Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 55: Payroll

Cash Awards to WSU Employees

BPPM 55.56

For more information contact:
   Payroll Services


Employing departments giving cash awards to employees in recognition of achievements related to employment are to process the awards through Payroll Services.


Departments process cash awards to students as departmental scholarships (see BPPM 30.90).

Supporting Account

Expenditures for employee awards from state funds are limited to $200 gross in accordance with RCW 41.60.150. Any awards over $200 gross must be paid by or supplemented with FN057 funds.

Expenditures from a function FN057 account to support expenditures for employee awards must be allowable in accordance with section BPPM 70.33.


The employing department creates a One-Time Payment in Workday. NOTE: If the award is not to be included in the employee’s paycheck, follow the appropriate steps to request a physical check. (See the Workday Request One-Time Payment reference guide.)

An award memo should be uploaded in the Workday One-Time Payment process, and a copy retained in the department, detailing the following award information:

  • Name of recipient
  • WSU ID number of recipient
  • Supporting account worktags
  • Gross amount to be awarded
  • Short description of the award.
  • Signature of the responsible dean or equivalent administrator.


Workday can calculate the award one of two ways, gross to net or gross up. Either way, Payroll Services makes appropriate deductions and remits and reports them to the federal government.

Gross Up

If the department wants the employee to actually receive a set amount with taxes and withholding prepaid, Workday calculates the necessary gross using the gross-up method. The department pays the additional employer contributions.

Confidential Award

If the award is to be confidential until awarded, e-mail the Payroll Services Director to request that Payroll hide the employee’s pay slip.

Supporting Documentation

The department is responsible for retaining supporting documentation that provides justification for the award and describes the selection process. See BPPM 90.01.

Revisions:  July 2021 (Rev. 573); Dec. 2020 (Rev. 559); Nov. 2020 (Rev. 558); Aug. 2016 (Rev. 476); Aug. 2013 (Rev. 416); July 2012 (Rev. 401); Aug. 2011 (Rev. 385); July 2010 (Rev. 363); July 2006 (Rev. 282); July 1998 – new policy (Rev. 124).