After You Are Hired
The first day of employment will include an orientation to the United States District Court (unless other arrangements are requested by the hiring authority). Details regarding this orientation will be given to the new employee at the time of the position offer. All appointment paperwork, fingerprinting, and ID pictures will be completed. Verification of the new employee's right to work for the United States Courts is determined at this time. The new employee should bring with him/her a passport or certified birth certificate, or two documents that verify identity, preferably a driver's license and an original social security card in order to verify employment eligibility.
All court employees are paid bi-weekly. This means that employees are paid every other Friday and receive wages twenty six times per year. There are several ways an employee may receive pay increases. These ways are outlined below:
Within Grade Increase
The within grade increase refers to pay increases employees receive at certain anniversary dates after hire. The pay increase is determined upon job performance. There are two primary pay systems within the U.S. District Court, the Court Personnel System (CPS) and the Judicial Salary Plan (JSP).
Most employees fall under the Court Personnel System (CPS - excludes Judge's Staff, Court Unit Executives, Chief Deputies and Court Reporters). Under this system, staff are categorized as either "Developmental" or "Full Performance" employees. Developmental employees are considered trainees. Therefore, as they develop the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of their position, they are eligible (every 13 pay periods) for within grade increases until they reach full performance. Full performance employees are eligible for within grade increases every 52 weeks, until they reach the top of their grade.
The Judicial Salary Plan is the pay system governing salaries for Judge's Staff and Court Unit Executives. Under this system, the employee's eligibility for a within grade increase is dependent upon three factors: 1) Has not reached the top of grade; 2) Has performed satisfactorily in the position as approved by the supervisor; and, 3) Has served in the position the qualifying length of time as outlined in the Judicial Salary Plan.
Court Reporters fall under a separate system. Interested persons may call for more information.
A promotion is equal to approximately 6% of the employee's base salary. An employee may receive a promotion if he is eligible. Eligibility is determined by the employee's performance, meeting qualifications established in the Court Personnel System or Judicial Salary Plan, and approval by the appointing officer.
Employment Cost Index (ECI)
The ECI (formerly referred to as the Cost Of Living Adjustment) is a pay adjustment provided to court support employees. This pay adjustment is typically effective with the start of the first pay period in the new calendar year. The pay adjustment is not guaranteed each year and can vary in amount.
Clerk's Office Employee Recognitions Awards Program
The purpose of the Employee Recognition Program is to recognize outstanding achievement by individuals and organizational units in the performance of their duties; to improve morale and inspire greater achievement; to promote organizational identification and career commitment; and, to encourage and reward innovative thinking. Monetary Awards may be as high as $5,000.00.
Federal Financial Reform Act
The Act requires direct deposit of federal wage, salary, and retirement payments by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for new employees paid on or after January 1, 1995. The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has interpreted "newly hired" to mean employees new to the judiciary; i.e., transfers from other agencies, reinstated employees and first time federal employees.
All new employees are fingerprinted on their first day of employment. Fingerprints of all newly hired employees are sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a background investigation. Any misrepresentations on the employment application or appointment document (AO 78) are grounds for immediate termination.
On the Job Training
The Clerk of Court is committed to providing an environment where each employee has opportunities to improve their work skills as well as their overall level of self-development. Therefore each year a training plan is designed to offer court employees training courses they may attend to enhance themselves. A list of available courses may be obtained by calling the Human Resources Office at (213) 894-2356.
The United States District Court is a performance-based work environment. New employees are evaluated at four months, eight months, and the eleventh month from the date of hire. Each court employee's performance is evaluated every 52 weeks thereafter.
Probationary Status/Excepted Service
Each newly hired employee (as well as employees who have a new position assignment) certifies that they understand that they are a probationary employee for one year. New employees also certify that they understand that they are excepted service employees ("at will"), subject to removal by the Clerk of Court, with or without cause with the approval of the Court, after passing the one year probationary period of employment.