Classification and Compensation FAQs

Frequently asked questions about:


1. What is position classification?

Classification groups jobs of a common nature with similar duties and responsibilities and assigns them an appropriate pay range.  Position classification also:

  1. Places jobs into the appropriate job family and collective bargaining unit;

  2. Ensures proper compensation; and

  3. Defines performance expectations.

2. How does an employee find out their current classification?

  1. The position description provided to an employee by their manager upon their hire or significant change in responsibilities will indicate the classification.

  2. The CSUN organizational charts also indicate classification.  These are viewable by going to

 3. What is the difference between a reclassification and an in-class progression?

  1. A reclassification is when a position's classification changes. Each classification has a specific four digit classification code. If that code changes, it is considered a reclassification. For example: If an Administrative Support Assistant position (class code 1032) changes to an Administrative Support Coordinator (class code 1035), this is a reclassification.

  2. An in-class progression is when the classification stays the same, but the skill level or range changes. In this case, the four digit class code remains the same. For Example: If an Administrative Support Assistant salary range 1 (class code 1032), changes to an Administrative Support Assistant salary range 2 (class code 1032), this is an in-class progression.


Classification Review: Factors Considered

1. 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.

2. What factors are, and are not, included in determining the appropriate classification?

Factors that ARE included:

    1. Nature of duties and responsibilities;

    2. Scope, level, and complexity of duties and responsibilities;

    3. Relationship of the position to other positions in the department and within the university;

    4. Supervision, both given and received;

    5. Exercise of independent judgment; and

    6. Autonomy and authority related to decision-making and accountability.

 Factors that ARE NOT included:

    1. Quality of performance (performance evaluation rating);

    2. Quantity of work (volume);

    3. Status of the incumbent;

    4. Information relative to the employee’s length of service;

    5. Time spent at the maximum of the position’s salary range;

    6. Skills/education not related to the job or minimum qualifications; and

    7. Employee’s salary placement within the salary range.

Remember: the Position, not the incumbent, is being reviewed.

Classification Review Process

1. How is a Classification Review Request submitted?

The appropriate MPP manager, or the Employee through their MPP manager, submits a completed position description (with appropriate signatures) to Human Resources.(Please refer to appropriate collective bargaining agreement for specific provisions.)

2. How long does it take to complete a Classification Review?

Although Human Resources has a window of 180 days of receipt of the request to complete a classification review, this process often happens within 90 days.

3. How are the effective dates of re-classifications and in-range progressions determined?

The effective date for a reclassification or in-range progression is the first day of the pay period following the date the request was received in the Human Resources office. For Example: If a request is received by Human Resources on June 18, 2015 the effective date would be July 1, 2015, the first day of the pay period for July 2015.

4. How can I appeal the initial classification review decision?  Who will conduct the appeal review?

An employee may appeal the decision within 30 days of receipt of the decision. A different Human Resources manager will conduct the appeal review.  The appeal decision is final.

5. If a position is reclassified, how is the amount of salary increase determined?

The minimum salary increase is typically either 5% or the minimum of the new salary range, whichever is higher. (Please refer to appropriate collective bargaining agreement for specific provisions.)

In-Range Progression

1. What is an in-range progression (IRP)?

An IRP is an increase within the current classification salary range.

2. How is an in-range progression different from a reclassification?

An IRP is based on significant changes in duties and responsibilities, which do not warrant a classification change. Some bargaining units also allow for IRP based upon exceptional performance or equity issues. (Please refer to appropriate collective bargaining agreement for specific provisions.)

3. How frequently can an In-Range Progression Request be submitted for an individual's position?

Employee initiated requests may be submitted twelve (12) months after completion of a previous IRP determination.

4. Do I need to conduct my own salary study when requesting an In-Range Progression?

No, Human Resources will conduct a salary study, and reviews that information with the appropriate administrator. It is unnecessary for you to conduct your own review.

5. Has the campus supported management initiated increases based on equity?

Yes.  For fiscal year 2015/16, the university has made approximately $1 million dollars available for distribution to staff bargaining units via our existing In Range Progression (IRP) procedures.  All increases are retroactive to January 1, 2015 and base pay changes will be reflected on the June 2015 pay warrant.

These increases will not only help to fairly compensate employees, they are also a step towards improving consistency within our compensation structure.  It is important to understand that the In Range Progressions were based purely on equity within the bargaining unit classifications across campus (the collective whole), and not in any way on any one individual’s merit. Increases were determined based on the following criteria (in the order):  

    1. Compression:  This criteria identified areas in which a subordinate employees’ salary was greater than or very close to their respective supervisor.  Such increases were only provided to reporting structures that are identified by departments in the SOLAR HR system

    2. CSUN Comparators:  Equity increases were provided to individuals who were paid significantly below the average salary of campus colleagues in their classifications. All 115 staff classifications were analyzed.

    3. CSU Campus Comparators:  A number of CSUN classifications were identified as having average salaries significantly below the CSU classification average.  Individuals in these classifications were provided an equity increase if their respective salary was significantly below the CSU average.

    4. Service:  Equity increases were provided to employees with 15 or more years of CSUN service who were paid at or slightly below the average salary of campus colleagues in their classification.

Manager's Information

1. I am a new manager. How do I learn about the compensation/classification procedures available for my employees?

  1. First, review the Program Guidelines listed under the Classification and Compensation section on our website at:

  2. For further information, please email or call x2101.


Minimum Wage

1. What is minimum wage?

To find the current California Minimum Wage, visit:

Position Description

1. What does a position description have to do with the position classification process?

An employee’s position description, which describes current job duties and responsibilities, is the foundation of the classification process. It is the main tool used to determine the appropriate classification.

2. When should I submit a position description for review?

When 50% or more of the duties and responsibilities have changed.

3. How often can a position description be reviewed?

A position can be reviewed twelve months following the prior review.

4. How is a position description updated?

The appropriate non-bargaining unit manager (MPP) in your department is responsible for final assignment of duties of all positions.  An incumbent may be asked for input for updating a current position. 

5. Where can an employee get a copy of their own job description?

Employees wishing to review their position description (PD) should first request the description from their manager. Managers should have a copy of the PD on file; if necessary, they may send a request via email to the Classification & Compensation.  Human Resources will respond within five (5) business days. 

6. How can I access the blank Position Description form?

  1. Staff Position Description

  2. MPP Position Description

  3. Auxiliary Position Descriptions (For TUC, AS, or USU Position Description Forms, please contact the appropriate Auxiliary Human Resources department). 

7. Where can I find information on completing and processing the NEW Staff Position Description Form?

For instructions on completing or processing a Position Description Form, visit:

8. How do I complete the Position Description Form?

For instructions on completing or processing a Position Description Form, visit:

Rest Breaks & Meal Periods

General guidelines and scenarios for providing Rest Breaks and Meal Periods can be found on the Classification & Compensation Resources/Links section.  For a downloadable version click here.

If you need additional guidance, please contact


Salary Range by Classification

1. Where can I find the salary range for a classification?

  1. Please click on the following link for the CSU Salary

  2. Schedule:

  3. Under “Select Salary Schedule by Issue Date,” select the first link. Select the appropriate bargaining unit to find the classification and the salary range.

Travel Related Pay

1. How is pay calculated for non-exempt staff who travel to conferences or training programs?

If nonexempt employees are required to travel, any travel time beyond their normal commute, and any hours spent at meetings/conferences are considered time worked and are counted as hours worked in a work week.  (Please refer to appropriate collective bargaining agreement for specific provisions.)

Any time a non-exempt employee spends time performing work on behalf of the University, or work that the University knew or had reason to know was being performed by the employee, is considered hours worked and therefore deemed compensable time. This includes time spent traveling and working outside the office during business travel. 

Required extended (or overnight) travel, time spent driving or as a passenger to and from the event/location, including time spent waiting to purchase a ticket, check a bag, etc., is considered compensable “hours worked”. Activities such as taking a break from travel to eat, sleep or engage in personal pursuits not connected with traveling, is not compensable. Once the employee reaches his or her hotel and is free to choose what they do and, therefore not under the “control” of the employer, such time is not considered compensable travel time.

Please see the CSU Policy: Compensable Time for Non-Exempt Employee Authorized to Travel on Official University Business