Maryland Courts

Office of Classification & Salary
Administration - Policies

SCOPE
This policy applies to all regular, contractual, and temporary employees.

JUDICIARY SALARY STRUCTURES

A. Salary Grades and Steps

The following salary structures contain a table of salary grades and steps that reflect the compensation level assigned to and used for most job classifications within the Judiciary. They are:

  1. Standard Salary Structure (J Scale)
  2. Technical Salary Structure (T Scale)
  3. Senior Management Salary Structure (S Scale)

B. Flat Rate Salaries

The Maryland Judiciary has the authority, via the Judiciary Human Resources Department (JHRD), to establish flat or fixed salaries and wage rates for special classes. As a result, there are some positions within the Judiciary that are compensated at a flat dollar amount, or flat rate of pay, which are not in a salary grade. Employees in flat rate positions do not receive salary step increases, but do receive Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) as granted.

C. Hourly Rates of Pay

Contractual and temporary positions within the Judiciary receive an hourly rate of pay.

COMPENSATION PRACTICES

Entrance Rates of Pay - Hiring Guideline

Hiring Guideline* for Additional Education or Related Experience:

Less than 1 year of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 1
1 to 2 years of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 2
2+ to 4 years of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 3
4+ to 6 years of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 4
6+ to 8 years of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 5
8+ to 10 years of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 6
10+ years of additional education or related experience Hire at Step 7
(*This Guideline does not pertain to Commissioners or Masters)

Employees who are new to State service or beyond reinstatement eligibility are hired at Step 1 of the appropriate salary grade for the respective position. Education and experience IN EXCESS of the minimum qualifications for the position may be considered per these guidelines.

This Guideline is to be used by the hiring authority, in consultation with the JHRD, to determine appropriate rates of entrance pay. Current staff levels should be taken into consideration so as not to apply this guideline in a manner that would cause salary inequities within the office/court for which the employee is being hired.

If a particular office/court within the Judiciary has documented a serious recruitment or retention issue for a specific job title to the satisfaction of the JHRD, special efforts will be made to address those issues.

Reinstatement

  1. When an employee is reinstated to the same classification, the employee’s salary shall be determined as follows:
    1. The salary grade will be the salary grade currently assigned to that classification
    2. The salary step of an employee reinstated prior to the next salary step date will be the same as the former salary step
    3. The salary step of an employee reinstated after the next salary step date will be the next salary step if the employee had six or more months of service at the former salary step.
    4. The salary step of an employee who is reinstated after the next salary step date will be the same as the former salary step if the employee had less than six months service at the former salary step.

  2. When an employee is reinstated to a previous classification but not in the one held at the time of separation, the employee’s salary will be determined as follows:
    1. The salary grade will be the salary grade currently assigned to that classification
    2. The salary step will be the greater of the salary step held at the time of separation or the salary step held in the previous classification.

  3. When an employee is reinstated to a classification not previously held, the employee’s salary shall be determined as follows:
    1. The salary grade is the salary grade currently assigned to that classification
    2. The salary step will be the step within the salary grade assigned to that classification, which compensates them at the step closest to the salary held at the time of separation from the Judiciary or other Maryland State Agency.

  4. When an employee is reinstated to a senior management position (“S” salary scale or grades T18 or T19), the employee may be placed at any step up to and including the maximum step of the salary grade, if approved by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the Chief Judge of the District Court, or the State Court Administrator, whomever is appropriate, or his/her designee.

Part-Time Employment
Compensation for part-time employment shall be determined by applying the ratio of hours authorized versus the regularly established number of working hours to the full-time annual salary of the position.

Performance Step Increase
This section applies only to regular employees who have successfully completed an initial probation, and is dependent upon funding and approval of the Chief Judge, Court of Appeals.

  1. Employees hired into a regular position with the State of Maryland, between January 1 and June 30 will be eligible for a step increase effective January 1 of the following year. Employees hired with the State of Maryland between July 1 and December 31 will be eligible for a step increase effective July 1 of the following year.
  2. The annual performance evaluation gives the employee an overall rating of their performance for the previous year and is the basis for determining if the employee is eligible to receive a step increase.

Contract Renewals
Prior to the contract renewal period, the Administrative Official may request to increase the compensation level of a contractual employee at renewal time, provided the contract is renewed with the same employee who has satisfactory or better performance. Such requests are to be submitted to the JHRD, Employment & Benefits Unit.

Reassignment [Also see Policy on Reassignment and Transfer.]
  The employee’s salary is not affected by reassignment and the employee retains his/her existing PIN.
New Classifications The JHRD establishes new job classifications, as deemed necessary based on the application of standard classification methodology, to meet operational needs of the Judiciary.

Reclassification

  1. All requests for reclassifications should be accompanied by an updated Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ), a current organization chart for the Department/Unit, and a cover letter from the Administrative Official providing justification as to how the responsibilities of the position have changed.

  2. When a regular employee’s position is reclassified to a classification that has a higher salary grade, the employee’s salary will be placed in the lowest step of the higher grade that provides for at least an increase in pay of 6% for a one salary grade change, 9% for a two salary grade change, or 12% for a change of three or more salary grades.

  3. Reclassification Authorities
    1. All reclassification requests must be submitted, reviewed and approved by the JHRD.
    2. The submittal of a reclassification request involving an Executive/Senior Management position must be approved by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, prior to submitting the request to the JHRD.
    3. The effective date of a reclassification action will usually coincide with the beginning of a pay period.

  4. Request for Review of Classification Decisions - after receiving notification of the decision, the Administrative Official may request that the study results be reconsidered to account for any new or additional information. This request must be in writing, and should include any other information or clarification points. The Judiciary Classification and Compensation Unit will consider all information presented and render a final decision. This decision is considered final and there is no procedure for further review or appeal.

Promotion

  1. Adjusted Salary – The new salary grade of a promoted employee will be determined by the classification to which the employee is promoted. The adjustment in salary shall be the lowest step that provides for an increase in pay of 6% for a promotion of one salary grade, 9% for a promotion of two salary grades, or 12% for a promotion of three or more salary grades (This includes non-competitive promotions).

  2. As approved by the JHRD, the Judiciary’s Hiring Guidelines For Additional Education or Related Experience will take precedence and apply to an internal promotional candidate, if said candidate would otherwise have received a lower salary in accordance with this policy governing promotions (Also see Policy on Recruitment, Examination, and Selection).

  3. An employee who is promoted from a classification with a Flat Rate salary to a classification with a salary grade, will initially be pegged to the corresponding salary grade for that flat rate salary (based on midpoint), and then placed in the lowest salary step of the new salary grade that provides for at least an increase in pay of 6% for a one salary grade promotion, 9% for a two salary grade promotion, or 12% for a promotion of three or more salary grades.

  4. An employee who is promoted from a classification with a salary grade to a classification with a flat rate shall receive the specified flat rate salary.

Acting Capacity

  1. Requests for Acting Capacity should be accompanied by a completed Acting Capacity form and a current organizational chart. The designated employee must meet the minimum qualifications for the acting classification and must perform all of the essential duties of the position. There is a ten workday waiting period before acting capacity payment begins.

  2. Acting Capacity may be granted when a function is being performed due to the continuous temporary absence of another employee, when there is a vacant position, or when there is a temporary assignment of higher-level duties assigned to a position. Acting Capacity requests are typically approved for “up to 6 months.” The Executive Director of Human Resources or designee must approve extensions of acting capacity requests.

  3. When a regular employee is assigned duties in an acting capacity, the grade level and salary deemed most appropriate shall be determined by the JHRD. The affected employee’s salary will be temporarily adjusted to the equivalent of what their salary would be if they were promoted to the indicated classification.

Demotion

  1. Adjusted Salary – The new salary grade of a demoted employee will be determined by the classification to which the employee is demoted, with consideration given for any salary increases granted generally. The employee will be moved from one classification to another classification with a lower salary grade, provided the employee meets the minimum qualifications for the position. The adjustment in salary shall provide for at least a reduction in pay of 6% for a demotion of one salary grade, 9% for a demotion of two salary grades, or 12% for a demotion of three or more salary grades.

  2. Demotion Grandfathering Provision – When an employee is voluntarily demoted, the intent of this policy is to adjust the employee’s salary to the level previously paid before the reclassification/promotion action. The percentage change due to demotion should be consistent with the applicable percentage change granted the employee for the original reclassification/promotion action.

  3. Voluntary Demotion – An employee may request, in writing, to be demoted to a job classification of a lower grade or salary for which he or she meets the minimum qualifications.

  4. Involuntary Demotion for Disciplinary Reasons – An Administrative Official may demote an employee, without the employee’s consent, for disciplinary reasons due to performance or job-related conduct. An involuntary demotion must be in accordance with the Judiciary’s Policy on Progressive Discipline. Such a demotion would be accompanied by the appropriate salary reduction as otherwise described in this policy.

  5. Involuntary Demotion to Facilitate an Organizational Change - An Administrative Official may demote an employee, without the employee’s consent, in order to facilitate a necessary organizational change. Such a change could result in a lower level classification and salary.

  6. An employee demoted into a classification in which the employee previously and successfully completed a probation period, is not required to serve a new probation period.

Salary or Pay Adjustments Resulting from Special Studies
Salary grade or pay adjustments may be granted as a result of occupational or group studies conducted by the JHRD, with the authorization of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Such studies may be conducted due to recruitment and retention difficulties, internal or external equity concerns, substantial changes in job function, etc.

When the salary grade of a classification or occupational group series increases, the employee’s salary step will be determined in accordance with the pay practices for reclassification.

When the salary grade of a classification or occupational group series is reduced, new employees entering into that classification will be placed in the lower salary grade. Employees already in that classification will not have their salary grade or step affected and will continue to be eligible for subsequent salary steps. Those positions will be marked for study upon vacancy.

General Cost-of-Living (COLA) Increase
If the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals authorizes a general cost-of-living (COLA) increase, all salaries will be adjusted as applicable.

PROCESSING SEQUENCE FOR SIMULTANEOUS SALARY TRANSACTIONS

  1. Two or more transactions that affect the salary for a particular employee, with the same effective date, will be processed in the following sequence:
    1. General increase of the salary schedule
    2. Step increase
    3. All other transactions (including promotion, reclassification, transfer and demotion)

  2. The JHRD may establish time limits, deadlines, and/or cut-off dates for the submission of transactions affecting salaries to ensure timely processing of all actions, and to adhere to certain processing requirements of the Department of Budget & Management.

OVERTIME

Non-Exempt employees (cash overtime eligible) normally are paid cash
overtime at the rate of time and one-half for all overtime hours worked unless decided otherwise by the Administrative Official or in other exceptional cases described in this subsection.*

*Eligible non-exempt employees will be compensated in cash for all overtime hours worked unless decided otherwise by the Administrative Official upon the employee’s request, or because of business necessity as determined as appropriate by the Administrative Official, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the Chief Judge of the District Court, or the State Court Administrator, with advance notice given to the employee, in which case the employee will be compensated with compensatory leave at the rate of time and one half.

Exempt employees earn compensatory leave at the straight time rate unless the employee works during a Judiciary holiday, delayed opening, or an early/emergency release, in which case, the employee will earn compensatory leave at the rate of time and one-half. (Except for teleworkers who are working from a remote site. They will earn compensatory leave at the straight time rate.) With prior authorization from the State Court Administrator or the Chief Judge of the District Court, whomever is appropriate, cash may be paid to an exempt employee in lieu of compensatory leave. This exception generally will be applied only in extreme and extraordinary circumstances.

SHIFT DIFFERENTIAL

Shift Differential is paid to eligible employees on a pro-rated basis as needed, if an employee’s shift begins between certain hours of the workday.

A qualifying shift is one that begins anytime between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., inclusive.

A differential of $10.00 per shift is payable when working an entire eligible shift. Shift differential is prorated when working any part of an eligible shift.

Employees will not be paid shift differential when on paid leave.

It is each employee’s responsibility to accurately and completely record all hours worked on the appropriate time report. Employees should indicate shift differential by putting a.m. or p.m. after the hour the shift begins.

When a supervisor or manager reviews a time report of an employee and finds time worked that meets the requirements for shift differential as set out above, the supervisor or manager should highlight the time worked and initial it in order to bring it to the attention of the Payroll and Leave Accounting Unit of the JHRD.

Note: Special hours and rules apply to Commissioners.

DOCUMENTATION
The JHRD will retain documentation of all salary transactions according to the State of Maryland Records Retention Schedule.

EXCEPTIONS
The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, may authorize exceptions to these compensation procedures when it is in the best interest of the State and the Judiciary.

INTERPRETIVE AUTHORITY
The JHRD, in consultation with other parties as appropriate, is responsible for the interpretation of this policy.