Guidelines for Staff Reclassification and Salary Adjustments

SAS Guidelines for Requests for Mid-Year Staff Salary Adjustments, Reclassifications, Retentions, Acting Rates
Effective July 1, 2011

Requests for staff salary adjustments and reclassifications must demonstrate significant evidence of increase in responsibility, accountability, complexity and commitment. Additional work/new assignments of equal complexity, the time in the job or the incumbent’s skill set generally are not valid reasons to reclassify a position or adjust a salary.

Mid-Year Salary Adjustments and Reclassifications

The purpose of mid-year salary adjustments and reclassifications is to appropriately classify and/or compensate staff who have taken on significantly more responsibility, accountability, complexity and commitment.

This may occur:

  • To address a change in job duties. The duties must have changed significantly before a request for change in the staff member’s grade and/or salary and/or title is considered. It will be the manager’s responsibility to demonstrate in a measureable way the increased responsibility. In these circumstances, the staff member must have performed the new responsibilities for a minimum of six months before a reclassification/adjustment is considered.
  • To address significant internal or external equity issues.
  • To retain a high potential performer (See “Retentions”).

For consideration of a salary adjustment or reclassification the following must be provided:

  • The current PIQ and the new PIQ (with signatures) highlighting the differences/changes in the position (PIQ changes not applicable for equity issues).
  • A current performance appraisal on file with a minimum rating of “consistently meets” the established goals/expectations for the position.
  • A written justification from the appropriate Chair/Director justifying the request.
  • Department organization chart (current and proposed).

In the event that a staff member receives an offer of employment from another department, school or center within Penn or from outside the University and the department wishes to retain the individual, a request for a counter offer may be considered in order to retain the individual in SAS.

For consideration of a retention offer the following must be provided:

  • A copy of an offer letter to include the job title and accompanied by the duties of the offered position.
  • The current PIQ and if appropriate, proposed PIQ to justify the increased retention salary.
  • Documentation from the appropriate chair or director justifying why it is important to make a retention offer—focusing on the skills that are so critical to the School/University that a retention offer should be considered.
  • A current performance appraisal with a minimum rating of “consistently meets and frequently exceeds the established goals/expectations for the position.”
Acting Rates

An acting rate is considered when a staff member assumes significant duties from a higher graded position for an extended period of time (minimum 2 months) while typically continuing to perform current duties. An acting rate can not exceed 10% of staff member’s current salary.
It can not be approved beyond 6 months at which time it will need to be reviewed again if the duties are still being performed.

For consideration of an acting rate the following must be provided:

  • A current PIQ.
  • A letter from the department chair or director describing the additional duties to be performed by the employee, the reason why they will be performing the duties and for how long.

Procedure for request submissions:
All required information must be submitted to SAS HR to the attention of Claudia Quinton.
Salary reclassification and/or adjustment requests will be evaluated two times a year- after August 31 (with an August 31 deadline) and after February 28 (with a February 28 deadline). Requests for evaluation may be submitted throughout the year. SAS HR will recommend appropriate effective dates for any approved requests.
Typically, we will not review a position for mid-year action more than once every 24 months.

Evaluation Process
If the request meets all of the necessary criteria, the following outlines the evaluation process:

  • A comparison of job content, salary, required skills, education and years of experience to others in similar positions in the School and the University.
  • A comparison with the appropriate external market.
  • For equity requests, it must be determined that there is a significant equity discrepancy when comparing the incumbent’s current salary to the average salaries of similarly situated staff members in the same job title and classification. A determination includes consideration of the level of education, experience and skills the incumbent brings to the position. Performance will also be considered.
  • If necessary, a member of SASHR will meet with the appropriate manager/supervisor to obtain additional information or clarification.

SAS HR will consult with the Division of Human Resources/Compensation prior to making a recommendation to the Vice Dean for Finance and Administration for final approval. Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by the Vice Dean for Finance and Administration.
Approval to submit a request to the Department of Human Resources, Compensation does not guarantee approval.

Please address any questions regarding these guidelines to Patricia Burns, SAS Human Resources Director, 8-2791 or Thank you.