One-time merit payments are monetary rewards given to recognize meritorious performance that goes beyond expected or required productivity, or exceptional contributions by employees performing special projects of significant importance. One-time merit payments are not entitlements.
One-time merit payments procedures are governed by Standard Administrative Procedure 31.01.01.M5.02: One-Time Merit Payments. General conditions of the SAP, among others, state that:
- up to $5,000 (gross) one-time merit payment may be rewarded to an employee;
- the award is not added to the employee's base pay;
- the award may be paid from any source of funds from existing departmental budgets; and
- the award is dependent upon employee job performance and must be approved through appropriate channels.
- Employee must be employed by the University for at least six continuous months immediately preceding the effective date of the payment (wage employees are not eligible to receive one-time merit payment).
- Six months must have elapsed since the employee's last merit increase.
- Employee must have demonstrated meritorious performance evidenced by a "meets expectations" or "achieves" or higher overall rating [or equivalent language in modified performance evaluation forms approved by Human Resources] on his or her most recent performance evaluation, or have successfully completed a special project of significant importance to warrant special recognition.
- One-time merit payments require documentation that indicates fulfillment of the preceding criteria and substantiates the performance or project completion. Departments should use the One-Time Merit Payment Approval Form for this documentation. The form requires approval from the appropriate Vice President or designee.