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Best practices: Backpay issues on extramurally funded projects

Question: Where can payroll charges attributed to backpay issues (e.g., raise factors, reclassifications, promotions) be applied?

Answer: Typically, the charges for backpay dues to issues such as raise factors, reclassifications, and promotions, would be applied directly to the payroll source where the individual was payrolled during the periods to which the backpay issue relates. In regard to extramurally funded projects, situations may occur where the funding source to which the backpay issue relates, is no longer available (i.e., award closed). In such a case, costs would need to be applied to an unrestricted funding source.

If a project is closed, but there is a successor award, you may be able to apply the backpay charges to the successor award. Assuming the individual to which the backpay applies is still appointed/payrolled on the successor award … as long as the individual for which the backpay is tied, was paid on the predecessor award, such can be applied to the successor award. If the individual for which the backpay is tied was jointly funded on several awards, the backpay must be allocated to the successor at the same payroll distribution level as the person was appointed to the predecessor award. If the individual is no longer paid/appointed on the project, it would still be allowable per University policy. However, be very certain to clearly document in your files information regarding the individual’s prior appointment/association with the project.

Further questions about the application of backpay charges to extramurally sponsored projects, please contact Sandy Fowler in CALS Research Division at sfowler@cals.wisc.edu 2-3947.

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