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Designing A Pay Structure

45©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Student Workbook

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Designing A Pay Structure By Lisa A. Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

47©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Student Workbook – Case Study Introduction to Compensation and Designing a Pay Structure

Compensation is a critical area of human resource (HR) management, and one that can greatly affect employee behavior. To be effective, compensation must be perceived by employees as fair, competitive in the market, accurately based, motivating and easy to understand.

HR professionals might create the pay structure for their organization, or they might work with an external compensation consultant. There are several steps to designing a pay structure: job analysis; job evaluation; pay survey analysis; pay policy development; and pay structure formation. Each step is briefly explained below. For a more extensive discussion, please review Milkovich & Newman, 2008.

Step 1: Job Analysis

Job analysis is the process of studying jobs in an organization. The outcome of this process is a job description that includes the job title, a summary of the job tasks, a list of essential tasks and responsibilities, and a description of the work context. Also included are the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the job.

Step 2: Job Evaluation

Job evaluation is the process of judging the relative worth of jobs in an organization. The outcome of job evaluation is the development of an internal structure or hierarchical ranking of jobs. Job-based evaluation is used more often than person-based evaluation, and so the former will be the focus in this case. There are three methods of job-based evaluation: the point method (which is the most commonly used); ranking; and classification. Job evaluation helps to ensure that pay is internally aligned and perceived to be fair by employees.

Step 3: Pay Policy Identification

Pay policy identification is the process of determining whether the organization wants to lead, lag or meet the market in compensation. The pay policy or strategy will likely influence employee attraction and retention. Pay policies can vary across job families (i.e., groups of similar jobs) and job levels if the top management feels that different strategies can be effective in different areas of the organization.

Step 4: Pay Survey Analysis

Pay survey analysis is the process of analyzing compensation data gathered from other employers in a survey of the relevant labor market. Gathering external pay data (e.g., base pay, bonuses, stock options and benefits) is essential to keep the organization’s compensation externally competitive within its industry. Employee attraction and retention can be improved by maintaining externally aligned pay structures.

Step 5: Pay Structure Creation

Pay structure creation is the final step, in which the internal structure (Step 2) is merged with the external market pay rates (Step 4) in a simple regression to develop a market pay line. Depending on whether the organization wants to lead, lag or meet the market, the market pay line can be adjusted up or down. To complete the pay structure, pay grades and pay ranges are developed.

In this case, you will design a pay structure using a case scenario and integrated application.

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

48©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Learning Objectives

In this case, students will learn to design a pay structure. To do so, you will:

Write a job description, using the O*NET website.

Use the point method to conduct a job evaluation.

Analyze pay survey data for benchmark jobs.

Create a market pay line using Excel.

Establish a pay policy line based on a pay level strategy.

Create pay grades.

Establish pay ranges.

Recommended Reading

Milkovich, G., and Newman, J. (2008). Compensation. McGraw- Hill Irwin. Chapters 1-8.

CASE

You are the newly hired human resource (HR) director for an engineering consulting firm that is expanding its operations to Chattanooga, Tenn. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. Based on the organization’s mission statement, you know the firm strives to create customized and technically proficient electrical engineering plans for regional clients. The following personnel are required to start the Chattanooga operation (the numbers in parentheses indicate the number of positions):

Director of regional operations

Assistant to the director of operations

Operations analyst (2)

Operations trainee

HR director (this is you)

Administrative assistant in HR

Benefits manager

Benefits counselor

Payroll assistant

Lead engineer (3)

Engineer (6)

Engineering associate for special projects

Manager of information systems

Senior information systems analyst

Information systems analyst

Security guard

Front desk receptionist

You can see from the list that there are several job families, including operations, HR, engineering, information systems and office support. You can now begin the process of designing a pay structure for the organization.

Job analysis is central to many HR functions, including compensation, recruiting and training. You need to understand what tasks, duties and responsibilities various jobs will entail before you can assign fair and competitive pay rates.

Begin the process by gathering the needed job description information. To do so, combine information from O*NET (http://online.onetcenter.org), an online job analysis resource developed by the Department of Labor, and existing internal corporate HR documents (such as previous job descriptions). Each job description includes the job title; a job summary; essential job tasks; the job’s work context; and job-relevant knowledge and skills that an incumbent must possess.

Benchmark jobs (jobs that are common and consistent across a wide range of employers) will be the focus of this exercise, because they will be used to design the pay structure. Appendix A contains the job descriptions of the benchmark jobs. You have one description left to complete; your first task is to create a job description for the benefits manager position.

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

49©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Task A: Create a complete job description for the Benefits Manager position using O*NET. »

To design a pay structure, there must be a formal way to value the work inside the organization so that pay is awarded fairly. The job evaluation process will help develop this internal work hierarchy.

Different evaluation methods, pay strategies, and pay structures will be used for different job families in the organization. You decide to use a job-based evaluation approach for the operations, office support, and HR job families. A skills-based approach will be used for information systems and engineering job families, although it is not included as a task in this case. The security guard and director of regional operations jobs will be assigned pay rates primarily using market pricing and slotted later into the pay structure.

Company representatives from various job levels and families will periodically provide you with input during the job evaluation process. This will help you gain acceptance of the established job structure. You ask this job evaluation committee whether they agree with the specific benchmark jobs identified in the job analysis step (see below).

Office Support Operations HR

HR Director

Assistant to the director of operations Director of regional operations *Benefits manager

*Admin assistant (HR) *Operations analyst Benefits counselor

*Front desk receptionist Operations trainee *Payroll assistant

* Benchmark job.

The committee studies the various job titles and asks why the administrative assistant in HR is not included in the HR job family. You explain that administrative assistants perform similar tasks across departments and do not handle functional-specific tasks (e.g., HR). You suggest grouping the front-line administrative jobs in a separate job family called office support. The other job families that will be evaluated are operations and HR.

You decide to use the point method for job evaluation for operations, HR, and office support job families because it is the most commonly used job evaluation method. Next, the compensable factors, degrees and weights of each factor must be determined. With input from the job evaluation committee and your knowledge of the organization’s mission and work content, three common compensable factors are selected: skill, responsibility and effort, each having two specific sub-factors. For example, the compensable factor of skill is comprised of education level and the degree of technical skills.

You recommend weighting the skill compensable factor at 50 percent because the organization is very knowledge-intensive and depends heavily on its human capital. Responsibility is weighted 30 percent because each job has the potential to affect other jobs; and effort is assigned 20 percent because problem solving and task complexity are integral across jobs in the organization.

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

50©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Four degrees should be sufficient for rating the various jobs. For example, the four degrees for education level are identified as:

1=High School/GED 2=Associates 3=Bachelors 4=Masters/Graduate

Points are then calculated by multiplying the degrees by the weights.

You present an example of how this point scheme is applied to the front desk receptionist benchmark job (see below). The committee agrees with the approach.

Compensable Factor Job evaluation for front desk receptionist

Degree (1, 2, 3, 4) Weight Points

Skill (50%)

-Education Level 1 25% 25

-Degree of Technical Skills 1 25% 25

Responsibility (30%)

-Scope of Control 1 10% 10

-Impact of Job 2 20% 40

Effort (20%)

-Degree of Problem Solving 1 10% 10

-Task Complexity 1 10% 10

120 points

The next task is to calculate the job evaluation points for the remaining benchmark jobs using the established compensable factors and specified weights above. In other words, the degrees of each remaining benchmark job must be determined based on a logical rationale, and then the total job evaluation points for each benchmark job can be calculated. To do so, consult the job descriptions in Appendix A.

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

51©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Task B: Calculate the job evaluation points for the administrative assistant, payroll assistant, operational » analyst, and benefits manager jobs. Provide a rationale for assigning specific degrees to the various jobs.

After determining the job evaluation points for the remaining benchmark positions, you meet with the president, the head of corporate HR in Indianapolis and the director of regional operations in Chattanooga to discuss a pay level strategy for each job family. One decision resulting from these meetings is that your organization will pay 3 percent above the market in base pay for the HR, operations and office support job families. The group realizes that this lead pay policy will help meet the firm’s customer-focus business strategy by attracting and retaining high-potential employees without incurring labor costs too far above their competitors.

Top management also decides to match the market in benefits to contain benefit costs (e.g., health care costs). After analyzing web-based data about benefits offered in your industry by smaller organizations (retrieved from BenefitsLink, SHRM, and Employee Benefits Research Institute) you discern that on average, employee benefits costs are approximately 25 percent of total compensation. Once the pay structure is finalized, you will set benefits at a similar ratio of total compensation to achieve a matching benefits policy.

To ensure that the pay structure is externally competitive, a pay survey will be conducted. For the results of a survey to be valid, the market pay data must be from the relevant labor market for each benchmark job. That is, regional pay data should be gathered because most of the office support, HR and operations jobs will be filled by regional candidates (i.e., within a 90-mile radius of Chattanooga).

You develop a streamlined pay survey and administer it to industry competitors. Descriptive organization data (e.g., size, industry, annual revenue) is gathered as well as compensation data for each of the benchmark jobs, including base pay, bonuses, stock options and benefits. [Note: All participating organizations will receive the survey results.]

Surveys are completed and returned by six organizations (referred to as companies A, B, C, D, E, and F) who recruit and hire similar benchmark jobs in the surrounding region. Base pay salary data from the responding organizations are reflected in the following table. You have already checked to ensure that summary job descriptions for the benchmark jobs (in the sample data) are appropriately similar to those in your organization (to ensure you are comparing “apples to apples”). The next step is to analyze the pay data and generate weighted means for each benchmark job to use in future parts of the case.

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

52©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Task C: If there were any outliers (i.e., extreme data points) in these data, what would you recommend doing » with them? [From this point forward, assume no extreme data points exist in the dataset.]

Second, calculate the weighted means (for base pay) for each benchmark job.

Company # of Job Incumbents Base Pay

A

Front Desk Receptionist 1 Average $21,000

Minimum

Maximum

B

Front Desk Receptionist 2 Average $22,000

Minimum $21,000

Maximum $23,000

C

Front Desk Receptionist 1 Average $18,000

Minimum

Maximum

D

Front Desk Receptionist 2 Average $21,000

Minimum $20,000

Maximum $22,000

E

Front Desk Receptionist 2 Average $18,500

Minimum $18,000

Maximum $19,000

F

Front Desk Receptionist 1 Average $17,500

Minimum

Maximum

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

53©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Company # of Job Incumbents Base Pay

A

Administrative Assistant 4 Average $25,000

Minimum $21,000

Maximum $28,000

B

Administrative Assistant 4 Average $31,000

Minimum $27,000

Maximum $34,500

C

Administrative Assistant 3 Average $30,000

Minimum $29,000

Maximum $32,000

D

Administrative Assistant 5 Average $33,000

Minimum $28,000

Maximum $34,000

E

Administrative Assistant 4 Average $29,000

Minimum $27,000

Maximum $30,000

F

Administrative Assistant 4 Average $28,000

Minimum $27,000

Maximum $30,000

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

54©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Company # of Job Incumbents Base Pay

A

Operations Analyst 2 Average $55,000

Minimum $50,000

Maximum $60,000

B

Operations Analyst 4 Average $57,000

Minimum $54,000

Maximum $59,000

C

Operations Analyst 3 Average $56,000

Minimum $54,000

Maximum $58,000

D

Operations Analyst 5 Average $58,500

Minimum $52,000

Maximum $61,000

E

Operations Analyst 3 Average $59,000

Minimum $57,000

Maximum $61,000

F

Operations Analyst 3 Average $54,000

Minimum $53,000

Maximum $55,000

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

55©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Company # of Job Incumbents Base Pay

A

Payroll Assistant 2 Average $35,000

Minimum $34,000

Maximum $36,000

B

Payroll Assistant 3 Average $34,000

Minimum $32,000

Maximum $35,000

C

Payroll Assistant 1 Average $35,000

Minimum

Maximum

D

Payroll Assistant 3 Average $35,000

Minimum $33,000

Maximum $37,000

E

Payroll Assistant 2 Average $36,000

Minimum $35,000

Maximum $37,000

F

Payroll Assistant 2 Average $29,000

Minimum $27,000

Maximum $31,000

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

56©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Company # of Job Incumbents Base Pay

A

Benefits Manager 1 Average $62,000

Minimum

Maximum

B

Benefits Manager 2 Average $61,500

Minimum $61,000

Maximum $62,000

C

Benefits Manager 1 Average $60,000

Minimum

Maximum

D

Benefits Manager 3 Average $64,000

Minimum $62,000

Maximum $65,000

E

Benefits Manager 2 Average $63,000

Minimum $62,000

Maximum $64,000

F

Benefits Manager 1 Average $66,000

Minimum

Maximum

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

57©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

The next task is to conduct a simple regression using Microsoft Excel to create a market pay line. Enter the job evaluation points (as X) and weighted average base pay rates (as Y) for each benchmark job and generate the regression results.

Task D: Conduct a simple regression in Excel to create a market pay line by entering the job evaluation points » (on the X axis) and the respective weighted average market base pay (on the Y axis) for each benchmark job.

Identify the slope and y-intercept and write the equation for the market pay line.

The regression output will also show information about how good the regression line fits the data. Specifically, look at the “R squared” in the regression output. Generally, the R squared, referred to as variance explained, should be .95 or higher.

If R squared is significantly lower than this, there may be problems stemming from the job evaluation step. For example, the points assigned to certain benchmark jobs may be off – i.e., not make sense given the level of tasks, duties and responsibilities required for the job and the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by the job incumbent. If this is the case, re-examine the job descriptions and reconsider the points assigned to the benchmark jobs. Alternatively, there may be errors in the weighted average calculations. After conducting the regression again, examine the new R squared.

Task E: What is your R squared (variance explained)? Is it sufficient to proceed? »

Using the regression output (the slope and y-intercept), calculate the predicted market pay rate (using Excel) for each benchmark job.

Task F: Calculate the predicted base pay for each benchmark job. »

Next, adjust the market pay line based on the organization’s lead pay level strategy; this will create the pay policy line. Since the organization wants to lead the market by 3 percent across the operations, office support and HR job families, adjust the market pay line accordingly (by 3 percent). In other words, each predicted pay rate can be multiplied by 1.03 to get a new base pay rate that is 3 percent above market.

Task G: Because your company wants to lead in base pay by 3 percent, adjust the predicted pay rates to » determine the base pay rate you will offer for each benchmark job.

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

58©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Next, create pay grades for the pay structure. Pay grades represent groupings of jobs that are similar for pay purposes (i.e., of similar value to the organization). All the jobs in a pay grade share the same pay range (minimum and maximum pay rates). Examine the benchmark jobs in this case again and determine which ones are sufficiently similar for compensation purposes. Do this by revisiting the job evaluation results.

Task H: Create pay grades by combining any benchmark jobs that are substantially comparable for pay » purposes. Clearly label your pay grades and explain why you combined any benchmark jobs to form a grade.

The final step to designing the pay structure is to set the pay ranges for each pay grade. Pay ranges create upper and lower pay rates (on the Y axis) for each job in the pay grade. Each pay grade will have a minimum and maximum pay rate. It is important to remember that all jobs in a pay grade will have the same minimum and maximum pay rates.

Percent guidelines are used to determine how far above and below the midpoint the pay range will reach. For example, the maximum might be 10 percent above the midpoint and the minimum might be 10 percent below the midpoint.

The percent guidelines, based on input from the job evaluation committee, are: Clerical and office positions: 10 percent above and below the midpoint.

Entry to mid-level professional and management positions: 30 percent above and below the midpoint.

Task I: Use your answer to Task H to determine the pay range (i.e., minimum and maximum) for each pay » grade.

Task J: Given the pay structure you have generated, consider the following: »

Does this pay structure make good business sense? Do you think it is consistent with the organization’s » business strategy?

What are the implications of this pay structure for other HR systems, such as retention and recruiting? »

STUDENT WORKBOOK

Designing A Pay Structure

59©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

REFERENCES

Milkovich, G., and Newman, J. (2008). Compensation. McGraw-Hill Irwin. O*NET. Available at http://online.onetcenter.org.

OTHER COMPENSATION TEXTS

Bergmann, T., and Scarpello, V. (2002). Compensation decision making. Southwestern. Martocchio, J. (2006). Strategic Compensation. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

RELEVANT WEBSITES

WorldAtWork: www.worldatwork.org. Society for Human Resource Management: www.shrm.org. Economic Research Institute: www.eridlc.com.

INSTRUCTOR’S MANUAL

Designing A Pay Structure

60©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

APPENDIX A

Designing A Pay Structure

61©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Appendix A – Job Descriptions for Benchmark Jobs [Created using O*NET]

Front Desk Receptionist

Job Summary

Answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, visitors and other interested parties. Provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.

Essential Job Tasks

Operate telephone to answer, screen and forward calls, providing information, taking messages and scheduling appointments.

Greet persons entering establishment, determine nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations.

Hear and resolve complaints from customers and public.

Transmit information or documents to customers, using e-mail, mail or fax machine.

Analyze data to determine answers to questions from customers or members of the public.

Provide information about the establishment, such as location of departments or offices, employees within the organization, or services provided.

Job Context

Indoor, environmentally controlled; telephone; contact with others.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, taking and organizing messages, and other office procedures and terminology.

Awareness of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Gives full attention to what other people are saying, taking the time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Actively looks for ways to help people.

Manages one’s own time and the time of others.

Talks to others to convey information effectively.

Knowledge of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Understands written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

Communicates effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

APPENDIX A

Designing A Pay Structure

62©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Administrative Assistant

Job Summary

Provide administrative support by conducting research, preparing reports, handling information requests and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings.

Essential Job Tasks

Manage and maintain executives’ schedules.

Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, or presentation software.

Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.

Open, sort and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and e-mail.

File and retrieve corporate documents, records and reports.

Greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals.

Prepare responses to correspondence containing routine inquiries.

Perform general office duties such as ordering supplies, maintaining records, management systems and performing basic bookkeeping work.

Make travel arrangements for executives.

Job Context

Indoor, environmentally controlled; telephone; contact with others.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, designing and completing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Knowledge of computer hardware and software.

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar.

Gives full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitors/assesses performance of self, other individuals or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Manages one’s own time and the time of others.

Talks to others to convey information effectively.

Understands written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

Communicates effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Adjusts actions in relation to others’ actions.

APPENDIX A

Designing A Pay Structure

63©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Payroll Assistant

Job Summary

Compile and post employee time and payroll data. Compute employees’ time worked, production and any commission. Compute and post wages and deductions.

Essential Job Tasks

Process and issue employee paychecks and statements of earnings and deductions.

Compute wages and deductions and enter data into computers.

Compile employee time, production and payroll data from time sheets and other records.

Review time sheets, work charts, wage computation and other information to detect and reconcile payroll discrepancies.

Verify attendance, hours worked and pay adjustments, and post information to records.

Record employee information, such as exemptions, transfers and resignations to maintain and update payroll records.

Issue and record adjustments to pay related to previous errors or retroactive increases.

Complete time sheets showing employees’ arrival and departure times.

Job Context

Indoor, environmentally controlled; telephone; contact with others.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, designing and completing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer service.

Knowledge of math, arithmetic, statistics to analyze data and solve problems and use of Microsoft Excel.

Uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Knowledge of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Understands written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

Gives full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Talks to others to convey information effectively.

Communicates effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

APPENDIX A

Designing A Pay Structure

64©2008 SHRM Lisa Burke, Ph.D., SPHR

Operations Analyst

Job Summary

Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods using a computer to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making or other managerial functions. Frequently concentrates on collecting and analyzing data using decision support software.

Essential Job Tasks

Analyze information obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems.

Collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to identify and solve a variety of problems and to clarify management objectives.

Define data requirements and then gather and validate information, applying judgment.

Study and analyze information about alternative courses of action to determine which plan will offer the best outcome.

Prepare management reports defining and evaluating problems and identifying solutions.

Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives and their parameters.

Job Context

Indoor, environmentally controlled; telephone; contact with others.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge and application of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus and statistics.

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures and equipment.

Knowledge of computer hardware and software including applications and programming.

Identifies complex problems and reviews related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Analyzes needs and product requirements to create a design.

Determines how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations and the environment will affect outcomes.

Considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to determine course of action.

Understands the implications of new information for both current and future problem solving and decision making.

Knowledge of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Understands written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

Communicates effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

1800 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314

www.shrm.org/hreducation/cases.asp

08-0389

*Note: The Department of Labor revised the regulations located at 29 C.F.R. part 541 with an effective date of January 1, 2020. WHD will continue to enforce the 2004 part 541 regulations through December 31, 2019, including the $455 per week standard salary level and $100,000 annual compensation level for Highly Compensated Employees. The final rule is available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/ documents/2019/09/27/2019-20353/defining-and-delimiting-the-exemptions-for-executive-administrative- professional-outside-sales-and.

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division

(Revised September 2019)

Fact Sheet #17A: Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

This fact sheet provides general information on the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay provided by Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA as defined by Regulations, 29 C.F.R. Part 541.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

However, Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13(a)(17) also exempt certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $684* per week. Employers may use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) paid on an annual or more frequent basis, to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the Department’s regulations.

See other fact sheets in this series for more information on the exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, computer and outside sales employees, and for more information on the salary basis requirement.

Executive Exemption

To qualify for the executive employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684* per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise;

• The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and

• The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight.https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/09/27/2019-20353/defining-and-delimiting-the-exemptions-for-executive-administrative-professional-outside-sales-andhttps://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/09/27/2019-20353/defining-and-delimiting-the-exemptions-for-executive-administrative-professional-outside-sales-andgov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=62e63b2a9c9a27781cf6af25feb88d8b&mc=true&node=pt29.3.541&rgn=div5″>https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=62e63b2a9c9a27781cf6af25feb88d8b&mc=true&node=pt29.3.541&rgn=div5https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/index.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/WHD/minimumwage.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/WHD/minimumwage.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/WHD/minimumwage.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertimehttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17b_executive.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17c_administrative.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17d_professional.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17e_computer.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17f_outsidesales.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17g_salary.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17b_executive.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17g_salary.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertime

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Administrative Exemptions

To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684* per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and

• The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption

To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684* per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;

• The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and • The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized

intellectual instruction.

To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684* per week;

• The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

Computer Employee Exemption

To qualify for the computer employee exemption, the following tests must be met:

• The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684* per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;

• The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below;

• The employee’s primary duty must consist of: 1) The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with

users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications;https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17c_administrative.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17g_salary.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertimehttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17d_professional.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17g_salary.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertimehttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17g_salary.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertimehttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17e_computer.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17g_salary.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertime

3

2) The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;

3) The design, documentation, testing, creation or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or

4) A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

Outside Sales Exemption

To qualify for the outside sales employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

• The employee’s primary duty must be making sales (as defined in the FLSA), or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer; and

• The employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.

Highly Compensated Employees

Highly compensated employees performing office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $107,432 or more (which must include at least $684* per week paid on a salary or fee basis) are exempt from the FLSA if they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee identified in the standard tests for exemption.

Blue-Collar Workers

The exemptions provided by FLSA Section 13(a)(1) apply only to “white-collar” employees who meet the salary and duties tests set forth in the Part 541 regulations. The exemptions do not apply to manual laborers or other “blue-collar” workers who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy. FLSA-covered, non-management employees in production, maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, construction workers and laborers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime premium pay under the FLSA, and are not exempt under the Part 541 regulations no matter how highly paid they might be.

Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Other First Responders

The exemptions also do not apply to police officers, detectives, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, highway patrol officers, investigators, inspectors, correctional officers, parole or probation officers, park rangers, fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, ambulance personnel, rescue workers, hazardous materials workers and similar employees, regardless of rank or pay level, who perform work such as preventing, controlling or extinguishing fires of any type; rescuing fire, crime or accident victims; preventing or detecting crimes; conducting investigations or inspections for violations of law; performing surveillance; pursuing, restraining and apprehending suspects; detaining or supervising suspected and convicted criminals, including those on probation or parole; interviewing witnesses; interrogating and fingerprinting suspects; preparing investigative reports; or other similar work.https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17f_outsidesales.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17h_highly_comp.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.htm#footnoteOvertimehttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17i_blue_collar.pdfhttps://www.dol.gov/WHD/minimumwage.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htmhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17j_first_responders.pdf

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Other Laws & Collective Bargaining Agreements

The FLSA provides minimum standards that may be exceeded, but cannot be waived or reduced. Employers must comply, for example, with any Federal, State or municipal laws, regulations or ordinances establishing a higher minimum wage or lower maximum workweek than those established under the FLSA. Similarly, employers may, on their own initiative or under a collective bargaining agreement, provide a higher wage, shorter workweek, or higher overtime premium than provided under the FLSA. While collective bargaining agreements cannot waive or reduce FLSA protections, nothing in the FLSA or the Part 541 regulation relieves employers from their contractual obligations under such bargaining agreements.

Where to Obtain Additional Information

For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

When state law differs from the federal FLSA, an employer must comply with the standard most protective to employees. Links to your state labor department can be found at www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm.

This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations. U.S. Department of Labor Frances Perkins Building 200 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20210

1-866-4-USWAGE TTY: 1-866-487-9243

Contact Ushttps://www.dol.gov/whdhttps://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htmhttp://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/contactForm.asp

A.

Job Title

Benefits Manager

Job Summary

Plans, directs or coordinates the organization’s compensation and benefits activities, determines the competitive position, proposes and implements new or modified initiatives. 

Essential Job Tasks

· Design, evaluate and modify benefits policies to ensure that programs are current, competitive, and in compliance with legal requirements.

· Analyze compensation policies, government regulations, and prevailing wage rates to develop competitive compensation plan.

· Fulfill all reporting requirements of all relevant government rules and regulations, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

· Maintain records and compile statistical reports concerning personnel-related data such as hires.

· Formulate policies, procedures and programs for recruitment, testing, placement, classification, orientation, benefits and compensation, and labor and industrial relations.

Job Context

Indoor, environmentally controlled; telephone; contact with others.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

· Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

· Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

· Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

· Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and 

their applications.

· Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

· Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

· Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

References

O*NET online summary report for Compensation and Benefits Managers

B.

Compensable factors are factors used to provide the basis for evaluating job schemes and value; These factors create a job order according to worth and facilitate wage structure creation. Compensable factors include education level, degree of technical skills, control scope, job impact, degree of problem-solving, and task complexity. This paper will define each compensable factor and its related four-degree scores.

Educational level refers to the length of stay in the education system and the qualification acquired. Education level ranges from basic school-leaving to doctorate levels of capability. Degree scores vary depending on the job level; examples include; level one-High school, Level two-bachelors degree, level three-Masters, and level four-Doctorate degrees.

Technical skills refer to specialized knowledge and expertise needed to accomplish tasks in a particular job. Technical skills vary depending on the job level since they increase with experience in a specific job. Four-degree scores that evaluate technical skills include; level one-Basic, Level two-intermediate, Level three-Advanced, and Level four-expert.

Scope of control is a goal-oriented task of an employee to establish if performance aligns with its set standards and corrective actions are taken. The control scope may vary depending on the job level; scores include; level one-supervisory, level two-Tactical, Level three-Operational, and level four- Strategic.

Job impact is the amount of progress an employee makes to make a difference in the company and their lives. Job impacted can be measured using degree score into the following levels; level one-Entry level, level two-Intermediate, Level three-Mid-level, and level four-senior executive.

Problem-solving is an employee’s ability to identify and define a problem, generate alternative solutions, evaluate and select the best alternative, and implement the chosen solution. Degree levels in situation solving include; Level one-Fixing, level two-Improvement, Level three-Creative, and level four-Opportunistic.

Task complexity is the rule of performing tasks under specific conditions that an employee needs to consider as required by the job level. Degree levels in Task complexity include; Level one-Simple, level two-Intermediate, Level three- Technical, and level four-Complex.

Task C: If there were any outliers (i.e., extreme data points) in these data, what would you recommend doing with them? [From this point forward, assume no extreme data points exist in the dataset.

See the data in HW1 pdf.

Task D: Conduct a simple regression in Excel to create a market pay line by entering the job evaluation points (on the X axis) and the respective weighted average market base pay (on the Y axis) for each benchmark job.

Identify the slope and y-intercept and write the equation for the market pay line.

The regression output will also show information about how good the regression line fits the data. Specifically, look at the “R squared” in the regression output. Generally, the R squared, referred to as variance explained, should be .95 or higher.

If R squared is significantly lower than this, there may be problems stemming from the job evaluation step. For example, the points assigned to certain benchmark jobs may be off – i.e., not make sense given the level of tasks, duties and responsibilities required for the job and the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by the job incumbent. If this is the case, re-examine the job descriptions and reconsider the points assigned to the benchmark jobs. Alternatively, there may be errors in the weighted average calculations. After conducting the regression again, examine the new R squared.

Task E: What is your R squared (variance explained)? Is it sufficient to proceed?

Using the regression output (the slope and y-intercept), calculate the predicted market pay rate (using Excel) for each benchmark job.

Task F: Calculate the predicted base pay for each benchmark job.

Next, adjust the market pay line based on the organization’s lead pay level strategy; this will create the pay policy line. Since the organization wants to lead the market by 3 percent across the operations, office support and HR job families, adjust the market pay line accordingly (by 3 percent). In other words, each predicted pay rate can be multiplied by 1.03 to get a new base pay rate that is 3 percent above market.

Task G: Because your company wants to lead in base pay by 3 percent, adjust the predicted pay rates to determine the base pay rate you will offer for each benchmark job.

Next, create pay grades for the pay structure. Pay grades represent groupings of jobs that are similar for pay purposes (i.e., of similar value to the organization). All the jobs in a pay grade share the same pay range (minimum and maximum pay rates).

Examine the benchmark jobs in this case again and determine which ones are sufficiently similar for compensation purposes. Do this by revisiting the job evaluation results.

Task H: Create pay grades by combining any benchmark jobs that are substantially comparable for pay purposes. Clearly label your pay grades and explain why you combined any benchmark jobs to form a grade.

The final step to designing the pay structure is to set the pay ranges for each pay grade. Pay ranges create upper and lower pay rates (on the Y axis) for each job in the pay grade. Each pay grade will have a minimum and maximum pay rate. It is important to remember that all jobs in a pay grade will have the same minimum and maximum pay rates.

Percent guidelines are used to determine how far above and below the midpoint the pay range will reach. For example, the maximum might be 10 percent above the midpoint and the minimum might be 10 percent below the midpoint.

The percent guidelines, based on input from the job evaluation committee, are:

· Clerical and office positions: 10 percent above and below the midpoint.

· Entry to mid-level professional and management positions: 30 percent above and below the midpoint.

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