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Lombardo admin to reassess pay, simplify classification of state employees

The results of the classification and compensation study will be part of the governor’s 2025 recommended budget.
Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
State Government

Gov. Joe Lombardo’s administration is moving forward with a major study to assess the pay and position classifications of executive branch employees as part of his broader goal to attract and retain staff in a workforce struggling with high vacancy rates.

In a memo sent to state employees Monday afternoon, Bachera Washington, the administrator of the state’s Division of Human Resource Management, said the study is being conducted by the Las Vegas-based The Simmons Group and will evaluate approximately 1,800 classification job specifications and then focus on employee compensation.

“This is a goal-oriented effort in alignment with the Governor's initiative to attract and retain employees, expand candidate pools, and properly align employees with their job duties by creating statewide standards of classification,” Washington wrote in the memo.

The study is part of AB451, which the governor signed in June and also requires the state to compensate certain unclassified employees with overtime pay when preparing the executive budget. The legislation primarily deals with the creation of a study to evaluate the pay for classified and unclassified positions within the executive branch. The study must then be presented to the Legislature.

Unclassified positions are typically specialized or upper management positions.

Washington wrote that officials are reviewing the classifications to ensure they accurately reflect job descriptions. She said the state had already completed a draft of new specifications for classified positions and that officials are scheduling meetings with relevant departments to discuss the changes.

In an email to The Nevada Independent, Elizabeth Ray, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said that staff involved in the process estimate that this is the first update to the state’s classification system in two decades. She added that the state has more than 1,800 job classifications, and the study aims to simplify the system. 

“As an example, right now, some classifications have up to six different levels,” Ray said. “Moving forward, the intent is to combine certain classifications with the goal of having entry level, journeyman, and supervisory roles for each job classification.”

Though the study is still in “draft form,” the memo noted that the final classification study will likely recommend changes to position titles and the consolidation of various classifications. The compensation study, which is a separate component, is not scheduled to begin until the fall and is expected to be completed by the end of December.

The memo said the results of the classification and compensation study will be presented as part of the governor’s recommended budget for the 2025 legislative session.


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