigation to determine the candidates’ suitability for employment in this classification.  Factors considered in the investigation may include employment history, criminal records; use of illegal/controlled substances.  Reasons for rejection based on this investigation may include: but not limited to: applicable convictions, repeated or serious violations of the law, inability to accept supervision, inability to follow rules and regulations, falsification of application materials and/or other relevant factors.   


Prior to appointment, candidates must successfully pass a medical examination in order to determine their ability to perform the essential functions of the job.  Recurrent medical screening is required.  Candidates must successfully pass a physical examination to test their ability to lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds using acceptable biomechanics.     

Selection Procedures

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience.  Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications.  Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process.  Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview.  Qualified applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation in the selection process must contact the Agency by phone at (415) 554-6000 or, if hearing impaired at (415) 554-6015 (TTY).


Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates applying for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates applying for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures: Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents: Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work: All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.

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