SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A small technicality on a civil service exam may cause big problems for several Cal-OSHA safety inspectors who over the last year have conducted hundreds of investigations in cities across California.

A civil service exam used to hire and promote Cal-OSHA employees is now in question. A recent audit on its hiring process found an error in how the exam is administered.

“We’re confident that the state and the department wants the same thing we want which is to make sure that the public is going to be well served,” said Jon Ortiz, Professional Engineers in California Government.

A spokesman for the Human Resources Department could not go into the specifics of the error. He says everyone is working to solve the problem. The issue was recently brought to the attention of those 22 employees.

“The folks received a notice telling them there was an irregularity with a test that they took, and this applies to people who took the test and were eligible to be hired,” said Ortiz.

The 22 employees who work for the department of industrial relations are being reassured they did nothing wrong. The inspectors were hired between March 2017 and May 2018.

“What they did was in good faith, they followed the rules as they understood them,” he said.

A spokesperson for Cal OSHA said they are in discussion with the state board and the Department of Human Resources to ensure all 22 employees keep their jobs.

“I’m sure that it wasn’t fun, but they also know that we are doing everything we need to do to make sure there is not going to be a discontinuation in their employment.”

The audit by the state personnel board is done regularly.