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Here are answers to frequently asked questions about compensation and job classifications for the UC Irvine School of Medicine:


What is total compensation? »
Total compensation is the complete pay package for employees, including all forms of money, benefits, services and in-kind payments.
How do I request a reclassification? »

Prepare a position description that clearly describes the position's duties, level of responsibility and degree of supervision.

This should be done online in FastClass.

How do I inquire about the status of a reclassification? »
Send an email to somhr@uci.edu to request an update.

What is the difference between a promotion and an upward reclassification? »

A promotion requires an employee to apply and be selected for a different position with a higher maximum salary range.

An upward reclassification assigns an employee's current position to a new payroll title with a higher maximum salary range, based on a change in duties.

How long does the reclassification process take? »
The reclassification process generally takes about 30 to 45 days. If a union needs to be notified, the process may take longer.
How often does the reclassification committee meet? »
The reclassification committee meets the third Thursday of each month.
When does the union need to be notified of a classification action? »
A union must be notified when a position is being reclassified out of the bargaining unit. Notice requirements vary according to specific UC/union agreements.
What is a merit salary increase? »

Salary advancement within a salary range awarded to an eligible employee is based on:

  • Performance as it relates to current pay and assigned responsibilities
  • The employee's current position within the salary range
  • Relative performance
  • Availability of funds

Merit increases are normally awarded annually, in accordance with university-wide funding guidelines and collective bargaining agreements.

What is an upward reclassification? »
An upward reclassification moves an employee's current position to a different class or salary grade with a higher maximum salary range.
What is a downward reclassification? »
A downward classification moves an employee's current position to a different class or salary grade with a lower maximum salary range.
What is a step-based salary system? »

A step-based salary system is a salary structure with established standard progression rates within a job's pay range job.

Employees may progress from step to step on the basis of performance.

What is an open-range salary system? »

An open-range salary system is a structure that offers a minimum and maximum value to the pay range for a job. The range usually includes:

  • A minimum — the lowest salary level of a salary range
  • A midpoint — the salary midway between the minimum and maximum rates of a salary range
  • A maximum — the highest salary rate of a salary range

An individual progresses through the range based on performance.

What is a range adjustment? »
A range adjustment is an across-the-board increase to a salary range.
What is red-circling? »
Red-circling refers to an employee’s salary that is above the established range maximum assigned to the job grade. Hence, the incumbent is usually not eligible for further base pay increases until the range maximum surpasses the individual's pay rate.
What is an exempt position? »

A position is considered exempt when it is not subject to the overtime provisions of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Exempt employees are not paid for overtime hours worked and are not required to adhere to work-time record keeping for pay purposes.

What is a non-exempt position? »

A non-exempt position is subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Non-exempt employees are paid for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week. Functions of a non-exempt employee typically involve the performance of routine duties adhering to established policies and procedures.

Can a supervisor be non-exempt? »
Yes, supervisory positions may be classified as non-exempt.
What is the FLSA? »
The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law governing pay practices in the United States.
Can "exempt" employees work part-time? »

Yes, but the part-time employee also must be compensated on a salaried basis.

For example, if an exempt employee has a 50 percent appointment, they would be paid at 50 percent of the established monthly rate. The employee's workload should be adjusted as appropriate.

If a non-exempt employee works overtime without a supervisor's prior approval, is a department obligated to compensate premium overtime? »

Yes. Although overtime must always be authorized in advance by the supervisor, it still accrues as a liability when the employee works overtime and the supervisor knows or "should have known" that the work was being performed and did nothing to stop it the overtime work from occurring.

Corrective action may be appropriate against the employee for not following department procedure.

Can detailed time-reporting records be kept for exempt employees for purposes other than compensation or salary? »

Yes. Detailed records to the quarter hour can be kept for employees who charge a percentage of their salary to various grants or those who are working on a number of accounts and the work charged to each account varies.

Detailed time-records also may be kept for other purposes, such as management reports, as long as the recording of time does not relate to pay.

What is premium overtime? »
Premium overtime is pay granted to non-exempt employees under federal labor law the rate of 1.5 hours for each hour beyond 40 hours worked in one week.
Are departments required to pay premium overtime to "non-exempt" employees who work over 40 hours a week, or do departments have the discretion to provide compensatory time off? »

Compensation rules for overtime depend on the classification of the non-exempt employee.

  • Non-exclusively represented staff (PPSM):
    At the time overtime work is assigned, managers/supervisors need to discuss the method of compensation before authorizing the overtime. Management may offer either payment or compensatory time off (CTO), and employee selects the method — payment or CTO.
  • Exclusively represented employees:
    Please consult respective contracts for current practice.
What is the difference between a supervisor and a lead worker? »

A supervisor is an employee who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more career/contract employees within a unit or department. They have the authority to hire, fire, assign work, counsel, discipline, handle grievances/complaints, conduct performance evaluations or make suggestions and recommendations on these actions.

A lead worker is an employee who is responsible for monitoring and checking the work of other employees in the same unit or department who are working on a project or a specific assignment. A lead worker does not have full, formal supervisory authority for staff assigned to projects. However, in order to complete projects or assignments, lead workers must be able to schedule and control the daily working arrangements for a specified group of employees.

What is a confidential employee? »
A confidential employee is one who is required to develop or present management positions on collective bargaining, or whose duties normally require access to confidential information that contributes significantly to the development of management positions on collective bargaining.
What is an equity adjustment? »

An equity adjustment is a salary change outside of the normal salary programs (promotions, reclassifications, merits, etc.) to remedy salary issues such as external pressure in high demand areas, internal salary compression, and/or retention considerations.

Equity adjustments are not granted to reward performance.

What is a stipend awarded for? »

A stipend is defined as additional monies paid to an employee who is temporarily assigned responsibilities (with a specific beginning and end date) of a higher level position than the employee’s classification, or for assuming other significant duties that are not part of the employee’s regular position.

However, the sum of the stipend and base salary shall not exceed the maximum salary of the higher level position.

More questions? Please contact us at somhr@uci.edu.


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