Classification & Compensation

Classification & Compensation Analysis 

Classification and compensation analysis provides competitive, fair compensation and maintains a standardized, equitable classification system.  

RFHR obtains Economic Research Institute (ERI) survey data and analyzes internal benchmarks to ensure equity. We follow SUNY RF’s Position Classification Policy and Position Classification Procedure to ensure internal standards are fair, equitable and in compliance with current federal and state laws.  

Please email [email protected] to request an in-depth classification and compensation analysis for a particular position. 


Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Classification 

Salaried Employees

A salaried employee is an individual who receives the same salary from week to week and who is paid on a salaried basis.  

Exempt employees must be paid on a salary basis.   

Non-exempt employees may be paid on a salary basis if they are consistently working the same number of hours each week. Salaried non-exempt employees must still receive overtime in accordance with federal and state laws.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are a category of employees set out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

When an employee is exempt, it primarily means that they are exempt from receiving overtime pay — except for certain highly paid computer professionals and outside sales employees.  

Non-exempt Employees

An individual who is not exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime provisions is therefore covered by the FLSA’s provisions.  

Non-exempt employees are therefore entitled to receive overtime for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a work week, as well as any state overtime provisions. 

Hourly Non-exempt Employees

An hourly employee is an individual who receives an hourly wage for work performed.   

Such individuals, due to the method of payment, are classified as non-exempt employees and are subject to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime provisions. 

Employees who work on a varied schedule (such as a different number of hours each week) should be paid on an hourly basis.  

Appointment Types

Note: A Job Description with the percentage of time for each essential function is required for all positions. Duties must be accurately reflected to ensure a proper classification and compensation analysis.

Student Employment

SUNY RF encourages the employment of full-time SUNY students on sponsored programs relating to their fields of study.  

Therefore, a separate student fringe benefit rate charge, which is lower than the standard rate, has been established. The student fringe benefit rate is allowed if all the criteria in SUNY RF’s Student Titles Policy are met.  

During the academic year, full-time SUNY students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week between both the Research Foundation and SUNY. 

During the summer and winter session periods, students may work full time. Students appointed in the summer must be enrolled full-time in the preceding academic semester and the upcoming fall semester. 

Undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time. 

Graduate students must hold a full assistantship and be enrolled in 9 credits or be registered for one dissertation load credit to be considered full-time.  

Domestic graduate students can visit the Graduate School website and international graduate students can visit the International Student & Scholar Services website to request a reduced course load waiver. 

Graduate students with good academic standing may work up to 25 hours per week during the academic school year to support the RF’s business needs.  

International graduate students are limited to working no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session, unless the student has received Curricular Practical Training (CPT) endorsement. 

Postdoctoral Employment

Postdoctoral study encompasses both scholarship and training. The goal of a postdoctoral appointment is to provide advanced research training beyond the doctoral degree and prepare individuals to follow careers that require expertise in their fields of study.   

To be eligible for a Postdoctoral Associate appointment, the candidate must have received their PhD, MD or equivalent from a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or an internationally recognized accrediting organization.  

Per University policy, candidates who are appointed to a Postdoctoral Associate position within three years of obtaining their degree will not require a formal search or waiver for the first three years of their employment. Anything outside of this criterion will need to follow the standard University procedures for a formal search or waiver.  

Visit the following resources for more information: 

Note: Postdoctoral employment is not the same as postdoctoral fellowship

Summer Employment

Faculty members who are looking to collect summer salary should visit the Faculty Summer Salary page for detailed information and instructions.  

Non-faculty employees may be added to the Research Foundation (RF) payroll during the summer period in the Employee Summer assignment group, in accordance with SUNY RF’s Salary Rules and Policies When Assigning Summer Employees

An RF summer-only employee has an assignment between May 1 and September 30 that does not exceed four months in duration and does not include the period of academic obligation established by the operating location. 

Employees who meet the qualifications to be in a Student Title, according to the Student Titles Policy, should remain in or be appointed to a Student assignment group and not the Employee Summer assignment group. 

Extra Service 

Extra service is compensation to full-time, exempt employees who are called upon to perform activities that are not directly related to their recognized institutional duties or that significantly increases the recognized institutional duties for a fixed period, such as providing expertise outside the employee’s obligation, regular department, school or college. 

Approval for extra service must be obtained before the employee starts extra service work. Please also be aware of the following information: 

  • Extra service compensation paid from federally funded awards must comply with requirements from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions

  • The extra service appointment of a SUNY employee may be subject to additional requirements and approval under SUNY and campus policies and procedures. 

  • Compensation for extra service must not exceed an amount equal to 20% of regular base salary rate in any academic year or 12-month period, per federal guidelines and SUNY regulations. 

For more information, please refer to SUNY RF’s Salary Rules and Policies When Assigning Extra Service Policy

To request extra service with the Research Foundation (RF): 

Completed forms should be sent to [email protected] or brought to RFHR’s offices, located in Management Services Center (MSC) 100C.