1. What is a classification description?
A classification description groups jobs together that have similar functions and responsibilities; and also places jobs into the appropriate job family.
2. What is the difference between a classification description and a position/job description?
A classification description contains a general description of the “primary functions” that may be assigned to a job within the classification. These general functions are used to match the classification to a standard market. A position description is generally more customized to include specific duties associated with a job. These specific duties allow the candidate/incumbent to better understand his/her individual job duties.
3. What factors ARE included in determining the appropriate classification of a position?
- Nature of primary functions;
- Scope, level, and complexity of primary functions;
- Relationship of the position to other positions in the department and within the university;
- Supervision, both given and received;
- Exercise of independent judgment; and
- Autonomy and authority related to decision-making and accountability.
4. What factors ARE NOT included in determining the appropriate classification of a position?
- Quantity of work (volume);
- Information relative to the employee’s length of service;
- Time spent at the maximum of the position’s salary range;
- Skills/education not related to the job or minimum qualifications; and
- Employee’s salary placement within the salary range.
*Remember: the position, not the incumbent, is being evaluated.
5. Where can I find the listing of classification descriptions?
- Follow this link: Position Classification Descriptions; or
- Type “Position Classification Descriptions” in the search box located at the top of the HRS website; or
- Call (575) 646-8000 for assistance.
*It is considered a good business practice for supervisors to provide new employees with a copy of the job description or posting announcement under which the employee was hired.
6. What is a reclassification?
A reclassification is the re-evaluation of a job to a different job classification due to significant changes in job functions.
7. When should I submit a position description for review?
- If 50% or more of the duties and responsibilities have changed a review may be warranted.
- Our hiring system now allows for supervisors to review position descriptions prior to posting a vacancy. This process normally does not change the current classification of a position but rather provides an opportunity to update the job duties and responsibilities of the position. If upon review by Human Resource Services it is determined that the duties have changed significantly, you may have to follow the position management process prior to posting the vacancy.
- Please note that requests for reclassification of existing positions (filled or vacant) are processed based on their source of funding. Positions funded from I&G and Non I&G Unrestricted funds must coincide with the annual budget cycle. See Position Management Guidelines.
8. If the nature of an employee’s work remains the same, but the volume increases, is this cause for review?
Changes in quantity of work (volume) are not considered in a classification review. For example: A position is responsible for answering approximately 50 phone calls a day, and opening and distributing 100 pieces of mail a day. After a year, the incumbent is responsible for answering 100 phone calls and opening and distributing 200 pieces of mail. Although the quantity has increased, the actual duties have not changed, and a review is unnecessary.
9. How often can a position description be reviewed?
A position can be reviewed during the annual budget cycle, at a minimum of twelve months following the prior review.
10. What is a PDQ?
PDQ stands for Position Description Questionnaire; this document was used in the past to conduct position classification reviews but has been replaced with the Position Change Request Form (PCR).
11. What is a Position Change Request Form (PCR) used for?
This form is used to request the creation of a new staff position or the reclassification of an existing position (vacant or filled).
12. How do I submit a Position Change Request Form (PCR) and what should be included?
- Download the form from the “HRS Forms” section on the HRS website.
- Fill out the form completely.
- If the position is nonexempt, you also need to include the “Additional Information for Nonexempt Staffing Requisition” form also found at “HRS Forms”
- Provide your contact phone number and email
- Be sure to obtain all appropriate approvals
*Requests for new positions or reclassification of existing positions are processed based on their source of funding. Positions funded from I&G and Non I&G Unrestricted funds must coincide with the annual budget cycle.
**Requests to reclassify a single vacant position outside of the budget cycle and not part of a multiple position request may be submitted as a no cost request supported by a business need to fill the vacancy in a timely manner.
13. What happens once HRS receives the form?
All PCRs are stamped with the date received and logged for tracking purposes. The supervisor should receive an email letting them know it has been received along with a tracking number assigned to the PCR. Once a review is completed an email notification will be sent to the college/division Dean/VP/CC President indicating the outcome of the review and any related actions.
14. How long does it take to complete a classification review and when do they become effective?
- Normally processing times will not exceed 14 days from the date the request was received.
- Reclassification requests processed during the budget cycle are made effective August 1st of the current year for filled positions and July 1st for vacancies.
- Reclassification requests processed out of cycle are effective the first day of the month following the date received in HRS.
15. How can I appeal the initial classification review decision?
The director/department head and/or the employee may appeal the decision by providing new or additional information within 15 working days of receiving notification of the decision. Please refer to NMSU Policy Manual Section 8.55 for details.
16. If a filled position is reclassified, how is the amount of salary increase determined?
The minimum salary increase varies depending on the exempt status of the position.
- Exempt – please refer to policy 8.15 Compensation
- Nonexempt Non Bargaining Unit – please refer to policy 8.15 Compensation
- Nonexempt Bargaining Unit – please refer to the NMSU-AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement.
17. Can I request a review of one of my employee’s pay if I believe it is below where it should be?
Under specific conditions, you may submit a request for an In-Range Adjustment:
- An in-range adjustment may be requested by the supervisor (for exempt staff only) to establish equitable salary relationships.
- In-range adjustment requests must include consideration of all of the following; availability of funding, employee’s job related qualifications, performance, and internal equity.
- For filled unrestricted funded positions, requests are submitted in conjunction with the annual Budget Cycle. The college/division/community college will submit all internally approved request’s for review in a single packet no later than the annual Budget Cycle deadline.
- In-range adjustments are not available for employees to submit on their own behalf.
- All review decisions are final with no options for further reviews, considerations, or appeals.
18. Who is an exempt employee?
An employee who is exempt under the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act is not required to be paid overtime when he/she works more than 40 hours in a workweek.
19. Who is a nonexempt employee?
A nonexempt employee is required to receive overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Overtime at NMSU is compensated at a rate of one and one-half the nonexempt employee’s regular weekly average rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
20. How is the exempt or nonexempt status determined?
The determination of the nonexempt/exempt status of a classification is based on an evaluation of the duties performed and the responsibilities associated with a position as established by the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act.
21. How is pay calculated for nonexempt staff who travel to mandatory conferences or training programs?
- Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you generally do not pay for the time spent traveling from home to work. You will, however, have to pay for the time spent at the meeting because the meeting is mandatory. Traveling from home to work and from work back home is typically not compensable time.
- Travel that is All in a Day’s Work: Time spent by an employee in travel as part of their principal activity, such as travel from job site to job site during the workday, is work time and must be counted as hours worked.
- Travel Away from Home Community: Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday. The time is not only hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. Exceptions are: As an enforcement policy, the university will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile unless the employee is engaged in legitimate university business. The activity will not be counted as working time only if four criteria are met: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed. Regular meal period time is not counted. Compensable hours spent traveling for business are counted the same as any other hours worked and may result in overtime. When an employee’s “tour of duty” is 24 hours or longer, up to eight hours of sleeping time during the shift will be excluded from overtime compensation under the following conditions:
- There is an express agreement that excludes sleeping time.
- Adequate sleeping facilities for an uninterrupted night’s sleep are provided.
- At least five hours of sleep are possible during the scheduled sleeping periods.
- Interruptions to perform duties are considered time worked.
22. If a nonexempt employee regularly works additional hours without obtaining prior permission from his/her supervisor, can we implement a policy stating that employees who work unauthorized additional hours will not be paid for those extra hours?
No. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, “work not requested but suffered [allowed] or permitted is work time. Regardless of the reason, if the employer knows or has reason to believe that [the employee] is continuing to work, then the time is considered working time”. Furthermore, the regulations clearly state that “in all such cases, it is the duty of the management to exercise its control and see that the work is not performed if [management] does not want it to be performed. [Management] cannot sit back and accept the benefits [of the work performed] without compensating for them. The mere promulgation of a rule against such work is not enough. Management has the power to enforce the rule and must make every effort to do so.”
As the above regulatory language indicates, even a clearly communicated policy or procedure prohibiting unauthorized overtime does not relieve an employer from its legal obligation to pay employees for all hours worked. Therefore, if the employer allows the employee to perform the work, the employer is liable for compensating the employee. However, FLSA does not prohibit employers from implementing and or enforcing a policy or college/department procedure that prohibits unauthorized work and it does not prohibit employers from disciplining employees for violating the policy or college/department procedure.
23. What is New Mexico’s Minimum Wage?
New Mexico Minimum Wage is currently $7.50/hour.
24. What determines whether an employee is at entry, midpoint, or at the maximum range? And when are pay increases merited?
Minimum is the entry level of the range for the classification. Each point in the range represents a target salary based on a number of different factors that may include education, experience, or longevity. In general, those employees new to position would be hired close to the minimum of the range and they would progress through the salary range due to changes in their credentials, service and longevity. Pay increases are provided as established by NMSU Policy or Bargaining Unit Contract for Bargaining Unit eligible employees.
25. I’ve already reached the maximum of the pay level; does this mean that I will not receive any more raises?
Depending on the annual increase parameters, you may be eligible for other types of increases.
26. I recently received a pay increase which caused my medical insurance contribution to increase. Why did this happen?
Any pay adjustment may result in a change in benefit contribution levels.
27. How do I learn about the compensation/classification procedures available for my employees?
Contact your HRS Business Partner or refer to the Position Management Guidelines located under “Position Management Tools” in the “Managers, Supervisors, and Liaisons” section.
28. A position in our unit has become vacant and we don’t anticipate filling it. How do I request that the position be eliminated?
There is a specific process to request elimination of a position depending on its funding source. Please contact your HRS Business Partner for details.