Frederick County Council Discusses Personnel Rule Changes

They would codify what’s already being done currently.                                                                                         


Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Council is considering changes to the county’s personnel rules.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater presented the changes which state that the county cannot use salary history as a basis for a job offer, nor can it request a salary history from an applicant. “Research has shown that including questions about salary history tends to have a negative affect on people of color and women because there are such pay gaps. So including that information can have a negative affect on them as they’re looking for work, and that’s  what part of the reason the state passed the law that they did,” she said.

Another change would not require a job applicant to disclose any criminal convictions, and that in and of itself would not prevent someone from getting a job. “Obviously, there are different positions such as with the Sheriff’s Office that require certain background checks and other things that this would not pertain to,” say Fitzwater.

She says these personnel changes mirror what the state has already put in place, but have not required local jurisdictions to follow suit. Fitzwater also said these measures would codify into law what is already in practice in the County’s Human Resources office.

During the discussion, Councilman Steve McKay raised some points. He said it may be necessary to know if a job applicant has a history of multiple convictions. “They may not be reformed if they keep committing these offenses,” he said “So I think that’s something that should be part of the information gathering..”

Councilwoman Fitzwater said wording in  the measure  could be revised to address this issue.

McKay also said the county may want to know any applicant’s salary history as it may have some bearing on whether that person is the right one for the a job opening. “Salary history is also a reflection of prior work performance that is germane in the interview,” he said. “You can have someone whose been in a job for ten years. Wow, that’s great! But their salary has barely budged over that ten years And maybe because they didn’t do the job very well, but well enough to stay it it.”

In response, supporters say education and experience should be the criteria for hiring a job candidate. Councilwoman Fitzwater says providing salary history is voluntary on the part of the applicant.

The proposed personnel rules are expected to be formally introduced to the Council on Tuesday November 17th.


By Kevin McManus