Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are frequently received by the Compensation department.


  • What is total compensation?
  • The complete pay package for employees, including all forms of money, benefits, services, and in-kind payments.
  • What are the responsibilities of Compensation Services?
  • To appropriately classify and compensate staff positions.

    At UC Davis Health, the Compensation unit is responsible to appropriately classify and compensate represented staff positions and non-represented positions in the Professional and Support Staff (PSS) and Management and Senior Professional (MSP) programs.
  • How do I request a reclassification?
  • An employee should work with the supervisor to update a position description and request a classification review when there has been a substantive change in the duties and responsibilities assigned to the position.
    - Managers at the Davis campus, submit the request through the Position Management & Recruitment System to Compensation Services for review.
    - Managers at UC Davis Health, should submit the request to the Compensation unit for review.

  • How does a Compensation Analyst determine the appropriate classification?
  • A compensation analyst first reviews and analyzes the various components of a position to ascertain the nature of the work being performed. The analysis identifies the appropriate job series for the position. In addition to comparing to the class specifications, the analysts will compare the job to other similar UC Davis positions and to market data if appropriate.
  • How do I inquire about the status of my reclassification?
  • Employees should consult with their immediate supervisor regarding the status of their classification review.

    - Managers and supervisors at the Davis campus may consult with Compensation Services regarding the status of reclass review.
    - For UC Davis Health, managers and supervisors may consult with the Compensation unit at 916-734-5009 regarding the status of a classification review for an employee in their unit or department. The Compensation unit has a goal of completing a classification review within 30 days of receipt of complete request paperwork.

  • What is the difference between a reclass and a position update?
  • A reclass is a request to review a position for the appropriate classification level. An update is a review of position which has had minimal changes and no change in classification level is anticipated.
  • How long does the reclassification process take?
  • At the Davis campus, it generally takes 30-45 days, however, if a desk audit is needed or union notice is required, the process may take longer.

    At UC Davis Health, the Compensation unit has a goal of completing a classification review within 30 days of receipt of complete request paperwork. The subsequent steps of union notice (if required), input of a reclassification by the Records unit, and processing of salary changes and retroactive payments by Payroll, add to the length of time before the entire process is complete.

  • What is a desk audit?
  • An "interview" by a Compensation Analyst with the incumbent of the position and their immediate supervisor in order to gather information to appropriately classify the position.
  • When does the union need to be noticed on a classification action?
  • When a position is being reclassified out of the bargaining unit. Notice requirements vary according to specific UC/Union agreements.
  • What is the difference between a promotion and a reclass?
  • A promotion is the assignment of an employee from one position to another position, by way of an open recruitment, which is in a class having a higher salary range maximum. A reclassification is the change of title of an employee's current position to a title of a different class having a higher salary range maximum.
  • What is a downward reclassification?
  • A downward reclassification is the change in classification of an employee's current position to a different classification having a lower salary range maximum, as a result of a change in duties assigned to the position.
  • What is red-circling?
  • An individual pay rate 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 pay rate. Employees' salaries may, at management's discretion, be red-circled when their positions are downward reclassified and their current salaries are above the range maximum for the new classification. Employees whose salaries have been red-circled usually are not eligible for further base-building pay increases until the range maximum surpasses their current pay rates.
  • What is a step-based salary system?
  • A step-based salary structure is a salary range with standard rates established at specified intervals within the range. An employee's salary must be assigned to a specific step. Employees may progress from step-to-step via merit increases, based on performance. Progression through a step-based salary range is governed by the applicable UC/union contract.
  • What is an open range salary system?
  • An open range salary structure is a salary range with a minimum and maximum value, with no steps in between. An employee's salary can be at any point between the range minimum and maximum. Employees progress through the range via merit increases, based on performance, or via equity adjustments.
  • What is a range adjustment?
  • An across-the-board salary increase affecting individual employees' pay and salary ranges. When step-based salary ranges are range-adjusted, the employee's salary increases by virtue of the increase to the employee's assigned step.

    A range adjustment for open salary ranges is an increase to the value of the range minimum and the range maximum. When open ranges are range-adjusted, the employee's salary does not increase, unless his or her rate was at the old range minimum.

  • What is an exempt position?
  • A position exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Includes executives, administrative employees, professional employees and those engaged in outside sales.
  • What is a non-exempt position?
  • A non-exempt position is one that is subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Can a supervisor be non-exempt?
  • Yes, a supervisory position can be non-exempt.
  • Is the FLSA status considered final or can determinations be appealed or
    changed based upon management comment?
  • The FLSA status has been determined for each title. However, individual positions or performance may require analysis by Compensation to ensure that each is assigned to the appropriate classification. As always, positions must meet the series concept definitions in order to be reclassified. Positions will not be reclassified for the purpose of avoiding overtime payments.
  • Can "exempt" employees work part-time?
  • Yes, but the part-time employee must also be compensated on a salaried basis. For example, if an exempt employee has a 50% appointment, they would be paid at 50% of the established monthly rate. The workload should be adjusted as appropriate.
  • If a nonexempt employee works overtime without obtaining prior approval from his/her supervisor,
    is the department obligated to compensate premium overtime?
  • Yes, overtime must always be authorized in advance by the supervisor. However, it still accrues as a liability when the employee works overtime and the supervisor knows or "should have known" that the work was performed and did nothing to stop it 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 who are working on a number of accounts and the work charged to each account varies, or 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 a payment for hours worked calculated at 1.5 times the employee's base hourly rate. It is paid for all hours worked exceeding 40 hours in a workweek.
  • 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?
  • For non-represented staff covered by Personnel Policies for Staff members: At the time overtime work is assigned, managers need to discuss the method of compensation prior to authorizing the overtime. Management may offer either payment or CTO, and the employee may select the method of compensation. For represented employees: This may vary depending on the employee's bargaining unit. Please consult the appropriate union contract for current practice.

    For all UC Davis Health employees, supervisors and managers are responsible for identifying eligible employees under UCDH Policy 2920 (CTO Accrual for Eligible Employees) and obtaining approval for CTO enrollment from Employee and Labor Relations.  Once eligibility has been confirmed, Payroll will create a CTO bank for the employee.  
  • What is the difference between a supervisor and a lead worker?
  • A lead worker is an incumbent that functions in a “lead” capacity for a group of employees working on a project or a specific assignment basis. The Lead Worker does not have full formal supervisory authority for staff assigned to projects; however, in order to complete projects/assignment must be able to schedule and control the daily working arrangements for a specified group of employees. For a full definition visit the guideline for Lead Workers.

    A supervisor is an incumbent that customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other career employees working in a department/unit and has the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring or firing and as to the advancement and promotion or any other change of status of other employees will be given particular weight. For a full definition visit the guideline for Supervisors.

  • What is a confidential employee?
  • An employee 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? (Davis campus)
  • Equity adjustments are salary changes outside of the normal salary programs (promotions, re-classifications, 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. For specific information on use of equities please consult the appropriate policy/labor contract.
  • What are stipends awarded for? (Davis campus)
  • An administrative stipend is a form of compensation used to pay an employee who is temporarily assigned responsibilities of a higher level position (out-of-classification pay).