Classification & Compensation: FAQs

Several factors are considered in determining the salary assigned to a position. The current exempt and non-exempt pay ranges are based on the regional market salary rates; therefore, they are the primary tools used in determining a fair and equitable salary for a position. Other resources used include national and local salary data from other universities and internal comparisons of UMBC salaries.

The staff assists with the establishment and title designation of new positions; evaluates requests for position reclassifications, title changes, and pay range assignments; and reviews and recommends salary adjustments based on internal equity and external market data.  HR Classification/Compensation Staff also assists with: organizational design and development; conducts salary and market analyses to promote the University System of Maryland compensation philosophy; and performs compensation comparisons to ensure the university remains competitive in attracting and retaining excellent staff.

The Classification Action Request and the Position Description forms are used to establish, reclassify, and re-title positions. Both forms are available on the Human Resources Classification & Compensation weblink.

A reclassification is a change in the title and/or assignment of a position, usually accompanied by a change in pay rate. Reclassification is appropriate when the duties and responsibilities of a position have changed significantly over time, so that the current title and/or grade are no longer correct. A review of a reclassification request can result in a recommendation to classify the position at a higher or lower level or a determination that the position is already properly classified.

A job description outlines the duties, functions, and expectations of a position. It is developed in the department by the supervisor usually with input from the incumbent if the position is occupied.

A job specification is a document which broadly summarizes the typical duties, minimum requirements, knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with a particular job title. It is used mainly as a tool or guide for allocating newly established positions to a relevant classification. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for a job description.

Salary increases may result from promotion to a higher level position, job reclassifications to a higher level position. Pay increases may also result from market adjustments and/or cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). Although salary increases are not guaranteed, in years when the Chancellor’s fiscal year guidelines permit, employees who consistently meet the performance standards of their positions may be granted periodic merit adjustments.

It is important to consult with Classification/Compensation Staff prior to recruitment to ensure the position duties, responsibilities, pay range and other job attributes are appropriate for the job title assigned.  There are instances when the position duties and responsibilities have evolved, or the department’s needs have changed.  Recruitment should not begin until a member of the HR Classification/Compensation staff has reviewed and confirmed an updated position description is on file, the position is appropriately classified, and the salary range is appropriate.

Competencies are the identified set of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors needed to perform the responsibilities of a job.

Job Duties are the actual tasks that are typically performed by employees in that Job Title.

Based upon the legally mandated distinctions contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA 29 U.S.C.), the USM job evaluation and pay programs are comprised of two Staff job group designations.

  1. Nonexempt – Maintenance, Office, Service, Technical and Para-professional Staff.
  2. Exempt –  a.) CEOs – Chancellor and Presidents

b.) Officers – Vice-Chancellors, Vice-Presidents, Provosts, and Deans performing

administrative functions and

c.) Managers, Administrators, and Professional Staff

Nonexempt employees are subject to all FLSA provisions including the payment of overtime. Non-exempt employees are required to account for hours and fractional hours worked. Positive time records are required for all nonexempt staff members. Nonexempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked in excess of 40/week at the premium (time-and-one-half) rate of pay.

Exempt employees are those who are ‘exempt’ from FLSA overtime regulations.  The nature of exempt work may require exempt employees to work more than regularly scheduled hours in a given workweek. Exempt employees are: employed at will (if hired after January 1, 2000); do not complete an hourly timesheet; and are not covered by the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA. Exception time records are required for all exempt staff members.

Current FLSA requirements are posted in the main lobby of the Human Resources Department, 5th Floor, Administration Building.

Regular Status employees are employed in an exempt or non exempt status at 50% or more and are eligible to receive subsidized health and retirement benefits, paid leave, and a variety of other benefits as part of employment.

Contingent Employees are employed in an exempt or non-exempt, non-regular status of employment. There are two categories of contingent employment, Contingent I and Contingent II:

Contingent I employment is defined as temporary (6 months or less with the option of a one-time renewal), or “if-and-when-needed” (typically for one year, but less than 20 hours a week). There are no benefits associated with Contingent I employment, however, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), temporary employees who work 30 or more hours in a workweek are eligible to receive subsidized health and prescription benefits. Competitive recruitment is not required for Contingent I employment, however, the employee must meet the minimum qualifications of the position in which they are hired.

– Contingent II employees are contracted to work more than six months up to a year during a contract period and are required to be hired through competitive recruitment and selection. Contingent II employees are entitled to receive basic leave benefits. In accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), temporary employees who work 30 or more hours in a workweek are eligible to receive subsidized health and prescription benefits. In most cases, Contingent II employees may be converted to a Regular Status position after three consecutive years of service (see BOR Policy on Contingent Status Employment).

The manager/supervisor should contact a member of the HR Classification/Compensation Unit to understand the process for changing the duties and responsibilities of a position, as well as reviewing a job.

The employee should consult with their Manager/Supervisor as the first step in discussing the possibility of a job review.