ARTICLE I, Authority, Objective and Scope
§ 48-1. Authority and objective.
As authorized by Article 25 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Board of County Commissioners of Carroll County has adopted this chapter in order to assure fair and equal treatment of county employees with regard to certain aspects of their employment. The Commissioners may adopt additional policies and procedures, so long as they are consistent with this chapter or any amendments. However, if any resolution, policy, procedure, or practice relating to employment conditions conflicts with this chapter or any amendments, this chapter governs. The Commissioners specifically reserve unto themselves as the legislative body the power to amend, alter and repeal any or all parts of this chapter at any time, and there shall be no rights of property or contract created hereby that are not subject to that power, or which may be extended beyond the specific provisions of this chapter.
§ 48-2. Scope.
B. Special provisions.
ARTICLE II, Definitions
§ 48-3. Terms defined.
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
ARTICLE III, Delegation of Authority
§ 48-4. Department of Human Resources.
The Department of Human Resources (DHR), a staff office of the Commissioners, has the following authority and responsibilities:
A. Administering this chapter and all amendments to it including furnishing forms, where appropriate;
B. Ensuring the county's compliance with all applicable laws regulating employment;
C. Administering the overall compensation programs for county employees;
D. Informing employees of personnel policies, procedures, and activities affecting the county's operation;
E. Establishing and maintaining all personnel records for county employees;
F. Establishing and overseeing a progressive discipline program;
G. Providing employees with reasonable opportunity to review their individual personnel files; and
H. Consulting on policy recommendations and other personnel-related matters.
§ 48-5. Management.
Management exercises only those powers delegated by the Commissioners. The Commissioners retain complete authority to direct the actions of all personnel. Persons holding management positions are at all times required to meet the highest standards of efficiency, courtesy, fairness, and commitment to serving the citizens of Carroll County. The Commissioners may amend, add, or abolish any program, policy, benefit, ordinance, resolution or privilege as they deem necessary to the public interest and the efficient operation of county government.
ARTICLE IV, Filling Positions
§ 48-6. Objective.
The county's objective is to recruit and select the most qualified individuals for county positions. Recruitment and selection shall be conducted to assure competition and provide equal employment opportunity. No consideration shall be given to any political or partisan endorsement for employment.
§ 48-7. Vacancies.
B. Filling vacancies.
§ 48-8. Applications.
§ 48-9. Selection process.
C. Employment offer.
§ 48-10. Promotions.
B. Qualifications for promotion.
§ 48-11. Transfer.
A. Intradepartmental transfer.
B. Interdepartmental transfer.
§ 48-12. County residency.
Any individual selected by the Commissioners to fill the position of Chief of Staff and Clerk to the Commissioners, County Attorney, Comptroller, or department director, must become a resident of Carroll County within 12 months following the date of assignment to the position, and remain a resident while holding the position. The Commissioners may waive the time requirement if it causes an undue hardship or seriously restricts the availability of qualified job candidates.
ARTICLE V, Position Classification System
§ 48-13. Purpose.
The position classification system defines and identifies pay grades and positions for ease of administration.
§ 48-14. Administration.
DHR maintains records of communication and actions affecting positions and pay grades, provides for regular review of all position classifications, and recommends amendments to the classification system. The Commissioners approve all new positions and their classifications. The Commissioners must also approve all amendments to the classification system.
§ 48-15. Personnel Committee.
(1) To review new position requests.
(2) To review requests for organizational changes, including, but not limited to, adding new positions to a department, adding supervisory duties to a position description, or otherwise changing supervisory relationships.
(3) To review requests for work hour changes for positions.
(4) To hear appeals of position classifications by DHR.
(5) To assist DHR in other personnel-related matters as needed or directed.
(1) The Personnel Committee shall meet regularly twice a year in January and October for the purposes noted in Subsection B. DHR shall notify all supervisors of procedures and deadlines for submitting information to the Personnel Committee for these regularly scheduled meetings at least one month in advance of the meeting.
(2) The Personnel Committee may also meet as directed or needed other times during the year.
(1) The Personnel Committee shall submit its recommendations in writing to the appropriate director. If the director disagrees with the recommendation of the Personnel Committee, the director may request an appeals hearing before the Personnel Committee, by meeting appeals deadlines and procedures established by the Personnel Committee.
(2) The Personnel Committee shall, after conducting a hearing and considering information presented in the appeal, submit its recommendations in writing to the Commissioners and meet with the Commissioners to review its recommendations. The Commissioners' decisions in acting upon recommendations of the Personnel Committee are final.
§ 48-16. Classification of positions.
(1) DHR shall notify all supervisors of procedures and deadlines for information necessary for processing classification of positions.
(2) Each August the Director and Deputy Director of DHR shall evaluate 1/3 of all position descriptions to assign pay grades, considering internal and external equity.
(3) DHR may also evaluate other position descriptions when the position description has changed and no longer describes the current job duties. These positions will ordinarily be evaluated each August. Review requests must be in writing to DHR by the supervisor and with Director approval.
(4) DHR reviews all position descriptions whenever a department, bureau, office or division is organized or reorganized, or other changes occur. DHR may require departments to submit position descriptions periodically.
(5) Upon approval of the Commissioners, any pay changes resulting from the review of position descriptions shall take effect on a date determined by the Commissioners upon recommendation by the Director of DHR and the Director of the Department of Management and Budget. [Amended 02/14/00 by Ord. No. 00-2]
(1) DHR shall submit its classification recommendations in writing to the appropriate director. If the director disagrees with the recommendation, appeals may be made to the Personnel Committee by meeting appeals deadlines and procedures established by DHR and the Personnel Committee. DHR and the director shall both be permitted to present relevant information in classification appeals.
(2) The Personnel Committee shall, after considering any classification appeals, make its recommendations in writing to the Commissioners and meet with the Commissioners to review its recommendations. The Commissioners' determination of classification for each position is final.
ARTICLE VI, Wage and Salary Administration
[Amended 02/14/00 by Ord. No. 00-2; 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8]
§ 48-17. Administration and amendment of pay plan.
DHR administers the county's pay plan and informs employees about pay plans approved by the Commissioners. The Commissioners must approve the adoption and amendment of any pay plan for county employees. The Commissioners may establish, amend, or abolish salary schedules, pay grade assignments, or pay grades. DHR shall perform an annual review of the county's pay plan. The pay plan sets forth the salary ranges for employees and salary adjustments such as market equity adjustments or merit pay increases.
§ 48-18. Longevity recognition.
The Commissioners may award longevity increases to regular employees upon the completion of 15 years of satisfactory, continuous service. The award shall be made annually in accordance with DHR policy.
§ 48-19. Pay grade assignment.
[Amended 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8]
Determining placement of positions in appropriate pay grades shall be based, among other things, on the relative difficulty and responsibility of the work; the prevailing pay rate for a comparable position in the public and private sectors in the recruitment area; the relationships among positions within the county; the recruitment and retention experience of the county; and the county's financial policies.
§ 48-20. Entrance pay rate.
The entrance pay rate shall normally be the base pay rate for the position. The Director may approve an entrance pay rate up to and including an additional 5% of the base pay rate. The Commissioners may approve another entrance pay rate at their discretion.
§ 48-21. Other salary adjustments.
D. Acting capacity.
(1) Acting capacity pay only applies to temporary assignments anticipated to be at least 30 consecutive days in duration and shall begin with the first full day of acting capacity.
(2) An employee or appointed official promoted to the position after serving in acting capacity shall receive the promotion salary increase based on the pre-acting capacity pay rate; however, the salary, after promotion, shall not be less than the acting capacity pay rate.
(3) When an employee or appointed official assumes responsibilities of a position in acting capacity that result in a change to the exempt or nonexempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employee or appointed official shall be compensated accordingly.
(4) Acting capacity pay may be awarded for a period not to exceed 6 months, unless specifically approved by the Commissioners.
(5) The Director and DHR shall authorize acting capacity pay for employees. The Commissioners shall authorize acting capacity pay for appointed officials.
E. Recall from layoff.
§ 48-22. Reclassification.
A. Higher pay grade assignment.
B. Lower pay grade assignment.
§ 48-23. Overtime pay.
A. In general.
B. Regular pay.
C. Overtime pay.
D. Exempt employees.
§ 48-24. Death benefits.
Upon the death of an employee who has completed a minimum of a year of full-time county service, the county shall pay the employee's estate or designated beneficiary a death benefit of one month's salary. This payment will equal 1/12 of the annual pay.
§ 48-25. Callback pay.
A. A nonexempt employee designated as emergency personnel who is called back to work outside of regular work hours shall be paid at the applicable hourly rate for all hours worked or for a minimum of 4 hours, whichever is greater.
B. Directors may designate persons as emergency personnel based upon a demonstrated need or emergency, either generally or for specific events.
§ 48-26. Shift differential pay.
An employee regularly assigned to work on any full shift where the majority of hours worked are after 4:00 p.m. or before 8:00 a.m. shall be paid a premium pay called "shift differential pay," for the hours worked between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
ARTICLE VII, Attendance and Leave
§ 48-27. Approval required; increments.
Leave requires supervisory approval and may be authorized with or without pay in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the work requirements of the county. An employee may use leave in ½ hour increments. DHR shall establish the procedure for crediting leave to an employee's account.
§ 48-28. Holiday leave.
Eligible employees receive paid holiday leave subject to the following:
A. The Commissioners shall determine which days are holidays. A director may permit or require that a holiday be observed on a day other than the scheduled holiday.
B. "Holiday" is defined as a leave day authorized by the Commissioners in recognition of certain holidays.
C. Holiday leave must be used by the last day of the last pay period in June of the fiscal year, and shall not be carried forward to the next year. Upon termination of county employment, no employee will be compensated for unused holiday leave.
D. Eligible employees include regular full-time and part-time employees and employees on initial probation.
E. An employee must be on active status immediately prior to and following the holiday in order to receive paid holiday leave.
F. Full-time and part-time employees shall receive paid holiday leave for all Commissioner-determined holidays.
G. If an employee is required to report for work on a holiday, and is absent on the holiday without approved leave, the employee forfeits paid holiday leave and may be otherwise disciplined.
§ 48-29. Annual leave.
A. Accrual rate.
D. Termination of County employment.
§ 48-30. Sick leave.
A. Accrual rate.
(1) Sick leave may be used when an employee is ill, as well as for routine medical checkups.
(2) An employee on initial probation may use sick leave.
(3) Family sick leave. Accrued sick leave may be used to care for an immediate family member who is sick.
(a) A regular employee and an employee on initial probation may use up to 8 days of accrued sick leave during each fiscal year for family sick leave.
(b) Immediate family, for purposes of family sick leave, includes the employee's spouse, parent, child (biological, adopted, foster child, step child or legal ward).
E. Termination of County employment.
G. Encumbered leave.
(1) An employee must use all accrued sick, personal and compensatory leave before encumbering annual leave.
(2) Encumbered leave begins upon notification of approval and may not be retroactive.
(3) Annual leave may not be used while encumbered and shall be unencumbered pro rata for each sick leave hour earned after an employee's return to work.
(4) Upon termination of County employment, an employee will not be paid for any encumbered annual leave balance.
H. Advanced sick leave.
§ 48-31. Personal leave.
A. Number of days.
B. Use and accumulation.
C. Termination of County employment.
§ 48-32. Compensatory leave.
[Amended 08/20/01 by Ord. No. 01-10]
A. Employees who are nonexempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may choose to receive compensatory leave for each hour worked over their regularly scheduled work hours per workweek.
B. Nonexempt employees must choose compensatory leave in lieu of paid overtime prior to the performance of any overtime hours. Employees must make their choice in writing on forms provided by DHR.
C. Compensatory leave shall be earned at the rate of 1½ hours of compensatory leave for each hour worked over 40 hours. For a nonexempt employee whose regularly scheduled work hours are less than 40 per week, compensatory leave will be accrued on an hour-for-hour basis for hours worked up to 40.
D. Nonexempt employees may accumulate a maximum of 40 hours of compensatory leave. All hours earned over 40 shall be paid.
E. Compensatory leave must be approved in advance by an employee's immediate supervisor before it is accrued or used. Approval to use accrued compensatory leave shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as amended.
F. Upon termination of County employment, an employee shall be paid for all accumulated compensatory leave at the final regular rate of pay.
§ 48-33. Administrative leave.
Employees, including employees on initial probation, shall, with supervisory approval, be granted paid administrative leave in accordance with the following:
A. Jury duty.
B. Subpoenaed witness.
(1) An employee shall receive bereavement leave upon the death of an immediate family member, not to exceed 3 regularly scheduled workdays or 5, if travel requires an overnight stay.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, "immediate family member" includes spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sister, and brother. Immediate family members defined in this subsection also include other relatives residing with the employee, step relatives, and relatives-in-law.
(3) An employee's supervisor may approve up to one workday of bereavement leave to attend the funeral of family members, other than immediate family, not to exceed 2 workdays per fiscal year.
E. Emergency volunteer.
(1) Emergency leave may be granted for all or part of a normal workday.
(2) Emergency leave may be granted to all or part of the work force depending on the nature and extent of the emergency.
(3) When emergency leave has not been granted, and a potentially hazardous situation exists for employees, supervisors may allow employees to use leave other than sick leave.
§ 48-34. Leave of absence without pay.
B. Leave accrual.
D. Return to active employment.
ARTICLE VIII, Probation
§ 48-35. Initial probation.
C. Rejection on initial probation.
D. Performance review.
§ 48-36. Performance probation.
An employee may be placed on performance probation following an annual or special performance review in accordance with Article IX, § 48-39C. Performance probation may occur when an employee does not maintain a satisfactory level of performance. If, during the course of a performance probation, the employee does not maintain a satisfactory level of performance, the employee may be discharged. In no event shall performance probation exceed 6 months. At the end of the performance probation, the supervisor shall complete a second performance review.
ARTICLE IX, Performance Review Programs
[Amended 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8]
§ 48-37. Purpose.
The purpose of the employee performance review programs is to evaluate employee performance regularly and consistently. A review provides relevant information for determining employee training and development needs, salary increases, promotions, demotions, and discharges.
§ 48-38. Performance review categories.
DHR establishes and implements the employee performance review program.
§ 48-39. Performance review program.
A. In general.
B. Performance review criteria.
C. Review schedule.
(1) Initial probationary period.
(a) At least 2 weeks' prior to completion of the initial probationary period, the supervisor shall complete a performance review in accordance with Article VIII, unless the employee is to be rejected on initial probation.
(b) An employee rejected on initial probation shall receive 2 weeks severance pay.
(2) Annual performance review.
D. Special performance review.
E. Performance probation review.
F. Grievances of performance reviews.
§ 48-40. (Reserved)[Deleted 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8.]
ARTICLE X, Outside Employment
§ 48-41. Conflicts with county employment prohibited.
An employee may not engage in outside employment that could create a conflict with the employee's County employment.
§ 48-42. Notification of outside employment; determination of conflict.
An employee who engages in outside employment must notify the supervisor and Director in writing. The supervisor and Director shall review the outside employment request to determine if a potential conflict exists and if the mission of the agency could be adversely affected by the employment. If their determination is affirmative, the employee shall not engage in the outside employment. If the supervisor and Director determine that the outside employment would neither create a conflict nor adversely affect the mission of the agency, the supervisor and Director shall send a copy of the determination and request for outside employment to DHR for review and referral to the Carroll County Ethics Commission. If the Ethics Commission determines that a potential conflict of interest exists, the employee shall not engage in the outside employment. The Ethics Commission shall notify the employee, supervisor, Director and Director of DHR of its decision in each case.
ARTICLE XI, Termination of Employment
§ 48-43. Methods.
(1) To resign in good standing, an employee must file written notice of the resignation and its effective date with the employee's Director at least 14 calendar days before the resignation. Unless the employee's Director waives notice, failure to give notice shall be documented in the employee's personnel record and may be cause for denying future County employment.
(2) Upon written notice of resignation and its effective date, the Director may approve, but is not required to approve, the use of leave, in accordance with the provisions in Article VII, Attendance and Leave, not to exceed 10 workdays, prior to the employee's effective date of resignation.
(1) A supervisor recommending discharge must meet with the employee to notify the employee of the recommendation and the reasons for discharge. If the recommendation remains unchanged, the supervisor shall refer the matter to DHR in writing and on forms DHR provides.
(2) The Director or Deputy Director of DHR shall meet with the employee to review the supervisor's recommendation and to listen to the employee's views, including any reasons why the employee considers discharge improper. DHR shall establish the procedure for the meeting.
(3) If the Director or Deputy Director of DHR rejects the discharge recommendation, DHR shall determine alternate discipline and the employee shall return to work. If the Director or Deputy Director of DHR upholds the recommendation, the supervisor shall discharge the employee.
(4) Where a supervisor recommends discharge of an employee in DHR, the Chief of Staff to the Commissioners shall act on behalf of the Director or Deputy Director of DHR for purposes of this section.
§ 48-44. Appointed officials.
A. Term and reappointment.
(1) The Commissioners may terminate employment of an appointed official listed in the Subsection A of this section at any time, without cause, upon a minimum of 2 months' written notice or with 2 months' severance pay. If such an appointed official is terminated for cause, the termination shall take effect immediately without prior notice or severance pay.
(2) Upon written notice of resignation and its effective date, and with notice of at least 14 calendar days before the resignation; the Commissioners may approve, but are not required to approve, the use of leave, in accordance with the provisions in Article VII, Attendance and Leave, not to exceed 10 workdays, prior to the appointed official's effective date of resignation.
§ 48-45. Effect of termination.
All rights, benefits, and privileges cease upon termination of County employment, unless federal, state or local law provides otherwise. An employee returning to County service following termination receives no seniority privileges or credit for previous service unless otherwise granted by law. The preceding sentence does not apply to an employee returning after a layoff of less than 12 months.
§ 48-46. Exit interviews.
DHR shall hold a confidential exit interview with any departing employee requesting one and randomly with other departing employees. DHR may disclose portions of the interview it deems appropriate only to the agency in interest.
ARTICLE XII, Discipline
§ 48-47. Purpose; types of discipline.
The purpose of discipline is to assure adherence to policies the County determines necessary to maintain efficiency. The Commissioners may impose whatever sanctions they deem necessary, according to the circumstances of each case. Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, oral reprimands, written reprimands, suspension without pay, withholding of pay increases, demotion, discharge, or any other sanction deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of management and the Commissioners.
§ 48-48. Progressive discipline.
In most cases, but not all, supervisors shall impose a progression of disciplinary actions before recommending discharge. For example, an employee may receive an oral reprimand, a written reprimand, and then a demotion, in one case; in another case, the employee might receive a written reprimand, a suspension, then withholding of a pay increase. Normally, disciplinary measures are progressively severe with each subsequent infraction, but the County reserves the right to judge each case individually, based on such factors as the seriousness of infraction, the employee's performance record and length of County service, and any other relevant consideration.
§ 48-49. Grievances of disciplinary actions.
An employee may grieve disciplinary actions in accordance with Article XIII.
ARTICLE XIII, Grievances
§ 48-50. Exclusive remedy.
This chapter contains the exclusive procedure for presenting and resolving grievances. An employee may pursue a grievance only as specified here.
§ 48-51. Filing of grievance form required.
With the exception of Step One grievances, all grievances shall be made in writing on forms approved by DHR and signed by the aggrieved employee. The grievant must specify the nature of the dispute, the provisions of this chapter at issue and the remedy requested.
§ 48-52. Time limits.
Any time limit in this chapter may be extended by agreement of both sides in advance of its expiration. The Commissioners may extend the time limits for Step Four grievances. If an employee fails to comply with any time limit in this chapter, the grievance will be dismissed. If the County fails to comply with any time limit in this chapter, the grievance will automatically proceed to the next step.
§ 48-53. Special circumstances.
For suspension of more than 5 days or a discharge, an employee shall start with Step Three of the procedure.
§ 48-54. Procedure.
A. Step One Grievance.
B. Step Two Grievance.
C. Step Three Grievance.
(2) Compliance with procedural requirements.
(3) Time of hearing.
(4) Composition of Grievance Review Board.
(5) Hearing and decision.
(a) In all grievances except those involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, the Grievance Review Board shall determine the procedure for the hearing, giving both sides the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. The employee may be represented by anyone the employee chooses.
(b) In grievances involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, the Grievance Review Board shall tape record the hearing. The employee may be represented by anyone the employee chooses. Each side shall have the opportunity to present evidence and to question fully all witnesses.
(c) The Grievance Review Board shall mail its written decision within 30 days after the hearing. The decision shall be final and binding on all parties, except as provided in Subsection D(1) below.
D. Step Four Grievance.
(1) Appeal to Commissioners.
ARTICLE XIV, Equal Opportunity Compliance
§ 48-55. Discrimination and sexual harassment prohibited.
The County does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination against any employee on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Likewise, the County does not tolerate sexual harassment against any employee or by any employee. An employee subjected to any form of discrimination, including sexual harassment, is entitled to a prompt, fair resolution.
§ 48-56. Development of policies and program implementation.
DHR shall develop policies governing equal opportunity compliance. Policies will contain procedures to resolve complaints and expedite resolutions. DHR shall also develop and oversee programs implementing this chapter.