Compensation Updates - Human Resources at Ohio State

Compensation Updates

Compensation Increase Pause

The university paused the annual merit compensation process for FY21, which ends June 30, 2021. This applies to all Ohio State faculty and staff. This step is part of the continued effort to proactively address the financial challenges caused by COVID-19. The temporary suspension of compensation increases includes pay increases due to the following reasons:

  • Annual merit increase
  • Change in duties or reclassification
  • Market competitiveness
  • Reorganization resulting in department restructuring that changes an employee’s position
  • Pay equity increase
  • Request for a new special payment or pay program, such as a retention plan, incentive plan, transitional allowance, interim pay or other additional pay
  • Counter-offer in order to retain a key employee who has received a documented external offer

Some compensation increases are not subject to the pause, including:

  • Faculty promotion
  • Promotional increase for an employee selected for a posted position
  • Pay decisions for students and graduate associates

Circumstances may arise in which a compelling business need warrants an exception to the compensation increase pause. Exception requests will be made sparingly and be reserved for important needs that align with the university’s strategic initiatives and efficiency goals.

The following process has been established to enable colleges and business units to request an exception:

  1. An initial consultation with an OHR Compensation team member is recommended when the college or unit needs assistance determining an appropriate job title, market pricing or cost information for the requested pay change exception. A request for a consultation, including supporting documentation, may be sent by the HR Business Partner to
  2. The college or unit confirms that funding is available in accordance with the college or unit’s internal process.
  3. The HR Business Partner initiates the Compensation Review Exception Request form in DocuSign. The form routes via the DocuSign system to the required approvers:
    1. HR Business Partner
    2. Requesting manager
    3. College or unit’s senior fiscal officer
    4. Dean or Cabinet member
    5. Vice Provost (for faculty exceptions)
    6. Central Business & Finance (for staff exceptions)
  4. After all the above approval signatures have been entered on the DocuSign form, the request is considered approved. The HR Business Partner may then initiate the HRA for the pay change, attaching the approved DocuSign form.

By following this guidance and the outlined exception process now and for the foreseeable future, it will allow for assessment of its effectiveness in applying a consistent approach to compensation requests going forward.

When does the pause in compensation increases end?

The compensation increase pause continues until further notice.

Are salary changes under 10% subject to the compensation increase pause?

Yes. Any increase to an employee’s salary (other than the exceptions noted above) must be approved through the compensation pause exception process.

How are graduate associates and hourly students impacted?

Colleges and units may continue to follow their internal process for requesting and approving compensation for graduate associates and hourly student employees. The Compensation Exception Request form is not needed.

May I request a reclassification without an exception if the employee’s pay is not changing?

OHR Compensation should be consulted on any reclassification in order to determine if the reclassification is appropriate without a pay adjustment.

May I submit position updates when the job code and pay rate do not change (e.g., description updates, duty updates & education updates)?

Yes, these position updates may be submitted through the normal position update process and do not require an exception.

Does the compensation increase pause apply to changes to the employee’s standard hours?

No. Changes to an employee’s standard hours and FTE do not require an approved exception.