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The Council shall prescribe by law a merit system for all officers and employees of the County government except: (a) members of the Council, the County Executive, the Chief Administrative Officer, the County Attorney; (b) the heads of the departments, principal offices and agencies, as defined by law; (c) any officer holding any other position designated by law as a non-merit position; (d) one or more confidential aides for each member of the Council; (e) two senior professional staff members for the Council as a whole as the Council may designate from time to time; (f) three special assistants to the County Executive as the Executive may designate from time to time; (g) special legal counsel employed pursuant to this Charter; (h) members of boards and commissions; and (i) other officers authorized by law to serve in a quasi-judicial capacity.
Any law which creates a new department, principal office, or agency, or designates a position as a non-merit position, requires the affirmative vote of six Councilmembers for enactment. Any law which repeals the designation of a position as a non-merit position requires the affirmative vote of five Councilmembers for enactment.
Officers and employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement may be excluded from provisions of law governing the merit system only to the extent that the applicability of those provisions is made subject to collective bargaining by legislation enacted under Section 510, Section 510A, or Section 511 of this Charter.
The merit system shall provide the means to recruit, select, develop, and maintain an effective, non-partisan, and responsive work force with personnel actions based on demonstrated merit and fitness. Salaries and wages of all classified employees in the merit system shall be determined pursuant to a uniform salary plan. The Council shall establish by law a system of retirement pay.
The Council by law may exempt probationary employees, temporary employees, and term employees from some or all of the provisions of law governing the merit system, but the law shall require these employees to be recruited, selected and promoted on the basis of demonstrated merit and fitness.
The Council by law may establish within the merit system a program to recruit and select qualified individuals with severe physical or mental disabilities on a noncompetitive basis. (Election of 11-4-80; election of 11-6-84; election of 11-8-94; election of 11-5-96; election of 11-3-98; election of 11-7-2000; election of 11-6-2012; election of 11-6-18.)
Editor's note—Section 401 of the Montgomery County Charter was cited in Montgomery County, Maryland v. Jamsa, 153 Md. App. 346, 836 A. 2d 745 (2003) and interpreted in Anastasi v. Montgomery County, 123 Md. App. 472, 719 A.2d 980 (1998).
See County Attorney Opinion dated 10/28/10 comparing the limits on Council authority to make changes to retirement benefits with its ability to modify health benefits. See County Attorney Opinion dated 3/12/09 explaining the Inspector General’s authority to investigate an ongoing personnel matter as part of the goal of detecting and deterring fraud, waste and abuse. See County Attorney Opinion dated 12/17/08 discussing the authority and role of the Merit System Protection Board and the role of the County Attorney as legal adviser. See County Attorney Opinion dated 11/26/01-A explaining that police sergeants are considered FLSA exempt, even though certain duty assignments may render them eligible for overtime pay. See County Attorney Opinion dated 5/10/99 recognizing that authorized reimbursement for college tuition, training and/or education costs made to County employees do not violate the Charter. See County Attorney Opinion dated 2/19/97 explaining that the County Executive has the authority to establish a separate salary schedule for non-merit heads of departments and principal offices within the Executive Branch. [attachment] See County Attorney Opinion dated 11/12/97 indicating that the Charter permits the use of merit system employees for pilot programs and enterprise programs, but prohibits the use of contract employees for these programs. See County Attorney Opinion No. 95.002 dated 5/17/95 explaining that a member of retirement plan who retires under the retirement incentive plan may participate in a County contract awarded under the procurement process. See County Attorney Opinion No. 90.007 dated 7/24/90 explaining that the County Council may amend the uniform salary plan only through legislation and not by resolution.