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by Mark Reutter7:08 pmJul 5, 20220

County employees excluded from 2% pay hike will get back pay

The Olszewski administration says it will fix an unintended error impacting nearly 1,000 employees.

Above: Historic Towson Courthouse, home of Baltimore County government. (Mark Reutter)

Nearly 1,000 Baltimore County employees who missed out on a 2% pay raise last January due to a classification glitch will be getting back pay, the Olszewski administration told The Brew today.

“The county is currently switching to Workday, a new payroll system, and employees will receive their retroactive pay in September,” according to Erica Palmisano, press aide to the county executive.

“The decision was made to right what was an unintended exclusion,” she said.

A month ago, County Inspector General Kelly Madigan issued a report detailing how some of the lowest-paid county workers had been excluded from the cost-of-living (COLA) benefit.

Missing out on the pay hike were security guards, clerks, nursing aides, office assistants and others.

Antiquated System

An “antiquated compensation system” had given the employees a longevity benefit instead of the 2% COLA hike, Madigan found, impacting about one in 10 county workers.

At the time of the report, County Administrator Stacy Rodgers would not commit to the IG’s recommendation that the affected employees be made “whole,” saying the pay issue had to be dealt with as part of the ongoing implementation of the WorkDay system.

The investigation was started after a county employee complained that the 2% hike scheduled for all employees in January was not reflected in their paycheck.

When the employee sought information about the omission, “no clear and adequate justification for the exclusion” was provided by either supervisors or the human resources office, Madigan said.

Madigan later determined that the issue “had not been elevated to the highest levels of the administration” until her investigation was well underway.

Rodgers chided the IG for bringing the pay issue to public attention, saying in a response letter that “there should be opportunities to discuss matters like this as opposed to handling through an investigative process.”

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