Staff Handbook: Wage and Salary Administration

Time Keeping

  • Non-Exempt Staff: All regular full-time and regular part-time classified nonexempt staff must record hours worked, vacation, sick, personal time, compensatory time taken, and holiday and recess time. At the end of each workweek, the supervisor and non-exempt staff member must review the weekly time card to certify that the time recorded is accurate.
  • Exempt Staff: All regular full-time and regular part-time classified exempt staff must record exception time off; hours worked do not need to be reported and a weekly time card is not required except for those weeks when exception time off is taken.
    • Exception time off types include: bereavement, jury duty, military paid leave, parental leave, vacation, personal time, sick time, FMLA vacation, FMLA personal time, FMLA sick time,  approved absence, professional development time, and volunteer time. Learn more.
    • University holidays and recess time are not considered exception time off and do not need to be reported.
    • When exception time off is reported, the supervisor and exempt staff member must review the time card to certify that the time taken is recorded accurately.

Please review ER 18 Time Records/Attendance/Overtime and Compensatory Time (formerly 07-04-01) for more information.

Compensatory Time and Overtime (Non-Exempt Staff)

Prior to working any hours beyond the established schedule for any department, nonexempt staff members must have prior approval of the departmental administrator. Vacation days, personal days, recess time, and paid holidays count for the purpose of calculating overtime and compensatory time. However, the use of each day designated as one of the following—sick, bereavement, jury duty, or compensatory—during a given workweek does not count toward overtime or compensatory time.

Compensatory Time—Compensatory time is defined as time off awarded for the hours worked beyond the normal workweek. If you work beyond the established workweek, you may either be paid a straight hourly rate for those additional hours between 37.5 and 40 or be given compensatory time off, at the discretion of the departmental administrator. If you are entitled to compensatory time off, you must take it by the end of the pay period following the pay period in which it was earned or you will be paid at your regular hourly rate.

Overtime—Nonexempt staff receive overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at the rate of one-and-one-half times the regular hourly rate. Hours worked beyond the standard workweek must be approved in advance by the departmental administrator. Please review ER 18 Time Records/Attendance/Overtime and Compensatory Time (formerly 07-04-01) for more information.

Reducing Pay for Hours Not Worked (Docking)

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, record keeping, and child labor standards for employees who are covered by the act. Pursuant to the FLSA, nonexempt employees are entitled to a mandated minimum wage, as well as overtime pay of not less than one-and-one-half times their regular hourly rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in their workweek.

If you are non-exempt, you are only paid for hours worked. 

If you are exempt, your pay may be reduced (docked) for:

  • Absences from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability.
  • Absences of one or more full days occasioned by sickness or disability (including work-related accidents) if the deduction is made in accordance with applicable University policy and/or practice regarding sick days, disability leave, or workers’ compensation. Deductions may be made for full-day absences for which an employee receives such disability coverage. Deductions may also be made for full-day absences if an employee has not yet qualified as being eligible for otherwise applicable sickness or disability coverage, and if the employee has exhausted the leave allowed under such coverage.
  • Offsets of military pay received by an employee for a particular week for absences occasioned by military leave.
  • Penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance.
  • Unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for infractions of workplace conduct rules and imposed pursuant to a written policy applicable to all employees.
  • Absences during the initial or terminal week of employment.
  • Absences that constitute unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.


Under the University’s Staff Compensation Structure, positions are assigned a job according to the qualifications and level of responsibility of that position. Each job has an established pay range. For more information, please contact the Compensation Department of the Office of Human Resources.

Performance Appraisal Program

You are to participate with your immediate supervisor in the performance appraisal process at least once a year. You are asked to complete a self-appraisal, which will be discussed in a private meeting. Your supervisor then is to prepare a written appraisal of your performance. The discussion includes reviewing previous feedback about job performance as well as planning for professional development. Professional development may include participating in professional organizations, attending professional conventions, and reading professional literature clearly related to professional development. In addition, your job can often serve as a source for professional development when new assignments and increased responsibilities widen or enhance your current skills. It is appropriate to discuss work-related subjects that interest you during the appraisal meeting. Review ER 11 Performance Appraisal Program (formerly 07-05-01).

Promotion and Transfer

If you transfer or are promoted, your salary must be increased to the minimum salary of the range for the classification of the new position. Because of length of service, you may already be above the minimum salary for the new position. In that case, the department, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, may decide that your experience and background are sufficient enough to warrant a salary above the minimum. If you transfer or are reassigned to a job at a lower level, your salary will be subject to review and may be reduced.

Compensation—Withholdings and Deductions

Paychecks and direct deposit are available based on the monthly and biweekly University pay schedule. Paychecks are subject to the deductions authorized by the individual or required by law. Presently, the University is required by law to deduct federal income tax, Social Security tax, Pennsylvania state personal income tax, City of Pittsburgh earned income tax, City of Pittsburgh school tax, local earned income tax for municipalities where University facilities are located, City of Philadelphia wage tax, and emergency and municipal tax (EMS). If you live outside the City of Pittsburgh, you must file a Pittsburgh local tax exemption certificate (Form WTEX) or other municipality tax exemption certificate. The filing of this form with the Payroll Department will suppress the withholding of the City of Pittsburgh earned income tax from non-city residents. In such cases, the payment of local tax is your responsibility.

Direct Deposit Program

You may elect to have your paycheck deposited on the scheduled payday by the University directly to your account in an approved banking institution. The banking institution in which the account is maintained must be a member of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). Deposits can be made in only one banking institution and in only one account in the banking institution. Partial deposits will not be permitted; that is, the total net pay must be deposited. To participate, you must complete the proper authorization agreement, which is available in the Payroll Department. You will receive a Statement of Deposit in lieu of a paycheck. The pay stub, listing withholdings and deductions, will be attached to the Statement of Deposit. For more information, contact the Payroll Department, 207P Craig Hall, or call 412-624-8070.