HR 200 Compensation Policies

201 Compensation Objectives
202 Job Evaluation Process

203 Job Summaries
204 Job Titles
205 Position Analysis and Design
206 Establishing and Administering Salaries

207 Annual Salary and Performance Management Review

208 Appeals Process

201 Compensation Objectives

Yale develops its compensation and classification programs with several goals in mind:

  • To attract and retain extraordinary talent.
  • To create appropriate salary structures based on the responsibilities and technical requirements of each position, and to establish salaries accordingly.
  • To award salary increases based on individual contributions and performance.
  • To pay salaries that are competitive with those of comparable positions at comparable employers, within comparable labor markets.
  • To develop salaries that are consistent with the University’s budgetary guidelines and are a key element of the University’s total rewards package.

202 Job Evaluation Process

A job evaluation process allows an organization to measure, compare and categorize job information so that each job can be placed in the appropriate structure for salary administration purposes.

The University uses a “whole job comparison” evaluation for its job evaluation process, wherein Yale looks at both internal and external market comparisons to help determine the appropriate salary.

In addition to market factors, Yale evaluates positions based on requirements for the job that include the level of knowledge and skill, problem solving and decision making, scope and complexity, and impact and accountability of the position.

202.1 Fair Labor Standards Act

Yale University is subject to the provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which regulates employers’ activities concerning hours of work, the payment of wages and salaries, minimum rates of pay, overtime payment and record keeping requirements. Job positions at the University are defined as exempt or non-exempt, as per the FLSA, based on the duties and responsibilities of that position. Each position is classified and is assigned a specific pay range by Human Resources.  Human Resources reviews specific positions to ensure that they are correctly classified and that the job descriptions reflect any changes in the duties and responsibilities of the positions.  The FLSA also requires that employers pay employees a minimum wage for each hour worked and pay non-exempt employees overtime pay at the rate of one-and-one-half times the employee’s regular rate for each hour worked over forty in a work week.

At Yale, most staff members are considered “exempt” from the provisions of the FLSA which govern the payment of overtime and the record keeping requirements. To be classified as an exempt position, the responsibilities must meet the exemption standards established by the FLSA regulations.

The provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act which govern exemption from the Act are complex. Job responsibilities must meet defined criteria in order to be considered exempt from certain provisions of the Act; jobs are classified as either Executive, Administrative, Professional, or Computer Professional. The Compensation Department applies these provisions when reviewing a staff member’s job responsibilities to determine whether a job is exempt or non-exempt from these provisions.

Staff members classified as exempt are paid a salary for duties performed.

202.2 Salary Ranges/Bands

Each salary grade/band has an established salary range. These ranges define the minimum and maximum salaries to be paid for a job, but also allow sufficient latitude for an individual to progress through the salary range as a result of merit increases.

Salary ranges/bands are reviewed annually, and may be adjusted periodically to respond to economic and market conditions.

Staff members are typically paid at least the minimum of the appropriate salary range/band, but not more than the maximum, with rare exceptions based on authorization from Human Resources.

Staff members whose salaries are at or above the maximum of their assigned salary range/band are not eligible for regular merit increases, but are eligible to receive non-base building salary increases. The salary increase will be based on individual performance as well as the annual guidelines issued by Human Resources for merit increases. Exceptions to this policy must be requested in writing and approved by the Director of Compensation and Benefits.

203 Job Summaries

The University has standardized job summaries for positions within each job family, which include the basic purpose of the job, the representative duties characteristic of the level of work being performed in a job, and the minimum qualifications needed to perform a job, such as education and experience.

204 Job Titles

University job titles facilitate the identification of career paths at the University. Schools and departments may also use individual working titles, which have been approved by school and departmental leadership. For this purpose, the use of any individual working title that includes the word ‘Director’ (i.e. Executive Director, Associate Director, etc.) must be approved in advance by the Compensation Department for positions where the University job title does not include the word ‘Director’. The use of an academic title must be approved in advance by the Provost’s office.

205 Position Analysis and Design

Position analysis is the mechanism to review the duties and responsibilities of individual positions to ensure that a position continues to be properly classified within the classification structure in relation to other University positions. After such a review, a position may be upgraded to a higher classification, remain in the same classification, or be downgraded to a lower classification. Position analysis is a review of the responsibilities assigned to a position, not an evaluation of an individual’s performance.

A position analysis may be requested by both a supervisor and a second level departmental review or may be initiated by the Compensation Department. A position analysis is appropriate when the responsibilities of a position have changed significantly and substantially, either through expanded or reduced responsibilities or through reorganization.

Departmental and school management have the prerogative to design positions in a manner that best suits their operational and financial needs. The classification of jobs and positions, and assignment of a salary grade/band within the classification structure, is the responsibility of the Compensation Department.

Position analyses will typically occur with two effective dates: September 1 and March 1.

See also Section 103.1a.

206 Establishing and Administering Salaries

The University establishes and administers salaries in line with its compensation objectives. Salaries must be approved by Human Resources before a job offer is made to the candidate.

206.1 Newly Hired/Rehired Employees

The salary for a newly hired or rehired staff member is set based on the classification of the position, the salary range, internal peer equity and external market values for like positions, and the candidate’s education, skills, and related experience.

206.2 Promotion

A promotion occurs when a staff member moves into a higher level job with a significant increase in responsibility and accountabilitiy. 

Upon promotion, a staff member is typically eligible for a salary increase. Promotion increases are determined on an individual case basis.

Factors generally considered when determining a promotion increase are previous experience or education which might now be relevant, the salary range/band of the new position, internal salary relationships and market.

206.3 Lateral Transfer

A lateral transfer is a change in job assignment within the same salary grade/band. Lateral transfers do not typically result in a change in salary. There are, however, certain rare situations that may justify salary adjustments, which must be requested in writing and approved in advance by the Compensation Department.

See also 3501 PR.20.

206.4 Demotion

A demotion is a reassignment from one position to another position in a lower salary grade/band.

Involuntary demotions may occur if work is eliminated or reorganized, or if a staff member is unable to perform the work satisfactorily and is involuntarily reassigned. The salary for an individual who is involuntarily reassigned to a position in a lower salary grade/band will be established by the Compensation Department.

Voluntary demotions may result in a lower salary, commensurate with the new grade/band, especially when the employee’s salary is greater than the maximum of the grade/band to which he or she is moving.

206.5 Compensation Above Salary

In the case where a temporary assignment of responsibility in a higher classification is necessary, both the assignment and any associated extra compensation for that assignment must be approved by Human Resources.

Special pay (non-base building) for extraordinary effort or accomplishments must be approved by Human Resources, and may be awarded upon completion of special assignments or projects which meet the following criteria:

  • Extraordinary in nature, requiring significant time
  • Non-recurring
  • Requiring significant effort well beyond a position’s defined scope
  • Performed in addition to the normal position responsibilities

206.6 Recall/Transfer from Layoff Status

A staff member who has been laid off and who is recalled while on layoff status for the same position in the same department will receive the previous salary or the minimum of the salary grade, whichever is greater, with full privileges and benefits.

If a staff member on layoff status is offered and accepts a voluntary transfer to a different position, the salary will be determined in the same manner as it would be for a new hire.

See also Section 107.4.

207 Annual Salary and Performance Management Review

The University’s compensation programs are designed to recognize and reward staff members based on individual performance. Most salary actions, including merit increases, salary adjustments and position reviews, will typically occur on a coordinated basis during the annual Salary and Performance Management Review Process. The funds available for merit increases vary from year to year depending upon budgetary considerations, salaries paid in the identified marketplace and economic conditions. Merit increases are not subject to the grievance procedure.

207.1 Merit Increases

The University develops merit increase guidelines which establish ranges for individual increases based on several factors:

  • Individual performance during the most recently completed fiscal year (July 1 – June 30)
  • Individual’s current salary compared to the salary range for the job or position in range (PIR)
  • Consideration of salaries and qualifications of peers in comparable positions
  • Available budget

Merit increases are normally awarded on an annual basis during the Salary and Performance Management Review Process and are normally effective on September 1. In some cases, merit increases can be deferred for performance or other reasons. Merit increases are recommended by supervisors based on their evaluation of performance and other salary considerations.

Staff members hired from April 1 to August 31 will normally not receive a merit increase until September of the following year.

207.2 Salary Adjustments

Managers are encouraged to perform a yearly review of salaries for their direct reports. Salary adjustments are defined as special salary increases designed to address internal or external factors which cannot be addressed through the annual merit review.

Salary adjustments are normally effective September 1 (recommended) or March 1 and not made retroactively.

A salary adjustment may be requested by a supervisor with a second level departmental review or may be initiated by the Compensation Department.

Requests for salary adjustment should be submitted sufficiently in advance for timely review, and must be approved by the Compensation Department.

208 Appeals Process

The Appeals process is the only method to resolve disagreements between Human Resources and department management on matters of job classification, targeted hiring salary or employee compensation.

Only department management, not individual staff members, can submit an appeal. If staff members have concerns regarding compensation or classification, they should discuss the situation with their Human Resources Generalist.

The process operates as follows:

  1. Department management and Human Resources work together to make decisions on job classification or employee compensation.
  2. If department management and the Human Resources Generalist/Staffing cannot reach an agreement, the Compensation Department reviews the case and works with both parties to resolve the issue.
  3. If the issue cannot be resolved with the Compensation Department, the process for reaching final decisions is as follows:
    1. Human Resources’ decisions can be appealed to the Director of Compensation and Benefits.
    2. The Director of Compensation’s decisions can be appealed to the Vice President for Human Resources and Administration, who will make the final decision.

All decisions made by the Vice President for Human Resources and Administration are final.