Request for Reclassification
At Kansas State University, positions can evolve due to a variety of reasons -- some internal and some external. Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness is responsible for conducting objective position reviews to ensure K-State employees are paid fairly and consistently for their work.
A reclassification involves a thorough review process to determine the appropriate job title and pay grade for positions whose job duties and responsibilities have undergone significant changes. A request for reclassification does not guarantee any particular outcome. The process may result in a:
- pay grade increase,
- pay grade decrease or
- no change at all.
Knowing when to request a reclassification is important to ensure that employees are both properly classified and fairly compensated for the work they are performing. Additionally, knowing whether a position should be reclassified or considered for recruitment (see Reclassification or recruitment? below) is important to ensure equity and equal employment opportunity for all qualified applicants, both internal and external to the University.
Requests for reclassification are accepted at any time during the year. Requests are reviewed in the order they are received. Once a reclassification decision has been determined, related changes to classification and/or compensation will be effective as soon as the next available pay period start date. Determinations are typically made 5-8 weeks from receipt of the completed request.
Retroactive reclassifications will not be processed. Positions may not be submitted more than one time per 12 month period. This is due to the requirement that employees be performing significantly different job duties for at least six months prior to the reclassification request.
The request for reclassification must be initiated by an employee's supervisor or manager.
Reclassification or recruitment?
In some cases, you may anticipate sweeping changes in the job duties and responsibilities for a given position. In these cases, many job factors are impacted. When a position is anticipated to undergo changes that would drastically influence the type of work being performed, options outside of reclassification may need to be considered.
While some positions reviewed are candidates for reclassification of a new job title and/or pay grade, others may need to be considered for a competitively bid recruitment process.
If you can answer yes to any of the questions below, Human Capital Services recommends that you recruit this position. By filling the position using the competitive recruitment process, you can help ensure Kansas State University is keeping with the principles of equity and equal employment opportunity. Contact your Talent Acquisition strategic partner for more information regarding how to proceed with a position recruitment.
- Will the position have supervisory responsibility? Consider part- and full-time staff positions; exclude supervision of students.
- Will the anticipated changes drastically influence the type of work being performed? Consider the level of authority, independence and scope of new job duties.
- Are there one or more employees who are, or may be, interested and capable of doing the work? Consider employees both internal to the department and those external to the department in which the position resides.
- Do the anticipated changes represent a significant change in the position’s pay grade (typically two or more pay grades)?
If you have questions about whether a position should be considered for reclassification or recruitment, contact Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness at email@example.com.
Requirements for requesting a reclassification
- Supervisor or manager must initiate a request for reclassification. Requests made by an employee for their own position will not be accepted.
- Employee in the position being requested for reclassification must have at least six months of experience performing the new job duties required of the position. This allows for the opportunity to ensure the employee is able to successfully perform the duties and make adjustments before moving forward with the reclassification request.
- All portions of the multi-part form must be completed and received prior to the reclassification period deadline in order to be considered for reclassification review. Completion of all parts does not guarantee reclassification of a position. Requests for reclassification may result in a final determination to classify the position in a pay grade higher, lower or the same as the current position.
- Supervisors or managers must ensure that job duties listed in the request for reclassification form accurately reflect the work and expectations of the position.
Steps for requesting a reclassification
- Complete the reclassification interest form. The interest form collects initial information and alerts the Compensation & Organizational Effectiveness team to connect and provide the link to the reclassification form.
- Supervisor completes the reclassification form for their employee.
- Employee receives a summary of reclassification information submitted for their position along with a link to complete their portion of the form.
- Next level supervisor (manager) receives a summary of reclassification information submitted for the employee's position along with a link to complete their portion of the form.
- Once all three parts of the form are finished, Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness will review the job duties and responsibilities of the position and compare them both externally (market) and internally (K-State).
- If needed, a phone or desk audit may be performed.
- Following review, Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness sends a final determination and reclassification report to the supervisor and manager.
Roles and responsibilities
Requesting a reclassification for a position engages multiple levels of the organization. Understanding your role and responsibilities in the process is critical to ensure a complete and prompt review of the position. Select a role below to learn more about how each person plays a part in the reclassification process.
Supervisors and managers
- Initiates the Request for Reclassification Form documenting actual duties being performed in the position.
- Manages employee’s expectations by not promising or discussing an outcome prior to a final determination.
- Evaluates job responsibilities in an objective fashion to ensure emphasis is placed on the position not the employee’s performance.
- Following final determination:
- consults with the department/unit/college budget/fiscal officer regarding impacts of proposed pay decisions,
- obtains approval from the department/unit/college appointing authority (president, provost, or vice president) for any pay decisions and
- communicates with the employee regarding the outcome, steps for proceeding and expectations moving forward.
- Communicates with departmental Human Capital Services liaisons and budget/fiscal officers to identify the necessary documentation needed for the reclassification request process.
- Ensures job duties are appropriately documented.
- If the supervisor or manager has requested a position conversion (from one employee type to another), the employee must contact HCS-Benefits to discuss benefits options and any potential changes.
Departmental Human Capital Services liaisons
- Serves as a subject matter expert on the reclassification process
- Completes all necessary paperwork after final determination has been made.
- Serves as a consultant to discuss the impact pay decisions have on the department/unit/college’s budget.
- Authorizes final budget authority for all reclassification requests.
Human Capital Services
- Reviews all documentation and conducts a job analysis and audit to ensure:
- appropriate grading, leveling and job placement,
- internal equity and
- external equity.
- Makes a final determination of position classification (job title), pay structure (A or B), pay grade (including an established salary range) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemption status.
- Reviews requests for position conversion (from one employee type to another).
Upon completing the position analysis and audit (pdf), Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness will approve the appropriate classification. All final determinations must ensure the integrity of the University's compensation structure and program.
Retained classification - paying within the range
A position determined to be retained at the current classification—that is, a position that will maintain the currently assigned job code, title and pay grade—should be processed as stated below if an increase in pay is desired.
An Accountant I (pay grade 06A) position is determined to retain the classification of Accountant I. However, the incumbent is currently compensated at an annual rate within the first quartile of the pay grade and the department wishes to compensate the employee in the third quartile of the pay grade.
- Complete an Unclassified Professional and University Support Staff Base Salary Increase Form PER-46S (pdf) including appropriate signatures and submit to Human Capital Services. When completing the form, the supervisor or manager must provide objective criteria and rationale for any proposed pay decisions being made.
- Upon final approval by the appropriate appointing authority, submit a revised contract (for unclassified staff) to Human Capital Services for processing.
New classification - reclassification
A position determined to be reclassified—that is, a position that will be changed from the currently assigned job code, title and pay grade to either a higher, lower or the same pay grade of classification—should be processed as stated below.
An Office Specialist II (pay grade 05A) position is incorrectly classified and should be classified with the new job title of Office Specialist III (pay grade 06A). During the reclassification process, the incumbent should be compensated in the new pay grade (06A) between the minimum and maximum.
- Following notification of a position reclassification by Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness, complete the Reclassification Change Form PER-2 included in the reclassification report. The supervisor and manager, with appropriate budget approval, recommend a pay decision within the new pay range using best practices for compensation. Compensation resources for managers are available to assist in making objective, data-driven pay decisions.
- Submit the completed PER-2 with employee, supervisor and departmental leadership signatures and attach a new, initial contract (for unclassified staff) to Human Capital Services for processing.
Requests for appeal of the final determination made by Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness must include a formal communication and be directed to the Vice President for Human Capital Services within 14 calendar days of final determination.
Appeals should be made by the employee's immediate supervisor or next level manager detailing the rationale for a proposed classification other than that made by Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness in the position's Staff Position Review for Reclassification report.
The originally submitted position description as approved by the supervisor and the written reasons for disagreement included in the appeal communication will be the basis of the appeal review. The appeal process is not intended to consider revisions of the position description directed towards achieving a desired classification.
Reclassification appeals will be accepted for the proposed job title and corresponding pay grade. Other job content or evaluation factors such as minimum requirements (education and/or experience), accuracy of the position description, job description or grading process may not be appealed.
Appeals of the final determination will be reviewed as they are received. Timelines for processing are subject to change dependent upon the volume of requests received during any given period.
The decision of the Vice President for Human Capital Services is final and concludes the appeal process. Following a final determination, departments should submit required documentation requested to Human Capital Services for processing.
Frequently asked questions
Why are positions reclassified?
Supervisors and managers assign work and determine the need for organizational changes and job restructuring based on new programs, technology or changes in staffing. Positions can also evolve naturally as an experienced employee assumes higher level responsibilities. This is why it is important that all employees are classified appropriately—and paid fairly—based upon the job duties and responsibilities assigned. Resources are made available to supervisors and managers to know when to request a reclassification (pdf).
Does an employee have to be performing the job duties of the requested job title in order to request a reclassification?
Yes. It is considered best practice to have an employee begin performing the new duties (typically higher level, although some duties may be of similar or less complexity) prior to requesting a reclassification. Employees should have at least six months of experience performing these new job duties prior to requesting a reclassification. This allows for the opportunity to ensure the employee is able to successfully perform the duties and make adjustments before moving forward with the reclassification request.
Why is the request for reclassification form so long?
The request for reclassification form includes a series of questions designed to assist supervisors and managers in navigating and understanding all facets of the position being considered for reclassification review. Some of these questions may look familiar (such as those you might find on a standard position description) while you may find others to be new, or unfamiliar.
To assist in completing the request for reclassification, Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness encourages supervisors and managers become familiar with the position prior to beginning the request form. This will also help shorten the time needed to complete the form.
Why can I not complete a new position description (PER-1) in lieu of completing the request for reclassification form?
Following the implementation of the university's compensation and pay grade structures, many connected processes were impacted. The reclassification process is one of those processes. To assist in evaluating positions together, the redeveloped reclassification process includes an electronic form with the necessary information to perform a full reclassification review.
Previously, a position description with the added duties was requested, along with other supporting documentation, in order to request a reclassification. The request for reclassification form includes items that would typically be included on a position description, but also includes additional questions that are intended to assist in properly assessing a position, e.g., complexity, supervisory structure or financial authority of a position.
Using the request for reclassification form allows Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness to make an objective determination for the appropriate classification and pay grade assignment.
Questions regarding assistance in using the electronic form should be directed to Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-532-6255.
How long does it take to complete a request for reclassification?
On average, supervisors and managers spend approximately two hours completing the form, from start to finish. Supervisors should also budget for the time it will take for both the employee and next level administrator to review the request.
Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness typically makes final determinations within five to eight weeks of receiving a completed request for reclassification.