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General Compensation FAQs

frequently asked questions about general compensation practices

What is Boston College’s pay philosophy?

Our pay philosophy targets the mean of the defined competition.  

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When do I get paid?

Members of the professional administrative staff are paid on the 16th of the month for work performed that month (except in cases where the 16th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, at which time payments are made on the Friday prior to the 16th).  Office, clerical and service staff are paid on the last working day of the week for work performed the previous week.  

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What is a Market Reference Point (MRP)? 

A "Market Reference Point" (MRP) is assigned to each position.  It is derived from the average actual paid salary in the external labor market according to salary survey data or, if benchmark data is not available, on comparisons with benchmarked positions.  The MRP represents the salary level of an employee who has attained complete mastery of the position requirements to the extent that he/she can fully execute all of the essential job functions of the position.  The MRP presumes that the employee has acquired all of the requisite job knowledge, skills and abilities and, importantly, has demonstrated these over some specified period of time.

Each MRP has a salary range associated with it comprised of a “hard” minimum, meaning that no employee will be paid below it, and a maximum.  An employee’s salary within the MRP range is dependent on his/her qualifications, including years of related experience, performance and internal salary equity considerations.  As with salary grades, there is overlap among MRP ranges.

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How are salary ranges determined?

Each position has a salary range based on its MRP.  The salary range for each position can be calculated by multiplying the MRP by 80% to arrive at the range minimum and by 120% to arrive at the range maximum. For example: Position X has an MRP of $40,000

Minimum of salary range = $40,000 * .80 = $32,000
Maximum of salary range = $40,000 * 1.20 = $48,000

The salary range is then $32,000 to $48,000.

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How are hiring ranges determined?

The hiring range, for job posting purposes, is the range minimum to the MRP.  In the example above, the hiring range would be $32,000 - $40,000.  

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How can I find out the MRP for my position?
Each school/division will have rollout sessions in the fall of 2008.  At that time, the process to communicate individual MRPs will be shared with you. 

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How are starting salaries for new hires determined?
The hiring department, in consultation with Human Resources, reviews the candidate’s qualifications, experience and current salary and also looks at the current salaries of comparable positions to ensure internal equity.  

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How can I get a copy of my role description?
You can ask your supervisor or contact the Compensation Office for this document.

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What if my role description isn’t up-to-date?
Role descriptions detail a position’s key responsibilities.  You should review your role description annually with your supervisor during your performance appraisal.  If substantial changes have occurred and he/she agrees that an additional review by the Compensation Office is warranted, he/she will need to revise the role description and secure approval from the division/school head and/or division/school administrator who will  forward the updated role description to the Compensation Office for review. 

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What is the difference between an exempt and a non-exempt position?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) determines which positions are classified as exempt and non-exempt.  An exempt position is exempt from the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA, the employee must be paid on a salaried basis, and must perform work duties that the FLSA defines as exempt based on his/her major job functions.  A non-exempt position is eligible for overtime pay and the employee must be paid the prevailing minimum wage.  

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What happens if I work more than my normal workweek as a non-exempt employee?
Nonexempt staff are eligible for payment for extra/overtime hours worked at the request of the supervisor at times when workloads or unusual circumstances make it necessary. Whenever possible, the extra hours will be offset by allowing the employee an equivalent number of hours off during the same pay period so that the total hours worked will not exceed 40 in a week. "Compensatory time" for extra/overtime hours is not permitted to be carried over to subsequent weeks.  Extra hours worked between regulary scheduled hours and 40 per week are compensated at the regular hourly rate; overtime hours beyond 40 in a week are compensated at one and one-half times the regular rate. 

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What is a performance appraisal?
As part of the overall Performance Management Program, the formal performance appraisal is a summary of the year-long communication between supervisor and employee. The appraisal normally occurs annually in March.

 

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Who is eligible for a performance appraisal?
A performance appraisal should be prepared for each employee who has completed the new hire probationary period (i.e., exempt professional/administrative employees hired on or prior to December 1, and non-exempt technical, clerical, and Dining service employees hired prior to February 1) and has a scheduled review date of June 1.

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When am I eligible for a performance appraisal if I recently transferred to a new department?
Employees who transferred to another department after January 1, should be reviewed by their previous supervisor. The completed appraisal document and a merit increase recommendation should then be forwarded to the employee's current supervisor.

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How is a performance appraisal done?
The supervisor and the employee should jointly decide the most effective method of completing and reviewing the appraisal forms (link to appraisal form). In some instances, the supervisor may first complete the form and then give it to the employee for completion; or each may complete a separate form to be compared and discussed during the appraisal session.  Appraisal tips for the supervisor and appraisal tips for the employee will assist you with preparing for a successful and productive appraisal discussion.

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When should performance appraisals be completed?
They should be completed during March and April.  Please see the Yearly Calendar for Implementing Performance Management in order to learn how the performance appraisal fits with the overall Performance Management Program.  


The performance of new employees is reviewed at the end of the official probationary period, that is, after six months of employment for exempt employees and four months of employment for nonexempt employees. Probationary reviews provide an opportunity for the supervisor and the employee to determine the appropriateness of continued employment for the employee and to discuss performance and areas for further development.

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Who is eligible for a probationary salary increase?
Exempt employees hired between December 2 and May 31 and nonexempt employees hired between February 1 and May 31 are not eligible for the annual merit review. Instead, they are eligible for a salary increment in conjunction with their probationary review.  

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What if I have a question that isn't listed here?

Further questions regarding general compensation practices may be directed to the Compensation Office by phone at 617-552-3330.

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