Understanding SFA's Compensation and Classification System
Job descriptions provide an overview of a position's essential duties and responsibilities and the minimum required qualifications to perform the job effectively. The descriptions are working documents that are maintained, updated and changed to reflect the actual duties of a position and are broad and sweeping in nature, intended to enable and foster growth of the position. For more information about the structure of and information provided in a job description, see Dissecting a Job Description.
Supervisors can use job descriptions to communicate job expectations to new or existing employees; to provide job information that can be used in the recruitment and selection process; and to provide job information that can be used in employee relations matters, such as performance appraisal, employee orientation, grievance resolution, and the identification of training and development needs.
Official university job descriptions can be obtained by contacting Human Resources. In addition to the official job description, departments may choose to internally maintain supplemental documentation detailing the specific duties of a given position.
Minor changes in the duties of a job may necessitate revising an official job description. Requests for minor updates to job descriptions can be made by contacting Human Resources. Significant changes may necessitate re-analysis and reevaluation of a job (see Job Analysis, below).
Job Analysis is the process of gathering, examining and interpreting data about a job's duties and responsibilities.
At SFA, the job analysis process occurs when a department wants to establish a new position, request the reclassification of a vacant position or request the reclassification of a filled position (either through the annual reclassification process or a departmental reorganization) due to significant changes in assigned duties. For a change in duties or requirements to merit reevaluation, it should meet these criteria:
- it is a permanent change in duties and not a special project or short-term assignment;
- the addition, deletion or change affects a duty that constitutes a significant portion of the job (at least 15%);
- the duty which is added, deleted or changed is substantially different in level and type from the balance of the job duties so that it seems reasonable that the change in that one duty would affect the evaluation of the job on one or more job evaluation factors; or
- the levels of education or experience required for the job noticeably change. These requirements should reflect minimum standards for satisfactory job performance, not an incumbent's qualifications.
In such situations, the supervisor should complete a Job Analysis Questionnaire. When completing the JAQ, supervisors may find it beneficial to reference the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Bank (optional).
Once Human Resources receives a completed JAQ, the job analysis process begins. During the job analysis process, each position is evaluated based on the specific duties and responsibilities assigned to the position, the scope of the position's function, the level of independent authority held by the position and organizational reporting structure to ensure that the position is appropriately classified.
The process conducted by Human Resources may vary depending upon the type of request.
Pay Grade Structures
Pay grade structures are used to identify the minimum and maximum salary range of pay for each position and provide a way to classify and group jobs to ensure that employees are rewarded for the work they do in a consistent way.
SFA uses one combined grade structure to establish compensation limits for jobs. The structure is based on competitive practices and internal equity considerations and provides the possibility for progression to more responsible jobs with higher and broader pay ranges. Jobs are placed into salary grades based on external salary survey information and internal job evaluation; therefore, jobs with a similar value in the external marketplace and within the university are in the same salary grade.
In order to maintain a competitive pay structure, the director of Human Resources reviews the university's pay grade structures annually as part of the budget process.
Hiring employees below the minimum of the salary range is contrary to university policy and is not permitted. Conversely, the maximum of the pay range is the upper limit of pay for a job. An employee's rate of pay may not normally exceed the respective maximum for the job. Request for payment above pay range must be approved by the director of Human Resources.
Fair Labor Standards Act
According to federal law, employees may be exempt from overtime wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act in varying categories. In order for an employee to qualify as being exempt and thus not required to be paid at one and one-half his or her regular salary for any work performed in excess of 40 hours of work in a workweek, the position needs to qualify in one of the following exemption categories: executive, professional, computer or administrative.
Human Resources determines the exemption status of each position on campus by completing a test based on each position's duties, level of responsibility and decision-making authority, and base pay rate.
To learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act and the general distinctions between being exempt and nonexempt at SFA, see the FLSA Exemption Differences and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Human Resources sets the education and experience requirements for each position by evaluating the position's duties and responsibilities and then determining the minimum combination of education and experience necessary to perform the job. Human Resources believes it is the combination of education and experience that allows each employee to be best prepared to perform the duties and responsibilities of his or her position. For many positions, Human Resources allows for additional experience to substitute for required education. Human Resources also allows additional education to substitute for required experience for some positions.
Equivalent Requirement Substitution Formulas
- Experience for Education: Every two years of experience directly related to the duties of the job, above and beyond the minimum experience requirement, can substitute for every one year of required education. There are no substitutions for a high school diploma, GED, doctoral degree or other profession-specific advanced degrees.
- Education for Experience: Additional education may be substituted for experience on a year-for-year basis, when applicable.
For additional information, see the SFA Substitution Philosophy.
Initial Hire Salary Offer
The hiring department, working with guidelines from Human Resources, determines the externally competitive and internally equitable salary for each new employee.
The hiring range for graded staff positions spans from the salary grade minimum or any institutionally established equity threshold (whichever is greater) to the salary grade midpoint. The hiring department has full discretion for placing a new employee's pay up to midpoint, budget allowing. Hiring rates above midpoint require prior approval by the director of Human Resources.
Staff at SFA may receive salary adjustments through merit increases, equity adjustments, promotions, demotions, transfers and reclassifications subject to the availability of funds. For additional information, see the Staff Compensation and Classification (12.2) policy. Additional information regarding reclassifications can also be found in Job Analysis above.
Additional services, stipends, and salary supplements are types of additional compensation potentially available to faculty and staff for performing approved work outside their regularly assigned duties or providing recognition or incentives.
For information about these types of compensation, see Additional Compensation.
Effective September 1, 2021, requests for additional compensation as described in Policy 12.16 will be submitted on an electronic business form located in TeamDynamix (ITS Client Portal home page under Services). This form replaces five paper/PDF forms (Authorization for Additional Compensation Services, Authorization for Additional Compensation Payment, Stipend Authorization Form, EPAF Origination Request, and Additional Compensation Eligibility Verification Form for grant-funded requests).
The additional compensation form in TeamDynamix is used to request all three types of additional compensation – additional services, stipends, and salary supplements. The form can be submitted by the employee or by another employee on the employee’s behalf (such as the department paying the additional compensation). The same information is collected on the electronic form as on the paper form, including the various levels of approvers. Once the request form is submitted, Human Resources will enter a one-time EPAF that will be routed to those approvers for electronic signature. Employees will be paid once the EPAF is applied as part of regular payroll.
There is a presentation and recording of a training session about the new form and process. This infographic provides an overview of additional compensation. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com (additional services and stipends) or firstname.lastname@example.org (salary supplements). Thank you to Brandon Stringfield in ITS for partnering with the Human Resources team to create the form and automated process.
Compensation and Classification Policies
- Academic Promotion of Full-Time Faculty (7.4)
- Additional Compensation (12.16)
- Compensation from Grants, Contracts and Other Sponsored Agreements (12.1)
- Faculty Compensation (12.6)
- Faculty Merit Pay (7.6)
- Fair Labor Standards (11.14)
- Longevity Pay and Hazardous Duty Pay (12.13)
- Overtime and Compensatory Time (12.14)
- Staff Compensation and Classification (12.2)