Changes to Pay
There are several events that may require a review and change to pay. These changes are administered through the Compensation team. Each event is initiated by a leader working with their local HR representative and should follow the standard Salary Adjustment Process. The review/approval process for a resulting pay change requires the partnership of local HR and the Compensation team.
Job Changes and Events
When a significant change in the labor market or business need drives changes in job responsibilities and/or minimum requirements, it may be necessary to re-evaluate the pay range, grade and pay for a job.
A promotion occurs when an employee takes on higher-level responsibility and moves to a new or different role in a higher grade and pay range. Often, pay increases are assigned.
Promotion example: A staff member in a Program Administrator/EXS 7 role applies for and is offered a Program Administrator Sr/EXS 8 role.
A lateral move is when an employee moves to a new or different role that is in the same pay grade and range as their current role. In these situations, pay increases are not recommended.
Lateral move example: A staff member in a Program Administrator/EXS 7 role applies for and is offered a Research Project Manager/EXS 7 role. Both roles are in the same grade and range.
Market or Equity Adjustment
A market or equity pay adjustment may occur when Compensation conducts a regular cycle of market updates and equity reviews, or at the request of a local HR professional/administrator. The Compensation team will work with managers and the HR team if a market or equity review suggests a potential pay change.
Exempt and Non-Exempt Status Change
The requirements established by the Fair Labor Standards Act determine if a position is exempt or non-exempt. If the duties of a role changes, the Office of Human Resources/Compensation team will determine if a change in exemption status is needed.
A change in FLSA classification from an exempt to a non-exempt role or from a non-exempt to an exempt role can occur:
- When an employee moves into a role with a different classification than their current role; or
- When an exempt employee decreases the number of hours worked resulting in a new annual salary that falls below Northwestern’s exempt minimum rate ($47,476).
In these situations, employees will be classified as non-exempt and are assigned an hourly rate.
For more information on classification changes, please contact your local HR representative.
(These include promotional evaluations and equity reviews)
- Local HR representative, working with the HR Business Partner, identifies an event (promotion or equity) driving the need for a potential pay change.
- Local HR representative submits Salary Adjustment and Reclassification/Re-grade Form along with other supporting documentation (i.e., job description, internal leadership approval) to HR.Compensation@northwestern.edu
- Request is scheduled for review.
- Compensation team reviews the supporting documentation, conducts external market and internal assessments as required, and provides feedback and/or recommendations to the local HR representative.
- Local HR representative reviews/approves Compensation recommendations with internal school or unit leaders as appropriate.
When making pay determinations, the local HR representative works with managers and HR Business Partners to consider the following information:
- External market data provided by Compensation
- Internal equity among employees performing the same work
- Salary Adjustment Guidelines
- Employee performance
- Internal context (budget, location, etc.)
Local HR representative submits request along with external market and internal compensation assessment/reclassification recommendation to HR.Compensation@northwestern.edu for entry in myHR. Effective dates for all pay-related changes should coincide with the beginning of the next available pay period and corresponding payroll deadline to avoid the need for a retroactive effective date.