When to Request a Position Study

The City recognizes the importance of a well-maintained Classification System and Compensation Plan to attract and retain the best qualified candidates for employment. Without a well-defined method for classifying positions and moving positions and/or classifications, the City’s ability to attract and retain talented employees may be negatively impacted.

Modifications to a classification may be requested for the following reasons:

  • There are significant material changes to a position’s duties and responsibilities.
  • The current classification is inappropriately compensated.
  • There was an error made in a classification’s original placement within the City’s Classification/Compensation Plans.
  • The current class spec no longer accurately identifies the required knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or special qualifications necessary to perform position duties.

Although a position study may affect an employee’s salary, remember that the position, and not the employee, is being studied. Factors such as an employee’s current pay rate, length of service, special training unrelated to the position, quantity of work, quality of work or performance are not relevant during a position study. The outcome of the position study is not a reflection of the employee or quality of work performed in that position.

Submitting a Study Request

A supervisor may request that a position be studied for appropriate classification by submitting the following documentation:

  • Current position description
  • Updated position description which reflects changed duties/responsibilities
  • Classification Change Worksheet

If an employee submits a request for a position study to their supervisor, and their supervisor takes no action within 30 calendar days or denies the request, the employee may submit the request directly to Human Resources.


During a position study, consideration may be given to (not exhaustive):

  • Compensation levels of comparable positions in relevant labor markets
  • Technical knowledge
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Specialized training
  • Supervisory responsibility
  • Managerial responsibility
  • Budgetary authority
  • Programmatic authority
  • Decisional impact
  • Policy development
  • Policy interpretation
  • Autonomy
  • Required level of education
  • Required licenses/certifications
  • Required years of experience
  • Physical and mental demands
  • Physical environment

Position Study Process

After documentation has been submitted, HR will work with the employee and supervisor to clarify the essential duties and responsibilities currently assigned to the position. After HR has an understanding of the essential duties and responsibilities, HR will:

  • Recommend the appropriate classification.
  • Determine the nature of the changes that have occurred in the position duties and responsibilities: Logical changes? Gradual changes?
  • Determine the appropriate action: Reclassification? Reallocation?

Position studies may result in a change in classification title, compensation group and/or salary range, or no change at all.

Role of the City’s Personnel Board

Recommendations on revisions to the City’s Classification and/or Compensation Plans shall be formulated by HR and submitted for Board consideration and Common Council approval. The Board may approve or deny recommendations. Recommendations, if approved, are forwarded to the Common Council for final approval. Denied recommendations may be returned to HR for further study, or may be forwarded to the Common Council for a final determination.

Department heads and affected employees will be informed of any action(s) which may result in changes to the City’s Classification Plan, including the reasons for such changes, prior to any recommendations being presented to the Personnel Board.