Integrated Service Center

Payroll Processes

Last updated Friday, October 15, 2021



An overpayment occurs when you are paid for hours that you did not work or for which you were paid at an incorrect rate.

An overpayment can be reported by an employee or discovered by the employee’s department during a review of their payroll.

As a state agency, the University of Washington is required by law to recover these overpaid funds.

A series of state and federal regulations govern the overpayment process. To comply with these regulations, you are required to notify your department immediately if you discover an overpayment on your paycheck.

Direct Deposit/Check Reversals

The ISC Payroll team often receives overpayment notifications right after payroll has processed, which result in different reversal procedures. If the overpayment is:

  • For the full amount of the direct deposit, and within the window to reverse the funds – The ISC Payroll team will request a reversal from the bank rather than establish an overpayment repayment plan.
  • For a partial amount of the check – The ISC Payroll team requires approval from the employee prior to reversing the funds. The entire net amount of the employee’s pay must still be reversed. Once we have verified the funds have been returned, a corrected, physical check will be written for any funds that are owed.

In either case, in order to reverse the funds and have a corrected check available by the upcoming pay day, Payroll must be notified of the reversal before 12:00pm three business days prior to pay day.

If the employee receives a paper check, and the overpayment is:

  • For the full amount of the check – The Payroll Office will pull the check (if not already mailed) and cancel the pay results.
  • For a partial amount of the check – The check may be pulled and reissued.

Repayment for Current Employees

Active employees have four repayment options to choose from:

  • Non-exempt employees may correct an overpayment with a correction to their timesheet, if less than 90 days from the date the timesheet was submitted, approved, and paid
  • Total Gross One-Time Repayment
  • Installment Deductions
  • Time Off Hours (using vacation and/or compensatory time)

Information about the Overpayment process, including worksheets, instructions, and notifications is available in the Overpayment Process Overview (Word doc).

Repayment for Separated (Terminated) Employees

Employees who have separated from the University or are on long-term leave must repay the University by check.

This requires a repayment calculation by the ISC Payroll team. An overpayment cannot be considered paid in full unless it is for the amount that has been calculated by the ISC.

Information about the Overpayment process, including worksheets, instructions, and notifications is available in the Overpayment Process Overview (Word doc).

Repayment for Suspended Operations Make Up Time

Suspended operations missed work time does not qualify for an overpayment repayment option plan.

If an employee does not make-up the time within 90 days,* they must complete the Suspended Operations Overpayment Form to account for the missed work time. The completed form should be sent to

*Most employees have 90 days from the last day of Suspended Operations to make up any lost work hours. However, per their contract, SEIU 925 employees have 60 days.

In the event an employee terminates before their missed work time balance has been accounted for, remaining hours will be deducted from the employee’s final paycheck. If the final paycheck has already been processed, the normal overpayment process will be used to collect the balance due.

Visit UWHR’s Suspended Operations page for more information about Suspended Operations policy.

Collection Agency Accounts

Departments work with the ISC to ensure repayment of overpayments using the appropriate method listed above. When an employee does not sign the Overpayment Repayment Option Form, the department may refer the overpayment to the ISC for further action.

An employee has 20 days to respond to the initial Overpayment Notice Letter from their department. If there is no response to the initial notice, a pre-collection letter is sent at the end of the 20-day period. This letter will be sent from the ISC via certified mail to the home address on file.

If all prior attempts to secure payment arrangements have failed, the overpayment may be placed with an outside collection agency. Accounts referred for collection are charged a collection fee (commission) by the collection agency in addition to the overpayment amount due. Once an overpayment has been turned over to the collection agency, the ISC will no longer accept payments from the employee. The employee must communicate directly with the collection agency.

Rules and Regulations

IRS Publication 525 (PDF) has information regarding salary overpayments and prior tax year.

For the relevant section from the Revised Code of Washington, review R.C.W. 49.48.200 and R.C.W. 49.48.210.



An underpayment occurs when you receive less than your correct pay.

Not all underpayments require your department to submit a request for an underpayment payment to be issued; once a corrective transaction and/or business process has been completed and approved in Workday, run your Earnings and Actuals report during the Payroll Calculation Window to confirm the retro payment is included in the employee’s pay results.

If the retro payment is missing, a request for an underpayment can be submitted by your department for the ISC to issue payment. Depending on the circumstances, underpayments are corrected by issuing either:

  1. a Retroactive (“Retro”) Payment to the employee, included in their next, regularly-scheduled paycheck
  2. an On-Demand Payment to the employee, in the form of an emergency check or off-cycle payment.

The process for requesting either of these payment types is described below.

A. Retro Payments

To help prevent delays in issuing payment to an employee, all Retro Payment requests must be submitted via the Retro/On-Demand Payment Request form, linked below.

Submit a Retro Payment request

Retro Payment requests received by 1:00 pm on the Additional Payroll Request Deadline (visit the Payroll and HCM Calendar) will be processed and included for that payday. Any Retro Payment requests received after the deadline will be processed the following payday.

Reminder: Since a Retro Payment is often triggered by a Workday transaction or business process, remember that the corrective transaction or business process must have been entered and approved in Workday before the payment can be issued.

Retro Payments FAQs

Most changes will be reflected in the employee’s paycheck. In general, changes made using HCM or Time and Absence processes will cause Workday to correct any existing overpayments or underpayments retroactively. Workday adjusts the gross pay amounts based on the changes and also adjusts the appropriate gross to net items (taxes, dues, retirement, etc).

Yes, usually, corrections are “automatic,” meaning Workday will make the appropriate adjustments to pay after retroactive entries (eg, absence corrections or FTE changes) are made and approved.

However, in some instances – referred to as “unsupported retro transactions – Workday cannot make corrections automatically. “Unsupported retro transactions” include processes that have an effective date prior to Workday go-live (June 16, 2017), and transactions completed on employees who are either terminated or on leave. Some transactions can also be “unsupported” due to complexity, such as when an employee has had multiple changes to their job, FTE, or other elements of their worker data. If you think your retroactive transaction will be “unsupported,” please read below to learn how to ensure your changes are successful.

When you complete a retroactive transaction, the resulting pay adjustments will appear on your Earnings and Actuals reports, which you can start running once the Pay Calculation Window opens – refer to the Payroll and Workday Approval Deadline Calendar. If the adjustment doesn’t show up on your reports, please follow the steps outlined on this page for overpayments or underpayments.

Once the ISC is notified of the issue, the ISC Payroll team will monitor that employee throughout payroll calculation, and will resolve your ticket when the adjustment is successfully completed. Departments should check their Earnings and Actuals after receiving the confirmation email from ISC Payroll to confirm the employee was paid based on the transaction and business process submitted by the department for the pay period.

Costing Allocations do not function retroactively in Workday. This means that changing a Costing Allocation on wages that have already been paid will have no effect on your budgets. Similarly, you cannot backdate Costing Allocations in anticipation of a retro payment.

For example, if you were to enter an FTE change on June 1, 2020 with an effective date of February 1, 2020 increasing a worker from 75% to 100%, the employee would be owed retro pay for the previous four months. That pay will always be costed based on the Costing Allocations that were effective during the period in which the retro is paid. If an employee is paid from an incorrect budget, you will need to complete salary transfers in order to correct the error.

B. On-Demand Payments

The ISC can process an On-Demand Payment request in the following scenarios; all other requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis:

  • If the employee has not received pay for the current pay period
  • If the employee is missing 15% or more of their paycheck (15% refers to missing 15% or more of hours worked in a pay period and does not include: salary rate adjustments, exception time or supplemental earnings)
  • For student employees (GSA or otherwise), the gross amount of the check request must be $75 or more
  • In an emergency situation such as: the employee will be evicted, unable to pay medical bills, unable to support family, pay for childcare, or similar situations (these will be qualified on a case-by-case basis)

The ISC cannot process an On-Demand Payment request for:

  • Excess compensation and other similar supplemental payments
  • Exception time (i.e., O/T, S/T, shift differential)
  • Standard retroactive salary increases
  • Separation payments

To request an On-Demand Payment, complete the Retro/On-Demand Payment Request form, linked below. To help prevent delays in issuing payment to an employee, all On-Demand Payment requests must be submitted via the form.

Submit an On-Demand Payment request

When submitting your On-Demand Payment request, please note the following:

  • Requests must be submitted on behalf of an employee; employees cannot request an On-Demand Payment for themselves.
  • Emergency checks will be issued to the employee either as a direct deposit using their payment election on file in Workday, or as a paper check, mailed to the employee’s designated Mailing address in Workday.
  • Checks cannot be issued before the payday in which the hours were worked. The University of Washington does not provide cash advances of payroll funds.

Please allow 72 hours processing time for On-Demand Payment requests. You, and anyone you add to the “Additional Recipient” field(s) in the request form, will receive an emailed response from ISC Payroll when the payment is processed. You can track the progress of your case online at My Requests.

Salary and Earnings Type Information

Salary is paid using an Earnings Type based on an employee’s job class code and the type of work the employee does. If you have questions about Earnings Types, please contact your department administrator.

Salary grades and guidelines were created and are maintained by the department which oversees each particular employee type. For salary schedules, refer to the links below.

A stipend is an Earnings Type (STP, SWB) used to pay a scholarship or fellowship. Generally speaking:

  • A scholarship is an amount paid to a student for the purpose of study.
  • A fellowship is an amount paid to a person for the purpose of research.