Position Classification and Reclassifications
- What is a position classification review?
Position classification is a system for objectively defining and evaluating job duties, responsibilities, and level of work performed to align the position within the university’s job structure including the salary structure grade and band, job title, minimum requirements and exemption status under the FLSA.
- What is a Position Classification Questionnaire (PCQ)?
The PCQ form was established to collect information needed to evaluate positions for proper classification. The information gathered in this form is used when classifying a new position or evaluating existing positions for proper classification.
- When is a position classification review required?
A position classification review should take place when a new position is being created. A position classification review may also be necessary when there has been a significant change in a current position, such as the nature and/or level of work performed.
- What is the process to initiate a position classification review?
Periodically, a review of a position may be necessary when significant changes in the nature and/or level of work assigned to a position occur for various reasons (e.g., restructuring). Supervisors within the unit work with their Human Resources Business Partner/Consultant to request a position classification review.
- May an employee initiate a request for reclassification review?
Yes. An employee who believes their position has changed and is not appropriately classified should discuss this with their supervisor or unit leader. If there is an indication that the employee may be performing work outside of the current classification, the unit will work with their Human Resources Business Partner/Consultant to discuss options. If a position review is needed, the supervisor or designated unit leader will complete the PCQ with input from the employee as appropriate and submit to Human Resources for review.
How much input does a department in selecting appropriate job titles?
Human Resource Services is responsible for classifying positions. The HR Business Partner/Consultant will work with managers to arrive at the most appropriate classification, such as job title, based on the duties and function of the position.
- How can an employee address concerns regarding reclassification decision?
Employees should address their concerns with their supervisor or unit leader. If additional information is needed, supervisors/unit leader and employees can work with their Human Resources Business Partner/Consultant for assistance.
- How does the university determine if a position is classified as academic or staff?
When the primary responsibilities are teaching, research or directing instructional or research activities, and requires extensive academic preparation or previous teaching or research experience, the position is likely to be classified as academic. Otherwise, the position will be classified as administrative, service, and support staff.
- How are administrative, support and service staff titles assigned to Pay Grades?
Staff titles are evaluated and grouped based on similar duties and responsibilities, and are assigned to a pay grade with a specific range within the salary structure.
What is the difference between a Job Description and a Position Description?
The University Job Description provides the fixed job information including the university’s official title, grade, minimum qualifications and a broad description of the nature and level of work associated with the official university job title/job code. Job Descriptions are found on the UM System Human Resources website (see Compensation/Job Code Details).
A Job Description template is used as a foundation to create a specific position description unique to the position within the unit. A Position Description provides further specific details within the scope of the Job Description, which may include a working title, department-specific duties and responsibilities, and additional preferred qualifications. It is recommended that departments maintain position descriptions to facilitate quality recruiting, hiring, training and performance evaluations. Human Resource Business Partners/Consultants may assist with developing or reviewing position descriptions.
How is an employee’s compensation rate determined?
Compensation rates are determined based on a number of criteria. The criteria may include an individuals’ experience and qualifications, market salary information, internal equity, budget, and other similar factors. The weight given to each criterion may vary in individual cases.
Human Resources is responsible for providing oversight. Additional authorization may be required for requests which extend beyond policy and provided HR guidance.
- If my position is reclassified to a higher pay grade, will I be guaranteed a pay increase?
No. If your current pay is at or above the minimum of the new pay range, then you are not guaranteed a pay increase. Criteria used to recommend and approve pay adjustments include the individuals’ experience and qualifications, market salary information, internal equity, budget, and other similar factors. The weight given to each criterion may vary in individual cases.
If my position is reclassified to a lower pay grade, will my pay rate reduce?
Not necessarily. If your current pay is at or below the maximum of the new pay range, then it is up to the department to evaluate the appropriate pay rate. Criteria used to recommend and approve pay adjustments include the individuals’ experience and qualifications, market salary information, internal equity, budget, and other similar factors. The weight given to each criterion may vary in individual cases.
However, if your current pay is above the maximum of the new pay range, then a reduction in pay will occur unless approved for extenuating circumstances.
Salary and FTE Reductions
- Can an exempt employee’s salary be reduced below the salary threshold for exempt status?
It depends. For employees in positions qualified as exempt status due to executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and certain computer employees (per FLSA regulations), the reduction may not exceed an amount that would alter the employee’s University exempt status.
- Can salaries of employees on H-1B visas be reduced?
It depends. There should first be a review to determine whether an amended petition is required before a salary reduction can take effect. Consult with your university’s office responsible for visa matters before proceeding.
For questions, contact HR Partner or campus HR office.
Date Created: 11/01/2001
Updated: 12/15/2020; 06/15/2021;