Defining Key Terms

COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) is a periodic increase in wages or salaries to compensate for the loss in purchasing power of money due to inflation. The rate of COLA is commonly pegged to a general index such as consumer price index (CPI). Also called cost of living allowance. The determination of whether or not a COLA is offered and the amount of the COLA is made by the Maryland State Legislature.

Contingent Employee is a non-regular status of employment for Nonexempt and Exempt staff positions. There are two types of contingent employees:

  • Contingent I (“C1”) positions are non-regular, and are paid on an hourly basis. The Contingent 1 position may be seasonal or intermittent, and the agreement for a term of six months or fewer. Contingent 1 employees are ineligible for benefits under Board of Regents policy. Departments may hire a Contingent I employee without a competitive selection process as long as minimum qualifications are met.
  • Contingent II (“C2”) positions are non-regular in nature. C2s are appointed on a full-time or on a part-time basis of 50% or more of full-time. A C2 agreement is for a term of more than six months, and no more than twelve months. A minimum level of benefits is guaranteed for Contingent 2 employees under applicable Board of Regents policy.  Additional benefits may be negotiated, at the discretion of the department, up to the level of similarly situated regular employees. Contingent 2 vacancies require a competitive selection process.

Exempt positions are managerial, administrative and professional. They are salaried positions that are not subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt employees are ineligible to receive overtime; a full-time commitment typically requires a minimum of 40 hours per work week. Exempt employees are expected to work the hours necessary to complete assignments on a schedule that satisfies the requirements of the job. Effective December 1, 2016, all Exempt employees must be paid at least $913.00 per week to be considered Exempt. An Exempt employee must meet two criteria for Exemption:1) duties are managerial, administrative, and/or professional, and 2) the annual salary must be at least $47,476.

Exempt Pay Band refers to a level within the University of Maryland’s broad-banded pay structure for Exempt employees. There are five pay bands. Each Exempt position is assigned a pay band based on the scope, responsibilities and minimum qualifications required of the position.

Job Classification is a systematic procedure for gathering information about a position to determine the most appropriate position classification. This general means the assignment of a position to a hierarchical structure and salary grade based on job evaluation of the job content and the going rate of comparable jobs in the external labor market.

Reclassifications  or reclass actions are based on significant and substantial changes in the position’s primary duties and responsibilities or when organizational structures have changed. The changes have to have evolved and/or were unforeseen at the time of hire and are crucial to the mission and/or organizational effectiveness of the USM institution, or as a result of changes in a job evaluation program. A position may or may not have an incumbent at the time of a reclass.

Regular Employee is an employee paid from authorized “line” funds. Regular employees are retirement-eligible and eligible for various other benefits defined by their employment category status. USM Policies apply. AFSCME MOU may apply.

New Hire is considered to be one that is the result of a search and selection process, regardless of whether the individual comes from within or outside of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Nonexempt positions are support positions in maintenance, office, service, and technical/paraprofessional areas. These positions are subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. They are paid on an hourly basis and must be paid overtime for time worked that exceeds 40 hours in the standard workweek. Nonexempt employees earn overtime at a rate of time-and-one-half of the regular hourly rate of pay for time that exceeds 40 hours in a paid status, including all paid leave during the university’s standard workweek. The university’s workweek begins Sunday at 12:00 a.m. and ends the following Saturday at midnight.

Nonexempt Pay Range refers to a level within the USM Nonexempt Salary Structure. The USM Nonexempt Salary Structure is currently made up of 16 pay ranges.

Promotion is the advancement of a person to a higher pay level. This could be through a competitive search process or the reclassification process.

Salary Range is the range of wages, from minimum to maximum, which is assigned to a group of jobs that pay similar rates in the market.

Target Range is the market salary range assigned to a particular Exempt staff position. The hiring unit may, with appropriate approvals, hire within this set range. The range is derived from market surveys. The market average equals 100% of the market. The target range is from 80% to 100% of the market.

Last updated: October 4, 2016

Last updated: October 4, 2016