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Giving an Employee a Cash Award

Once it is decided to give an award there are a number of questions that must answered to determine the correct procedures to follow.




  1. Is this an established award?


    If not you need to seek appropriate approval for the award (this is approval of the award itself, not the selection of the award recipient.)



    • For a department level award - Dean or Director

    • For a University level award - Vice Provost


  2. Is this award to be reimbursed by the Foundation?


    If yes, you should be sure the award meets the Foundation's requirements for reimbursement, and is included on the list of awards provided to the Chancellor's Office. It is the responsibility of the issuing department to ensure that the cost is reimbursable before issuing the award. Funding for any award that does not meet the qualifications for reimbursement will be the responsibility of the department.



  3. Is this an award based on the recipient's employment (awards such as outstanding employee, outstanding leader, etc. are based on employment)? Any award that is available only to an employee is based on employment.


    If the award is NOT employment based, it may (or may not) be subject to tax withholding. See FIS Manual 507-01 Payments to Vendors or Contractors, Employee Awards and Gifts or 410-13 Student Award Payments for student awards.


All other cash awards are taxable and must be processed through the payroll system. Social Security, Medicare, Federal and State Withholding will be deducted.


To Process Cash Award through the Payroll System




  1. Submit an OSCAR Request for Employee Award form to the Human Resources staff in your business center for approval.  Approved requests will be forwarded to the Payroll Office.



  2. If you need a check by a certain date for a presentation, etc., indicate that on the request form. You will also need to indicate the index to which the award should be charged.



  3. Payroll will process the check and call when it is ready to pick up.



  4. The charges will post to the index you provided when payroll posts at the end of the month.



  5. If you are funding the award on an FS index, and plan to have the index reimbursed by the Foundation you will need to complete the OSU Foundation Index Reimbursement form. Instructions are included with the form.


For more information on the policy for Employee Recognition Awards please see the Fiscal Operations Manual.