Office of Employee Relations and Services

Office of Employee Relations and Services is a one-stop operation that provides high quality and consistent customer service to all MSDE staff in matters related to employee pay, benefits, retirement, leave, and personnel matters to promote MSDE as a desirable employer and thriving workplace. The office is responsible for conducting investigations, administering discipline and administering performance evaluation.

Employee Services

New Employee Orientation and Onboarding (NEOO) is conducted every two weeks on a Wednesday. Employees receive an email invitation for the NEOO. Employees are required to submit all the forms in the checklist to ensure their payroll, benefits and retirement enrollments are completed on time.

The State of Maryland provides a comprehensive benefits package to eligible employees and retirees.

New MSDE employees must enroll in benefits via the Workday system within 60 days from the date of hire. Employees who miss the deadline or choose not to enroll in the benefits within the first 60 days have to wait for the annual Open Enrollment to enroll in health benefits.

Individuals who are enrolled in health benefits may only make changes during Open Enrollment. However, certain changes can be made outside of the Open Enrollment period, if employees experience a qualifying change in status. Examples include, birth/adoption, marriage or divorce, loss of other coverage, death of a dependent or gaining coverage elsewhere. Qualifying status changes can also be made through Workday.

Additional details regarding eligibility, benefit options, premiums, required documentation and enrollment process are available at the Department of Budget and Management health benefits website.

MSDE employees are eligible to earn and use different types of leave. Details are available on the Leave Information webpage.

Employees may request annual, personal and sick leave requests using the Workday system. Annual and personal leave requests must be made as far in advance as possible to ensure adequate operational coverage.

 Authorized medical documentation is required for consecutive sick leave usage of five or more days. Employees are advised to submit authorized medical documentation for each medical absence. Employees may be required to submit medical documentation after six days of intermittent sick leave usage without authorized medical documentation.

The following leave types require forms and documents to be submitted to the Office of Human Resources for review and approval.

COVID-19 Leave: Employees who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible for up to 80 hours leave through December 31, 2022 for up to 80 hours of leave. Additional details including the leave forms are available on the COVID-19 webpage.

Family and Medical Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law which requires certain employers, including the State of Maryland, to grant job protected leave to employees who meet FMLA's eligibility requirements. The law entitles eligible employees to an absence of up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave (a covered employer may allow for paid or unpaid leave) in any 12-month period for any of the following reasons:
  • The birth of a child, and to care for the newborn child; 
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care; 
  • Necessary care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, or an adult child who cannot care for himself or herself;  
  • A serious health condition that makes an employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job; or 
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on (or has been notified of an impending call to) “covered active duty” in the Armed Forces. This provision was effective January 16, 2009 and was amended on October 28, 2009.

Employees applying for an FMLA eligible leave should fill out WH-380 E - Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition.

To apply for FMLA leave to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition, employees should submit form WH-380 F - Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition.

Additional details regarding eligibility and FMLA guidelines are available on the FMLA webpage.

Parental Leave: Parental Leave is paid leave granted to a primary caregiver to care for and nurture the employee’s child within 6 months following the birth or adoption by the employee of a child less than 6 years of age. Employees are required to exhaust any available annual or personal leave prior to being granted Parental Leave. Employees must complete the leave request form and submit it to the Office of Human Resources for approval.

Sick and Safe Leave: Under the provisions of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, sick and safe leave is available to contractual employees and regular employees that qualify under the specific requirements. Details are available at the DBM’s leave page.

Employees are paid every other Wednesday depending on whether they are regular employees or contractual employees. The following links provide important payroll information.

Pay Periods and Pay Dates:
Payroll and Tax Forms: 
All new employees are required to submit the following forms at the start of their employment.
Once employees receive their first paycheck, an online account can be setup on the Payroll Online Service Center website to access the paystubs, make changes to the tax withholds or direct deposit information, and access the annual W2 tax forms. 

Maryland State Employee Retirement and Pension Plan
MSDE retirement benefits are administered through Maryland State Retirement and Pension Program (SRPS). Participation in the state retirement plan is mandatory. Regular employees must contribute seven percent of their gross earnings to SRPS. Comprehensive details regarding the retirement and pension plan provisions and benefits are available on the Maryland State Retirement Agency’s website.

Enrolling in the SRPS Plan
Important: The following retirement forms must be emailed to MSDE’s Retirement Coordinator and not directly to SRPS. Contractual employees are not eligible for retirement benefits. If you have transferred from another state agency and separate pension system, please let HR know because your pension contribution rate may change.

Supplemental Pension Plans
The State of Maryland provides supplemental pension plans for employees that wish to supplement the
state’s pension plan under the Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plans
(“MSRP”).

All employees of the State of Maryland, including contractual employees, are eligible to participate in
the 457(b) and 401(k) plans. State employees who work for a State educational institution are also
eligible to join the 403(b) plan.

MSRP membership includes four supplemental retirement plans - the 457(b), 401(k), 403(b), and the
401(a) Match. The plans offer employees the following:
  • Competitive plans fees
  • Diversified investment options
  • Flexible payout options
  • Easy online account access

The supplemental pension plans are administered by Nationwide. Nationwide’s Team MSRP has
Financial Field Representatives that can assist regular employees during employment and Personal
Retirement Consultants when you are within five (5) years from retirement or in retirement.

Please visit the MSRP website for more information.

Employees retiring or resigning from MSDE are required to complete the resignation form.

Planning for Retirement
If you plan on retiring from MSDE, please contact the Office of Employee Relations and Services for the following:
  • Schedule a meeting with MSDE’s Retirement Coordinator to discuss the retirement process and to get the necessary paperwork to complete. Retirement paperwork needs to be submitted 2-3 months prior to your retirement date.
  • Once the paperwork is completed, you will return it to your agency’s retirement coordinator. 
  • The coordinator will then review your paperwork for accuracy and if the paperwork is accurate then they will forward it to the State Retirement Agency for processing. Retirement dates are always the 1st of the month. Pension checks are received at the end of the month

To apply for retirement benefits, employees should submit four (4) forms:

Offboarding Steps
On your last working day, please be sure to complete the following steps:
  • Submit your final timesheet
  • Return your MSDE ID, parking pass, and any MSDE provided equipment to the Office of Human Resources
  • Please note that any applicable leave payoff will be completed within 6 weeks of your last working day
  • You will receive information regarding the continuation of health insurance benefits under the provisions of COBRA from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)


Employee Relations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employees are provided with a reasonable accommodation under the law as related to a disability. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity (such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning). An employee can make a request for reasonable accommodation to a supervisor or the Office of Human Resources.

To apply, complete the Reasonable Accommodations Request form and email your completed form to MSDEER.msde@maryland.gov.

Medical documentation from the employee’s medical provider may be requested as allowed by the provisions of ADA. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee to be able to successfully complete all job duties, which may not be the exact accommodation being requested by the employee.

Employees are required to report workplace injuries to HR as soon as they occur. If the employee is unable to report the injury, then the supervisor should contact HR. The employees should complete the forms and contact HR in order to begin to process the claim. Then HR will contact its carrier, the Injured Workers Insurance fund or IWIF. Accident leave for contractual medical bills can be paid and if they are out more than three days, they can receive temporary disability depending on the severity of the claim.

You may complete the IWIF forms depending on whether you are the injured employee, supervisor, or a witness to the employee’s injury.

Grievances
Employees are entitled to file grievances under the State Pension and Personnel Article. These include, grievances are based on disciplinary actions, demotions, forfeitures of annual leave, retaliation, and denial of pay increases that are not related to discrimination based on protected classes such as race, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, etc. Grievance forms can be found on the Department of Budget and Management website.

Complaints 
If an employee needs to file a complaint related to discrimination based on protected classes such as race, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, etc. should contact the Office of Equity Assurance and Compliance.

All other complaints that are not grievances can be filed with the Office of Human Resources by completing and submitting the Complaint form.

For Supervisors
If you are a supervisor and need assistance regarding disciplinary or performance issues regarding your staff member, email the Office of Employee Relations and Services at msdeer.msde@maryland.gov.


Important Dates


Open Enrollment   |   October 11 - November 4, 2022

Be on the lookout for HR communications this month highlighting the open enrollment period in October. Edits and revisions to benefit and medical plans can be made during this window. Keep an eye out for a virtual webinar in Oct.

Performance Evaluation Plans (PEP)   |   December 31, 2022

Supervisors - Performance Evaluation Plans are due in the month of December. Please make sure you have the updated and current paperwork and forms to complete your assessments. All PEPs need to be completed and approved by December 31, 2022.




Contact:

JaCina Stanton-Buttrom
Director of Employee Relations & Services

Office: (410) 767-0023
jacina.stanton-buttrom@maryland.gov

The Maryland State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry/national origin, color, disability, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

For inquiries related to Department policy, please contact: Maryland State Department of Education, 200 W. Baltimore Street - 6th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2595,410-767-0100 - voice, 410-333-6442 - TTY/TDD