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  • Equal Pay Maryland

    I work for a local government agency. Recently the organization I work for has had trouble hiring people within my job description. What they did was hire new people with less experience and at a lower grade then my group at what they call a fair market value salary. Also after one year they will be promoted to the same grade as we are with a 10% salary increase. When they do that are they obligated to change all within that group to the same fair market salary? What has happened is people within my group with 9 years experience are going to be making less than the new people with one year experience. Is this really legal or do we have grounds for a lawsuit?

  • #2
    There is nothing in the law for the vast majority of workers that states those who have worked there longer must be paid more than new hires.

    As you mention you work for the government, depending upon your job, there may or may not be some regulation in COMAR that governs salaries and grades. Such a policy would not pass muster for example, if you were a teacher. If you are not a state employee but rather work for a local government, there may be something in the local regulations governing this but that is extremely rare. If you are in a union, there may also be a provision in your CBA regarding this.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Taken out of policy

      This is taken right out of our personnel policy about grade classifications.


      I PURPOSE

      The Commission's Position Classification and Salary Grade Plan establishes a uniform structure of job relationships. All positions in the Commission are classified within this structure by title and pay grade. The title reflects the nature of the work performed by the incumbent of the position, and the pay grade refers to the salary range assigned to the position as indicated in the Commission's Classifications and Pay Schedules for All Positions. The assignment of a pay grade to a position is based on a number of factors including the relative level of responsibility and authority, the complexity of the work assigned, the qualifications required, and job market conditions. Classification factors facilitate systematic consideration of positions and the assurance of objective, equitable placement of positions within the job relationship structure. The Commission may, if necessary, establish additional classifications, combine, alter, amend, or abolish classifications at any time.

      The Human Resources Group is responsible for advising the Commission staff on classification and compensation matters. This responsibility includes:

      1. Conducting salary surveys to determine the pay status of positions relative to other organizations.

      2. Maintaining a master file of position descriptions of all position classifications.

      3. Recommending titles, qualification requirements and pay grades for all positions.

      4. Auditing positions to ensure that an equitable pay relationship is maintained among positions.

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      • #4
        Are they paying them outside the grade assigned for that job?
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          No they are still within the pay grade. If it is not defined in the policies would something like this hold up in a court as unfair practice by not evaluating existing employees based upon the new scale?

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          • #6
            Generally speaking, it is the employer's perogative to place people within the established salary grades. While there are some instances where the salary grades are established by COMAR or at least how the salary grades must be set up is established by COMAR, and if there is a union, this would be a negotiated item. the Circuit court in MD has at least twice recently held that where within that pay scale an employee falls is the perogative of the employer. Both cases I'm familiar with were cases where COMAR actually dictates how the salary scales must be set up, though in neither case was that what was challenged.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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