Special Compensation Guidelines

Special Compensation (Extra compensation) is a subset of special compensation. Departments requesting to compensate faculty and staff for special compensation should review the University of Iowa Operations Manual for payment of special compensation (section III-17.16).  Departments and initiators should review this policy to determine if the form requires prior approval and/or a concise statement of justification.

Prior to initiating a request for special compensation the following should be reviewed:

Policy:

  1. Extra Compensation for University Faculty and Staff policy and procedural guidelines can be found in the University of Iowa Operations Manual section III-17.16.
  2. All requests for extra compensation should be made in writing in advance of the work to be accomplished.  
    • Requests for special compensation should be accompanied by a concise statement of justification as described in III-17.16e, and forwarded for approval or disapproval to appropriate unit head (s) as identified in III-17.16a(1)(2)(3).  
    • Payments for extra compensation may be made upon completion of work and upon approval by such unit head (s), unless subject to III-17.16a(5).  
    • Statements of justification should enable the unit head in determining why extra compensation is proper for exceptional service beyond the faculty or staff member’s primary duty and regular compensation and must provide assurance the work to be performed will not interfere with the employee’s performance of regular responsibilities and/or regular work hours.  
      • In the case of staff, the work performed will take place outside of the employee’s regular work hours.  
      • In the case of faculty, there is no reduced expectation regarding their contribution to the teaching, scholarship, and service mission of the University.  
      • Absent such assurance, time spent should be charged to leave without pay or to vacation, in the case of faculty and staff who earn vacation.  The request for approval must indicate which arrangement is being made. Unit heads authorizing the request must certify a procedure exists to ensure that the faculty or staff member deciding upon the need for the activity for which extra compensation is to be paid will not receive any such compensation.
    • The Deans of each college and for the Division of Continuing Education rather than the Executive Vice President and Provost are considered the head of their respective units.
  3. Generally, grant funds cannot be used to supplement the base salary of faculty or staff so special compensation is usually not allowed.  Exceptions are described in III-17-17(4).  
    • Any extra compensation requests will be reviewed by the Grant Accounting Office to ensure compliance with federal and sponsor regulations.  
    • Intra-university consulting on federal awards requires prior sponsor approval.  
  4. Certain amounts established by the University require prior approval by the appropriate department, Dean, or Vice President, and the Office of the Provost or Human Resources/Compensation & Classification prior to work beginning, (see University of Iowa Operations Manual section III-17.16(5)) Those amounts are as follows:  
    • P&S Staff: $3,000 for a single payment, $5,000 cumulative over the fiscal year
    • Faculty: $3,000 for a single payment, $8,000 cumulative over the fiscal year

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Best Practice

Departments must be able to justify the basis and reasonableness of the payment amount.  They should consult with their Senior Human Resource Leader for assistance in determining appropriate payment amounts for the particular type of special compensation.

College or Division level approvers should question payments that do not appear to be appropriate or do not have appropriate rationale for the payment or amount.  Examples of appropriate use or payment questions that may surface during review:  

  • Example 1: Special Compensation forms are submitted for two staff members who appear to be performing the same duties, but one staff member will be paid at a higher rate of pay.  The form for the staff member being paid at the higher rate of pay should explain why they will receive a higher rate of pay for performing the same duties.
  • Example 2: A department is paying special compensation to an IT staff member at $45 per hour for programming duties, and then requests a second special compensation payment at $75 per hour for the same individual to perform additional programming duties.  The organization should question the reasons for the different levels of pay and why the higher hourly rate is appropriate for the second request.     
  • Example 3:  A department requests a special compensation payment that is higher than the prior approval. The department should explain why the payment is higher than the requested prior approval amount.
  • Example 4:  A department would like to pay a faculty or staff member special compensation to teach a non-academic course using the Course Instruction and Design form. The department should use the Special Project form instead of the Course Instruction and Design form. The Course Instruction and Design form should only be used for special compensation related to academic courses.

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General Form Process

Prior Approval Guidelines

To create a Prior Approval the department/initiator will need to:

  1. Go to the Employee Self Service/Administration tab/Systems/HR Transaction System/Special Compensation Forms.  Select the Special Compensation Prior Approval option. 
  2. Enter data as requested (include employee ID and effective date of request) and select the continue button.
  3. Select the special compensation type from the drop-down menu and select the continue button.
  4. Enter data as requested (include end date of request) and enter a statement in the remarks section explaining the work being performed for the special compensation payment.  You may also include this information in an attachment later in the process (step 6).  Please define any abbreviations.  Select the finalize this form button and then select the continue button.  Initiator will also have the option to save the form as a draft copy if they are not ready to finalize.  
    • Note: If the Beginning Date and/or End Date of the prior approval are past the date the form is being initiated, the system will ask departments to include an explanation in the remarks section as to why prior approval was not initiated prior to the work beginning.  This explanation should be included or noted in the remarks area of the form. 
  5. Choose appropriate workflow group and select the continue button.
  6. Attach any required documentation, select final workflow path, then select the continue button.
  7. Confirm workflow routing by selecting the continue button and the form will proceed through workflow system. 

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Payment Guidelines

To create a Payment the department/initiator will need to:

  1. Go to the Employee Self Service/Administration tab/Systems/HR Transaction System/Special Compensation Forms.  Select the Special Compensation Payment option. 
  2. Enter data as requested (include employee ID and effective date of request) and select the continue button.
  3. For payment for a completed prior approval, select the appropriate transaction under Option 1 which was completed in workflow for the employee and select the continue button.  For payment not requiring prior approval, select the appropriate transaction under Option 2 and select the continue button.
  4. Enter data as requested.  Under payment schedule section, if entering multiple payment dates, form will need to be refreshed.  Please define any abbreviations.  Attachments may be added later in the process (step 6).  Enter any necessary remarks, select the finalized this form button, and select the continue button.  
  5. Choose the appropriate workflow group and select the continue button.
  6. Attach any required documentation, select final workflow path, and select continue button.
  7. Confirm workflow routing by selecting the continue button and the form will proceed through workflow system.

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Quick Reference for Form Types

Special Compensation-Faculty

Form Type Prior Approval Required Short Description Required Attachments/Remarks
Award   One-time payment for specific university-related award Remarks - Short description, including date
Clinic Coverage/Night Call/Outreach Clinic X* Payment for duties in excess of regularly scheduled hours at University-associated facility. Restricted to Org 17 Attachment- Documentation (e.g., letter or email)
Course Instruction & Design X* Teaching academic courses in excess of regular course assignments Attachment- Offer letter
Discretionary Merit Pay   Lump sum payment in lieu of or in addition to a base salary increase. Payment can occur on July 1st or an alternative date (once per fiscal year). Funds 500/510 cannot be used to fund lump sum payment. Remarks- Brief description 
Incentive Pay - Basic Science   Payment for provisions as described in pre-approved collegiate research incentive plans.  (Dentistry Basic Science Incentive Program, CCOM Basic Science Incentive Program and Pharmacy Incentive Program) Restricted to Orgs 13, 17, 19 Basic Science departments. Attachment- Documentation (e.g., letter or email)
Incentive Pay - Practice Plan   Payment for performance incentives as described in pre-approved collegiate plans and paid from Practice Plan resources. Restricted to Orgs 13, 17, 18 Attachment- Documentation (e.g., letter or email)
Speaker X* ~ One-time activity - speaking event outside of regular duties Remarks- Brief description 
Consultant X* ~ One-time activity using faculty member's  expertise outside of regular duties and outside of department Remarks- Brief description 
Special Project X*  One-time activity for specific project outside of regular duties Remarks- Brief description
Vice President for Research Fellowships   As awarded by the Office of Vice President for Research Remarks- Brief description
Employment Agreement - Signing and Continuance Incentives   Payment for recruitment and retention provisions included in the offer letter and/or employment agreement Attachment- Offer letter and/or employment agreement
Employment Agreement  - Transition and Relocation   Payment for provisions included in the offer letter or employment agreement for relocation or transition payments (e.g., Relocation-related travel, housing, lab relocation) Attachment – Offer letter and/or employment agreement.
Employment Agreement - Other   Business-related payments for which an explanation is required in the remarks section (e.g., car allowance) Attachment- Offer letter and/or employment
Incentive Pay - UI Health Care Senior Leadership Incentive Program   Payment for senior leadership positions authorized in the UI Health Care Senior Leadership Incentive Programs.  Restricted to Org Units 03, 17, 70 Attachment- Documentation: Summary of goal achievement 
Incentive Pay - Performance Goals Achievement X* Payment for the achievement of predetermined administrative performance goals and objectives Attachment- Documentation: Summary of goal achievement
Allowance Communication Device   Provides a monthly reimbursement for cell phones and other communication equipment Attachment- Copy of bill
Allowance Remote Internet   Provides a monthly reimbursement for employees required to have home/remote internet service Attachment- Copy of bill
State of Iowa Pass Through Payment   Payment for work performed for another state agency (Contact Payroll @ 335-3829 to initiate) Attachment- Copy of letter or bill detailing work performed for payment

There may be additional Special Compensation eligibility restrictions not outlined in this document

* Extra compensation requests exceeding certain amounts shall require prior approval in advance by the appropriate department, Dean, Vice President, and the office of the Provost or University Human Resources/Compensation & Classification.

~ Review and approval is required by Grant Accounting for Fund 500/510

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Special Compensation-Graduate Assistant

Form Type Prior Approval Required Short Description Required Attachments/Remarks
Work performed outside of Department X* Payment for work performed outside of the employee's assigned department Remarks- Brief description

There may be additional Special Compensation eligibility restrictions not outlined in this document

* Extra compensation requests exceeding certain amounts shall require prior approval in advance by the appropriate department, Dean, Vice President, and the office of the Provost or University Human Resources/Compensation and Classification.

~ Review and approval is required by Grant Accounting for Fund 500/510

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Special Compensation-House Staff

Form Type Prior Approval Required Short Description Required Attachments/Remarks 
Extra Compensation/Work performed in Dept. X* Payment for work performed outside of the employee’s normal responsibilities Remarks- Brief description
Work performed outside of Department X* Payment for work performed outside of the employee’s assigned department Remarks- Brief description
Award   One-time payment for specific University-related award Remarks- Brief description, including date
Employment Agreement – Other X* Business related payments for which an explanation is required in the remarks section (i.e. car allowance) Attachment – Offer letter or other documentation
Employment Agreement – Transition and Relocation X* One-time payment for provisions included in the offer letter or employment agreement for assisting with professional and personal relocation. Copy of welcome e-mail sent to residents
Allowance Communication Device   Provides a monthly reimbursement for cell phones and other communication equipment Attachment- Copy of bill
Allowance Remote Internet   Provides a monthly reimbursement for employees required to have home/remote internet service Attachment- Copy of bill
State of Iowa Pass Through Payment   Payment for work performed for another state agency (Contact Payroll @ 335-3829 to initiate) Attachment- Copy of letter or bill detailing work performed for payment

There may be additional Special Compensation eligibility restrictions not outlined in this document

* Extra compensation requests exceeding certain amounts shall require prior approval in advance by the appropriate department, Dean, Vice President, and the office of the Provost or University Human Resources/Compensation and Classification.

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Special Compensation-Merit

Form Type Subject to FLSA? Short Description Required Attachments/Remarks
1975 Settlement (ended 6/30/15) X Payment for specific technical work performed out of class Remarks- Brief description
Pay for Exceptional Performance   A lump sum payment for outstanding performance  Remarks- Rationale/description of the exceptional achievement or contribution
FLSA Additional Compensation – Multiple Appointments or Other Exceptions Already calculated Payment for overtime occurring when an employee has both a salaried and bi-weekly appointment. Remarks- Explanation of how the overtime was calculated
Supervisor Work X (no hours) Payment for assuming supervisory duties while the supervisor is absent Remarks- Brief description
Work performed outside of Department X Payment for work performed outside of the employee's assigned department Remarks- Brief description
Award   One-time payment for specific university-related award Remarks - Short description, including date
Allowance Communication Device   Provides a monthly reimbursement for cell phones and other communication equipment Attachment- Copy of bill
Allowance Remote Internet   Provides a monthly reimbursement for employees required to have home/remote internet service Attachment- Copy of bill
State of Iowa Pass Through Payment   Payment for work performed for another state agency (Contact Payroll @ 335-3829 to initiate) Attachment- Copy of letter or bill detailing work performed for payment

There may be additional Special Compensation eligibility restrictions not outlined in this document

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Special Compensation-P&S

Form Type Subject to FLSA? Prior Approval Required Short Description Required Attachments/Remarks
Additional Responsibilities within Department X X* Payment for approved additional duties performed outside of regular work hours Remarks- Brief description
Athletic Camps/Clinics X   Payment for participation in or coordination of Athletic Camp or Clinic Remarks- Brief description
Award     One-time payment for university-related award Remarks - Short description, including date
Contract     Additional payments related to signed contracts Attachment- Contract
Course Instruction and design X X* Teaching academic courses (related to adjunct appointment) Attachment – Offer Letter
Employment Agreement - Incentive     Payment for incentive provisions included in the offer letter or employment agreement Attachment-  Offer letter 
Employment Agreement - Transition and Relocation     Payment for provisions included in the offer letter or employment agreement for relocation or transition payments Attachment- Offer letter
Employment Agreement - Other   X* Business related payments for which an explanation is required in the remarks section (i.e. car allowance) Attachment- Offer letter or other documentation
FLSA Additional Compensation – Multiple Appointments or Other Exceptions Already calculated   Payment for overtime occurring when a nonexempt employee has both a salaried and bi-weekly appointment; or a nonexempt temporary salaried employee works additional hours. Remarks- Explanation of how the overtime was calculated
Lump Sum Flexible Payment     Payment for outstanding performance or completion of a major project Attachment- Approved Nomination Form and rational for award
Lump Sum Furlough Payment     Payment for accepting Lump Sum Furlough option (P&S Career Status Employees only) Attachment- Documentation (e.g., letter or email)
Lump Sum Salary Policy Payment     Payment in lieu of or in addition to a base salary performance increase; limited to 2 payments per fiscal year. Funds 500/510 cannot be used to fund lump sum payment.  
On Call X (no hours)   Payment for time served in On Call status Remarks- Brief description
Over Range Performance  Payment     Lump sum payment for exceptional performance for employees at or above market range maximum Remarks- Brief description
Speaker X X*~ One time activity - speaking event Remarks- Brief description
Consultant X X*~ One-time activity using staff member's expertise outside of regular duties and outside of department Remarks- Brief description
Spot Award Payment     A flexible pay award of $75 (net) or less for exceptional performance Remarks- Brief Description
Incentive Pay - UI Health Care - Performance Goals Achievement     Payment for the achievement of predetermined performance goals and objectives. Restricted to Org Units 17, 70, 03 Attachment-Documentation: Summary of goal achievement
Incentive Pay - UI Health Care Senior Leadership Incentive Program     Payment for provisions outlined in the UI Healthcare Senior Leadership Incentive Plan.  Restricted to Org units: 17, 70, 03 Attachment-Documentation: Summary of goal achievement
Work performed outside of Department X X* Payment for work performed outside of the employee's assigned department Remarks- Brief description
Hourly Additional Responsibilities in Department X X* Payment for approved additional duties performed outside of regular work hours Remarks- Brief description
Allowance Communication Device     Provides a monthly reimbursement for cell phones and other communication equipment Attachment- Copy of bill
Allowance Remote Internet     Provides a monthly reimbursement for employees required to have home/remote internet service Attachment- Copy of bill
State of Iowa Pass Through Payment     Payment for work performed for another state agency (Contact Payroll @ 335-3829 to initiate) Attachment- Copy of letter or bill detailing work performed for payment

There may be additional Special Compensation eligibility restrictions not outlined in this document

* Extra compensation requests exceeding certain amounts shall require prior approval in advance by the appropriate department, Dean, Vice President, and the Office of the Provost or University Human Resources/Compensation and Classification

~ Review and approval is required by Grant Accounting for Fund 500/510

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Special Compensation-SEIU

Form Type       Subject to FLSA? Prior Approval Required Short Description Required Attachments/Remarks
Award     One-time payment for university-related award Remarks - Short description, including date
Additional Responsibilities within Department X X* Payment for approved additional duties performed outside of regular work hours Remarks- Brief description
FLSA Additional Compensation – Multiple Appointments or Other Exceptions Already calculated   Payment for overtime occurring when an FLSA nonexempt employee has both a salaried and bi-weekly appointment. Remarks- Explanation of how the overtime was calculated
Overtime/Extra Coverage/On-call X X Any additional payment made from work inside the department Remarks- Brief description
Work performed outside of Department X X* Payment for work performed outside of the employee's assigned department Remarks- Brief description
Certification Recognition X   Payment for recognition of staff obtaining and maintaining a position-related certification in an approved nationally recognized certification which is not a condition of employment. Compensation is $500 annually, paid on August 1 of each year.   Application form (including staff and supervisor signature) and verification of certification
Course Instruction X X* Teaching academic courses (related to adjunct appointment) Attachment – Offer Letter
Employment Agreement– Incentive X   Payment for Successful Completion of the Professional Recognition Program for Staff Nurses Remarks-Statement in the Remarks section indicating employee has met the requirement and the review committee has approved the incentive payment IACT-5997
Employment Agreement - Transition and Relocation     Payment for provisions included in the offer letter or employment agreement for relocation or transition payments Attachment- Offer letter
Lump Sum Flexible Payment     Payment for outstanding performance or completion of a major project Attachment- Approved Nomination Form and rationale for award
Spot Award Payment     A flexible pay award of $75 (net) or less for exceptional performance Remarks- Brief Description
Allowance Communication Device     Provides a monthly reimbursement for cell phones and other communication equipment Attachment- Copy of bill
Allowance Remote Internet     Provides a monthly reimbursement for employees required to have home/remote internet service Attachment- Copy of bill
State of Iowa Pass Through Payment     Payment for work performed for another state agency (Contact Payroll @ 335-3829 to initiate) Attachment- Copy of letter or bill detailing work performed for payment
Employment Agreement – Staff Nurse Referral Program X X* Payment for current SEIU covered UIHC employees who refer experienced applicants for employment. Referring employee receives $2000 if referred applicant is hired into a Staff Nurse position in Operating Rooms; Neuroscience Inpatient, -Gynecology/Oncology, Gastrointestinal Surgery/Trauma, or Remo-dialysis Inpatient clinical units. Referring employee will receive $1000 when the referred applicant completed 18 months of employment.  Remarks – Brief description and first or second payment.

There may be additional Special Compensation eligibility restrictions not outlined in this document

* Extra compensation requests exceeding certain amounts shall require prior approval in advance by the appropriate department, Dean, Vice President, and the Office of the Provost or University Human Resources/Compensation and Classification

~ Review and approval is required by Grant Accounting for Fund 500/510

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Roles and Responsibilities of Initiators and Reviewers

The general responsibilities of the initiator of a special compensation form/payment and of the reviewer(s) of the form/payment are outlined in the   table below.  Additional responsibilities may be assigned at the specific department or college/division level.

For more information on Special Compensation form types see (website/self-service link)

Areas of Responsibility *Department Level College or Division Level Post ORG – University Human Resources or Office of the Provost
Funding Source · Determine appropriate source
· Verify fund availability
· Verify appropriate source · Review and approval is required by Grant Accounting for Fund 500/510 
Policy Alignment (note segregation of duties relative to workflow routing) · Determine correct form type
· Provide supporting documentation per policy
· Determine appropriate routing based on fund amount
· Verify and approve correct form type
· Review supporting documentation per policy
· Review appropriate routing based on fund amount
· Verify and approve correct form type
· Review supporting documentation per policy
Compensation Amount · Provide documentation on rationale for compensation amount (remarks section of form or attachment)
· Justify reasonableness of the amount
· Review and approve documentation on rationale for compensation amount (remarks section of form or attachment)
· Determine reasonableness of the amount
· Review  and approve documentation on rationale for compensation amount (remarks section of form or attachment)
· Verify and approve amount based on rationale supplied by department and college/division, and existing UI policy.
Documentation · Provide attachment (if required)
· Provide remarks section (rationale)
· Review and approve attachment (if required)
· Review and approve remarks section (rationale)
· Review and verify attachment (if required)
· Review and verify remarks section (rationale)
Segregation of duties (Receiver of award cannot be in workflow approval path) · Must have supervisory approval · Must have supervisory approval · Verify  supervisory approval

*   At the departmental level for special compensation that requires work outside normal duties, supervisors of the staff member’s employing department are expected to discuss the request as applicable related to scheduling.

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