Washington State University

Revised 8-16
Payroll Services

Cash Awards to WSU Employees

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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 30.90.

Supporting Account

Expenditures from a 17A account to support expenditures for employee awards must be allowable in accordance with section 70.33.


The employing department sends a memorandum including the following information to the Director, Payroll Services.

Route the memorandum to Payroll Services at least two weeks before the award is to be given to the employee.


Payroll Services deducts the following from all payments:

Payroll Services 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 to Net

EXAMPLE: Using the gross-to-net method, Payroll Services would generate a payment to the employee of $673.50 from a gross of $1000.

Gross Up

If the department wants the employee to actually receive a set amount with taxes and withholding prepaid, Payroll Services would calculate the necessary gross using the gross-up method. EXAMPLE: To generate a check to the employee of $1000, the department would have to actually pay $1598.37, i.e., $1484.78 gross and $113.59 in contributions.

Supporting Documentation

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