July 31, 2017
Glossary of Compensation Terms

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Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
Insurance that provides payment for accidental loss of life, limb, hearing, or sight. Insurance usually covers both occupational and non-occupational deaths and injuries, but coverage may be limited to one or the other. Double indemnity provisions of life insurance plans are considered to be AD&D if they provide benefits for both accidental death and dismemberment.  Additional insurance benefit resources.

Accrual Leave Plans
Employees earn a specified number of vacation hours or sick leave hours each pay period. For example, 4 hours of vacation leave and/or 4 hours of sick leave each pay period. Additional leave plan resources.

Across-the-Board Increase
A wage or salary increase distributed across all positions within an organization. It is also referred to as a general increase. Usually, either a flat rate (dollars/cents per hour) or a common percentage of salary is used. Additional pay raise resources.

Actual Hours
The number of hours worked during a pay period, opposed to the number of scheduled hours.

Administrative Services Only (ASO) Plan
An employee benefit plan that is administered by an insurance company or other third party. The employer is entirely at risk for paying employee claims. Additional health care and benefit resources.

Adoption Assistance
Financial aid given to employees for the purpose of covering all or part of the costs incurred for adoption. Additional adoption resources.

Adoption Leave
Excused leave granted to employees for attending legal proceedings leading to adoption and also, like maternity or paternity leave, for a period of time after adoption of a child. (See Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA))Additional adoption leave resources.

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Federation of over 70 autonomous national and international unions created by the merger of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in December 1955. The initials AFL-CIO after the name of a union indicate that the union is an affiliate.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
A federal law enacted in 1967 that prohibits bias against older workers in hiring, discharge, compensation, or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The Act applies to workers aged 40 or older working for firms of 20 employees or more. (See Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990.) Additional age discrimination resources.

Agency Shop (See Union Security.)

Aging Data
A calculation used in market pricing to adjust market salary from different effective dates to a common date. How to age salary data.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
A federal law enacted in 1990 that bars discrimination against qualified individuals who have disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, benefits, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. The law also requires reasonable accommodation to the employees disabling condition. The Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) bars discrimination and requires reasonable accommodations by federal contractors and subcontractors. (See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.)  Additional disability resources.

Anniversary Year Vacation Plan
A plan that provides additional vacation time to employees on certain "anniversary years." For example, employees receive an extra week of vacation at 10 or 20 years of service (but not during intervening years). Additional vacation resources.

Annuity
A form of distribution from a retirement plan that provides periodic payments to plan recipients. Straight-life annuities provide payments, usually monthly, for the lifetime of a retiree. Joint-and-survivor annuities provide payments to a retiree, and upon the retirees death, payments to a surviving spouse. Additional annuity resources.

Apprentice
An employee who is a learner or beginner entered into a formal agreement to achieve journey-level worker status in a skilled trade. The agreement requires that the person undergo supervised practical training and experience and receive technical off-the-job or classroom instruction related to the skilled trade, usually for a specified period of time. Additional apprenticeship training resources.

Apprentice Rates
Wage rates applicable to a workers formal apprenticeship training that usually rise gradually until he or she achieves journey-level status and the rates that accompany journey-level status. Additional apprentice resources.

Arbitration (Voluntary, Compulsory, Advisory)
A method of settling labor-management disputes through an impartial third party whose decision is usually final and binding. Arbitration is voluntary when both parties agree to submit disputed issues to arbitration, and compulsory if required by law. A court order to enforce a voluntary arbitration agreement is not usually considered compulsory arbitration. Advisory arbitration as provided in Federal Government agreements is arbitration without a final and binding award. Additional arbitration resources.

Arbitrator
An impartial third party to whom disputing parties submit their differences for decision (award). An ad hoc arbitrator acts in a specific case or a limited group of cases. A permanent arbitrator serves for the life of the contract or a stipulated term, hearing all disputes that arise during this period. Additional arbitrator resources.

Area Differentials (See Wage Differentials.)

At Risk Pay
Pay that an employee is not guaranteed to receive but may receive under certain circumstances, for example: commissions, piece rates, and various kinds of bonuses such as safety or attendance awards. Additional pay resources.

Attendance Bonus
Payment or other type of reward (e.g., a day off) for employees whose work attendance record meets certain standards. (See Bonus (Production and Nonproduction).)  Additional bonus resources.

Automatic Progression
Policy by which workers pay rates are automatically increased at fixed time intervals. Also refers to automatic movement from trainee rate to job classification rate or to the minimum of a rate range. Additional longevity raise resources.

Average (Mean)
Used in market pricing as a straight average - each survey source gets one "vote."

Average Hourly Rate
Rate that is calculated by taking an employees earnings and dividing by the hours worked. Additional hourly wage resources.

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Back Loaded
Multiyear collective bargaining contract in which wage or employee benefit increases, or both, are greater in the later years of the agreement than in the first year. (See Front Loaded.)

Back Pay
Payment of part or all of an employees wages for a particular prior period of time, arising from arbitration, court, or board awards, grievance settlements, errors in computation of pay, misinterpretation of wage legislation, etc. Additional wage investigation resources.

Bargaining Agent (Bargaining Representative)
A union designated by an appropriate government agency, such as the National Labor Relations Board, or recognized voluntarily by the employer, as the exclusive representative of all employees in the bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining. Additional union resources.

Bargaining Rights
Legally recognized right of unions to represent workers in dealings with employers. Additional union resources.

Bargaining Unit
Group of employees in a craft, department, plant, firm, or industry recognized by the employer or group of employers, or designated by an authorized agency such as the National Labor Relations Board, as appropriate for representation by a union for purposes of collective bargaining. Additional collective bargaining resources.

Base Pay Rate (Base Salary)
A fixed amount of compensation paid to an employee for performing a specific job, exclusive of additional payments or allowances. It may be expressed as an amount per hour, day, week, month, or year. It does not include overtime or incentive rates. Under an incentive pay system, base rate may refer to the rate of pay for work that does not meet an incentive production standard or for downtime. Sometimes differs from the guaranteed rate.

Benchmarking
A standard that can be used to align comparable job titles based on the job description, compensation range, and employee responsibilities. Additional benchmarking resources.

Benchmark Job
A position commonly found across a wide range of industries and organizations with similar definitions within the marketplace. Primarily used to make pay comparisons, either within an organization or to comparable jobs outside the organization.

Beneficiary
The person designated by an employee or retiree to receive benefit payments in the event of the employees or retirees death.

Benefits
Nonwage compensation provided to employees. The National Compensation Survey groups benefits into five categories:

  • Paid leave (vacations, holidays, sick leave);
  • Supplementary pay (premium pay for overtime and work on holidays and weekends, shift differentials, non-production bonuses);
  • Retirement (defined benefit and defined contribution plans);
  • Insurance (life insurance, health benefits, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance); and
  • Legally required benefits (Social Security and Medicare, Federal and State unemployment insurance taxes, and workers compensation).

Bereavement Pay (See Funeral Leave.)

Bilingual Pay Differential
An hourly, weekly, or monthly addition to base pay for employees who have qualified in a second language and are assigned to jobs that necessitate its use. Sign language for the hearing impaired may qualify for the differential.

Black Lung Benefits
A federal program providing cash benefits to miners who suffer from black lung, a respiratory disease resulting from the inhalation of coal dust.

Blended Job/Hybrid Job
A job with multi-functional responsibility for a combination of different areas, often found within the administration and/or operations area of an organization. How to create a blended job. Blended job checklist.

Blue Circle Rate (Green Circle Rate)
Pay rate of a non-probationary worker that falls below the established rate ranges for workers performing the same duties.

Blue-Collar Workers
Manual workers, usually those employed in production, maintenance, and related occupations, and paid by the hour or on an incentive basis. The National Compensation Surveys series for blue-collar occupations cover the following occupational groupings:

  • Precision production, craft, and repair;
  • Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors;
  • Transportation and material moving; and
  • Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers.

Bonus (Production and Non-production)
Discretionary awards for non-specified results.
Production Bonus: Extra payment based on production in excess of a quota or on completion of a job in less than standard time.
Non-production Bonus: A cash payment that is not directly related to the output of either the employee or a group of employees. Examples include attendance, Christmas, profit-sharing, safety, and year-end bonuses.

Break in Service
Refers to the loss of seniority that occurs when an employee quits, is discharged, is laid off for a given time period, etc. If the employee is subsequently reemployed, seniority starts as if the employee has never worked before for the company. The employee loses previous status relative to other employees for layoffs, promotions, choice of vacation periods, etc.

Break Time (See Rest Period.)

Broad Banding
A method of grouping a number of similar jobs into only a few jobs with wider salary ranges. Broad banded jobs often have a 100% or more difference between minimum and maximum salary, for example: $20,000 to $40,000. The grouping may be across various occupations that differ but have a common thread (e.g., all are skilled trade jobs) or across various grades within a job, or a combination of both. For example, 18 skilled trade job titles might be reclassified into two broad banded groups of jobs: Skilled Trade Worker I and Skilled Trade Worker II.

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Cafeteria Plan (See Flexible Benefit Plans.)

Call-In Pay (Callback Pay)
Pay guaranteed to a worker recalled to work after completing the regular work shift. Also referred to as reporting pay. (See Reporting Pay.)

Cash Balance Pension Plan
A defined benefit plan where-in an account is maintained for each plan participant. Each participants account is credited with employer contributions to fund retirement benefits.

Cash or Deferred Arrangement (CODA) (See 401(k) Plans.)

Cash Profit-Sharing
Cash payments made to workers, often determined by a formula based on company profits. Such payments are not intended for retirement and individual accounts are not established. (See Deferred Profit-Sharing Plan; Bonus.)

Casual Workers
Workers with no steady employer but who shift from employer to employer. Also refers to workers not regularly attached to a particular work group. It is sometimes applied to temporary workers. (See Contingent Workforce; Hiring Hall; Migratory Workers.)

Child Care Benefit
An employers full or partial payment for the cost of caring for an employees children in a nursery, day care center, or by a baby-sitter, either on or off the employers premises, while the employee is at work. (See Elder Care.) Additional child care resources.

Christmas Bonus (See Bonus (Production and Non-production).)

Civil Rights Act
Under Title VII of this federal law enacted in 1964, private employers, unions, and employment agencies are required to treat all persons equally, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, in all phases of employment, including hiring, promotion, compensation, firing, apprenticeship, job assignments, and training. An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was created to assist in carrying out this section of the act. The act has been amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. The latter prohibits discrimination in employment against women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. (See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).)

Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA)
A federal law enacted in 1978 that protects the rights of federal employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate in decisions affecting them through labor organizations of their own choosing. It supersedes Executive Order 10988, which recognized the right of federal employees to bargain with management. Title VII specifies the duties and authority of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).

Civilian Labor Force
The total of all civilian employed and unemployed persons in the United States.

Classification
An arrangement of positions into groups or categories based on defined criteria. Often refers to classifications such as exempt and nonexempt or salaried and hourly employees.

Clean-up Time (Wash-up Time)
Paid time allowed to workers to clean their workplaces or tools or to wash before leaving the plant at the close of the workday or for lunch.

Closed Shop (See Union Security.)

Clothes Changing Time
Time allotted within the paid workday for changing from street wear to work clothes or from work clothes to street wear, or both. Additional clothes donning/doffing resources.

Clothing Allowance (Uniform Allowance)
Monetary allowance for clothing or its upkeep or both, granted by an employer to employees required to wear special clothing, such as uniforms or safety garments, in the performance of their work.

COBRA Rate
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 includes provisions that apply to group health plans of employers with 20 or more employees on a typical working day. COBRA gives participants and their beneficiaries the right to maintain, at their own expense, coverage under their health plan that would be lost due to a qualifying event at a cost that is comparable to what it would be if they were still members of the employers group. Qualifying events include an employees death, termination, reduced hours of employment, entitlement to Medicare, or bankruptcy. Former employees usually receive benefits under COBRA for up to 18 months following the qualifying event. The cost of the COBRA coverage is normally paid for by the former employee, although some employers may pay a portion or all of the benefits cost. The COBRA rate, which is the rate charged to the former employee or employees beneficiary, is the actuarially determined plan premium plus an additional 2 percent fee to cover administrative costs.

Coffee Break (See Rest Period.)

Coinsurance
The amount of a health benefits cost which will not be paid by a plan. For example, a health benefit plan may include a coinsurance rate of 10 percent for medical services. Plan participants are responsible for paying 10 percent of the cost for medical services with the health benefit plan paying 90 percent of the cost. Plans may have different coinsurance rates for different types of services, such as hospital room and board, outpatient surgery, etc. (See Deductible.)

Collective Bargaining
Method whereby representatives of employees (unions) and employers determine the conditions of employment through direct negotiation, normally resulting in a written contract setting forth the wages, hours, and other conditions to be observed for a stipulated period (e.g., 3 years). Term also applies to union-management dealings during the term of the agreement.

Collective Bargaining Agreement (Union Contract)
A written contract between an employer (or an association of employers) and a union (or unions), usually for a specified term, defining conditions of employment (wages, hours, vacations, holidays, overtime payments, working conditions, etc.); detailing rights of workers, the union, and management; and describing procedures to be followed in settling disputes or handling issues that arise during the life of the contract.

Commission
Compensation to salespeople based on a predetermined formula. For example, a percentage of the value of sales or the gross margin of goods or services sold. May be in addition to a guaranteed salary rate or may constitute total pay. (See Incentive Wage System.) Additional commission resources.

Company Size - Small
A term used within the BLR Compensation Analyzer to indicate an organization with fewer than 100 employees.

Company Size - Medium
A term used within the BLR Compensation Analyzer to indicate an organization with 100 but fewer than 500 employees.

Company Size - Large
A term used within the BLR Compensation Analyzer to indicate an organization with 500 or more employees.

Comparable Worth
A method of setting compensation that provides equal pay for work of equal value. Often used as a means of achieving parity in pay for employees in jobs with pay traditionally lower than comparable positions. (See Equal Pay Act of 1963; Equal Pay for Equal Work.) Additional resources.

Compa-ratio
The relationship of base pay to market expressed as a percentage of the midpoint of the salary range. To determine compa-ratio, an employees base salary is divided by the midpoint of the salary range for his/her position. Additional compa-ratio resources.

Comparison Data
A term used within the BLR Compensation Analyzer to indicate the geographic location and industry information for all employees with the selected job title.

Compensation (See Earnings.)
The monetary value assigned to an employee in return for work performed that may include: base pay, overtime pay, commissions, bonuses, housing allowance, vacation pay, sick pay, and all other monetized benefits. Additional compensation administration resources.

Compensation Analyzer
BLRs online tool that provides dashboard reports that help HR professionals manage their organizations compensation programs.

Compensation Philosophy
Usually in the form of a written statement, the values and principles used by an organization to guide decision-making regarding pay, benefits, and total rewards. Additional compensation resources.

Compensatory Leave
Time off to compensate an employee for time worked in excess of the work schedule. Compensatory leave may be a substitute for premium pay for overtime for workers who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Compressed Workweek
The completion of the standard number of workweek hours (e.g., 36, 37 1/2, 40) in less than a traditional 5-day workweek by increasing the number of hours worked daily. Usually, the 40-hour workweek is scheduled over 4 days of 10 hours.

Conciliation (See Mediation.)
In practice, synonymous with mediation; the term lives on mainly in the name of the chief mediation agency. (See Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.)

Consolidated Leave Plans (See Leave Banks.)

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (See Cobra Rate.)

Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Expressed as a percentage, defines the average change in prices paid by urban consumers for a fixed group of goods and services that is calculated and issued monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sometimes used as a guide for across-the-board or general salary increases.

Contingent Compensation
The linking of a portion of employees pay or benefits to changes in some other measure, such as company profits, plant output, the Consumer Price Index, or the market price of a commodity. Contingent compensation payments may take the form, for example, of a lump sum payment in cash or company stock, or a wage rate increase.

Contingent Worker
A person employed to fill a temporary need for labor stemming from absence of regular employees, seasonal or irregular increases in need for workers, or other temporary or short-term circumstances. Contingent workers may be employees of the company for which they work, independent contractors, or employees of temporary help firms. (See Casual Workers; Hiring Hall; Migratory Workers; Part-Time Employee.)

Contracting Out (Subcontracting, Farming Out, Outsourcing)
The practice of having certain operations of an organization, such as: parts of a manufacturing process, plant maintenance, security, or payroll preparation, performed by outside contractors, rather than using employees of the firm.

Contract Signing Bonus
A non-production bonus given to unionized employees upon signing of a new labor-management agreement. (See Signing Bonus.)

Contributory Plan
An employee benefit plan which is not 100 percent paid for by the employer. To receive plan benefits, an employee must contribute (pay) a specified amount towards the full cost of the plan. For example, employer pays 100 percent of the cost of health insurance for the employee but pays only 40 percent of the cost of health care services for employees dependents.

Copayment
Small payment made by a health benefits plan participant each time a service is required. For example, a plan may require a $25 or $30 copayment for each physicians office visit. (See Deductible and Coinsurance.)

Cost-of-Living Adjustment
A salary or wage change awarded to employees "across-the-board" that reflects a change in the local, regional, or national cost of living. Cost-of-living adjustments are sometimes included in collective bargaining agreements, with the amount of the periodic adjustments determined by the change in the Consumer Price Index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cost-of-living adjustments may also be applied to pension payments. (See Consumer Price Index.)

Craft
A skilled occupation requiring a thorough knowledge of processes involved in the work, often gained through formal apprenticeship, the exercise of considerable independent judgment, usually a high degree of manual dexterity, and in some instances, extensive responsibility for valuable products or equipment.

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Davis-Bacon Act (Prevailing Wage Law)
A federal law enacted in 1931 that applies to contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair, including painting, of public buildings or public works. The Act requires that contractors and subcontractors pay their laborers and mechanics not less than the wage rates and benefits determined by the Secretary of Labor to be prevailing in the area for corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a similar nature.

Deadheading (See Travel Time.)

Deductible
The amount of money a benefit plan participant must pay during a year before the plan begins to provide coverage and pay for all or a portion of the benefit. For example, a health benefits plan may include a $50 deductible per year per individual to receive reimbursement for prescription drugs. (See Coinsurance and Copayment.)

Deferred Earnings
Earnings that an employee voluntarily places in a retirement account established as a 401(k) plan. Deferred earnings are not taxed as income at the time the money is earned - income taxes are deferred until benefits are distributed from the retirement account.

Deferred Profit Sharing Plan
A defined contribution plan under which a company credits a portion of company profits to employees accounts. Plans may set a fixed formula for sharing profits but this is not a requirement. Most plans hold money in employee accounts until their retirement, disability, or death.

Deferred Wage Change
A negotiated wage change (almost always an increase) that will become effective at a specified date beyond the effective date of the contract. Usually found in multi-year contracts.

Defined Benefit Pension Plan
A retirement plan that uses a specific, predetermined formula to calculate the amount of an employees future benefit. In the private sector, defined benefit plans are typically funded exclusively by employer contributions. In the public sector, defined benefit plans often require employee contributions. Additional defined benefit resources.

Defined Contribution Plan (401(k), 403 (b), 457 Plans)
A retirement plan in which the employer makes specified contributions but the amount of the retirement benefit is not specified. Defined contribution plans may be wholly or partially funded by employers.

Demographic Profile
A term used within the BLR Compensation Analyzer and BLR Salary Finder to indicate a combination of geographic locations and industry categories.

Demographic Profiles Screen
A section of the BLR Compensation Analyzer and BLR Salary Finder that displays a list of all available profiles created for an organization. Profiles are initially displayed in profile name order but can be sorted in ascending/descending order. How to create a demographic profile. Demographic profile checklist.

Dental Maintenance Organization
An organization that provides prepaid dental care services.

Dental Plan
An employer sponsored insurance plan that provides services or payment (usually partial) for preventive and restorative dental care to employees and their dependents. Preventive care typically includes checkups, cleanings, and x-rays. Restorative care may involve fillings, surgery, inlays, or crowns.

Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts (Reimbursement Accounts)
The reimbursement by an employer of expenses relating to household and dependent care services needed to permit gainful employment by an employee. Additional dependent care resources.

Differential Piece Rates
Wages paid as piece rates that vary at different levels of output.

Disability
Any injury or illness, temporary or permanent, that prevents a worker from carrying on his usual occupation. Additional disability resources.

Disability Retirement
Retirement brought on as the result of a totally disabling injury or illness prior to an employees eligibility for normal or early retirement. The participant often has to meet a service requirement, usually 10 years or more. Benefits may be immediate or deferred, and immediate benefits may or may not be reduced.

Discharge
Dismissal of a worker from his or her employment. Term implies discipline for unsatisfactory performance and is thus usually limited to dismissals for cause relating to the individual (e.g., insubordination, absenteeism, inefficiency, etc.). (See Employment-at-Will.)

Discrimination
Prejudice against or unequal treatment of workers in hiring, employment, pay or conditions of work, because of race, national origin, creed, color, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, union membership or activity, or any other characteristic not related to ability or job performance. (See also Civil Rights Act of 1964; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.)

Displaced Workers
Those who lost or left jobs due to plant or company closings or moves, slack work, or the elimination of their positions or shifts.

Disposable Income
An employees gross average weekly earnings less the estimated amount of the workers Social Security and income tax liability. (See Take Home Pay.)

Domestic Partners
Couples in a committed relationship other than the conventional marital affinity. The term applies to heterosexual and also gay and lesbian couples. Domestic partner benefits are the equivalent of traditional spousal benefits, (e.g., covering, health insurance and family leave). Additional domestic partner resources.

Donated Leave (Leave Sharing)
Transfer of leave from one employee to a second who has exhausted leave. Leave from several workers may be accumulated in a bank and withdrawn in emergencies, such as personal or family illness, by the employee who has exhausted leave.

Double Time
A premium rate (e.g., for overtime work, for work on Sundays and holidays) amounting to twice the employees regular rate of pay for each hour worked.

Downtime (Dead Time; Delay Time; Waiting Time)
A brief period during which workers are unable to perform their tasks through no fault of their own, for example: because they are waiting for materials or for machinery repair.

Draw Account
An internal wage account that employers may make available to sales people who work on a straight commission. Withdrawals are considered an advance against commission payments.

Drug Abuse (See Substance Abuse.)

Duty Hours (Duty Time) (See Work Schedule.)

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Early Retirement (Early Out)
A retirement plan provision that gives pension payments to retiring employees prior to what would be their normal retirement date. The participant must meet certain age or service requirements or a combined total of age and service. The pension is generally reduced to reflect a longer payout. Some employers may offer special incentives (early retirement windows) under an early out program to encourage individuals to retire before the normal retirement age.

Earnings (Hourly; Daily; Weekly; Annual; Average; Gross; Straight-Time; Compensation)
Remuneration (pay, wages) to a worker or group of workers for services performed during a specific period of time. The term invariably carries a defining word or a combination (e.g., straight-time average hourly earnings). Since a statistical concept is usually involved in the term and its variations, the producers and users of earnings data have an obligation to define them. In the absence of such definition, the following may serve as rough guides:

  • Hourly, daily, weekly, annual: Period of time to which earnings figures, as stated or computed, relate;
  • Average: usually the arithmetic mean; that is, total earnings (as defined) of a group of workers (as identified) divided by the number of workers in the group;
  • Gross: usually total earnings, including, where applicable, overtime payments, shift differentials, production bonuses, cost-of-living allowances, commissions, etc.;
  • Straight-time: usually gross earnings excluding overtime payments and (with variations at this point) shift differentials and other monetary payments.
  • Compensation: a concept sometimes used to encompass the entire range of wages and benefits, both current and deferred, that workers receive due to their employment.

The National Compensation Survey defines hourly earnings as the straight-time hourly wages or salaries paid to employees. They include incentive pay (commissions, piece rate payments, and production bonuses), cost-of-living adjustments, hazard pay, and payments for income deferred due to participation in a salary reduction plan. Excluded is premium pay for overtime, holidays, and weekends, shift differentials, draws, non-production bonuses, tips, and uniform and tool allowances.

Education Leave
Leave, typically without pay, to employees wishing to attend an accredited college or university or recognized trade, vocational or technical school to take a course of study or training related to their jobs or employment opportunities at the company.

Educational Assistance (Tuition Aid; Tuition Payment Plan)
A benefit program for employees that provides either full or partial payment for tuition and/or books required for training or educational courses for the employees career development.

Educational Pay Differential
Usually for professional occupations such as teachers, educational pay differentials provide for progressively higher salary rates based upon the employees completion of specified academic requirements. For example, a person having a Ph.D. would receive higher pay than another having a masters degree, or an employee with a masters degree would receive a higher salary than another having a bachelors degree.

Elder Care
A benefit program that provides paid or unpaid employee time off for the purpose of caring for sick or elderly parents, and employer sponsored or subsidized adult day care. (See Family and Medical Leave Act.)

Eligibility Requirement
Requirement(s) that an employee must meet to be covered by a benefit plan. For example, employees must be scheduled to work a minimum of 32 hours per week to be covered under a companys health benefits plan.

Employee
An employed wage earner or salaried worker. Used interchangeably with "worker" in the context of a work situation, but a "worker" is not an "employee" when he is no longer on the payroll.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
A structured, separate benefit plan (independent from health insurance) that provides employee referral services, or referral and counseling services concerning issues such as substance abuse, marital difficulties, financial, emotional, and legal problems.

Employee Benefit Plan
A plan established or maintained by an employer, employee organization or both (through negotiated agreement or unilaterally) to provide employees with welfare or retirement benefits or both. (See Benefits.)

Employee Buyout (See Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).)

Employee Leasing Companies
Firms that provide organizations with personnel while retaining status as the legal employer of the leased personnel and are, therefore, responsible for hiring, reviewing, and firing. The leasing company pays wages, benefits, and payroll taxes.

Employee Purchases and Discounts (Perquisites; Perks)
Opportunities offered to employees to receive free, or to purchase at discounted prices, the goods and services of the employer (e.g., discounts on automobiles and trucks or electrical appliances, or free or discounted electrical, gas, telephone, transit, and transportation services, etc.).

Employee Report
An element of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that provides an overview of information for a specific location and department within an organization, this report compares an employees annual base wages against their associated grades and pay to view how they compare against average compensation for this position.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
A federal law enacted in 1974 that sets uniform minimum standards to assure that private sector employee benefit plans are established and maintained in a fair and financially sound manner. Employee benefit plans include pension plans and employee welfare plans, providing health benefits, disability benefits, death benefits, prepaid legal services, vacation benefits, day care centers, scholarship funds, apprenticeship and training benefits, or other similar benefits. ERISA sets standards for administering these plans, including a requirement that financial and other information be disclosed to plan participants and beneficiaries and other requirements for processing claims for benefits under the plans.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
A defined contribution plan in which the employer contributes to a fund that invests primarily in company stock and makes distributions in stock or cash. The plan must be specifically designated in its name or official description as an "employee stock ownership plan."

Employees Tab
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that displays a list of all available employees for an organization, records are initially displayed in Employee ID order but can be sorted in ascending/descending order.

Employer
An employer is any individual, corporation, or other operating group that hires workers (employees). The terms "employer" and "management" are often used interchangeably when there is no intent to draw a distinction between owners and managers.

Employers Association
A voluntary membership organization of employers established to deal with problems common to the group. It may be formed specifically to handle industrial relations and to negotiate with a union or unions. Employers associations may arrange with third parties to provide their employees health or other benefits.

Employment-at-Will
The concept or practice that allows employers to fire workers (or they can quit) for any reason or no reason. However, an employers right to discharge employees at will is subject to important limitations under both state and federal law. Additional employment resources.

Employment Cost Index (ECI)
A fixed-employment-weighted index which tracks quarterly changes in labor costs (wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits), free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries. Occupations in the private sector and State and local government are surveyed. The ECI is published quarterly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Entrance Rate
Wage rate at which an employee starts a job. The rate may apply to a new hire or to a worker who changes jobs within the establishment.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
An independent agency enforcing a variety of federal laws barring discrimination in the public and private sectors, among them, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The EEOC receives and investigates charges of discrimination, conciliates, and, if necessary, litigates. It seeks relief for victims of discrimination and remedies designed to correct the discrimination and to prevent its recurrence.

Equal Pay Act
An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act enacted in 1963 that prohibits gender-based differences in wages and benefits, unless the differential can be justified by factors not based on sex (e.g., seniority). The principal enforcement agency is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Equal Pay for Equal Work
A policy denoting, or a demand for, payment of equal compensation to all employees in an establishment performing the same kind or amount of work, regardless of race, sex, or other characteristics of individual workers not related to ability or performance. (See Comparable Worth.)

Establishment
An economic unit that produces goods and services (e.g., factory, store, etc.), at a single location, and is engaged in one type of economic activity. An establishment is not necessarily identical to a company, which may consist of one or more establishments. For example, a grocery store company may operate seven individual establishments.

Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
Groups of hospitals and physicians that contract to provide comprehensive medical services. Participants are required to obtain services from members of the organization to receive plan benefits.

Exempt/Nonexempt Employees
Exempt employees are not subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (e.g., executive, administrative, and professional employees; employees of federal, state and local governments, etc.). Nonexempt employees are covered by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (e.g., employees engaged in, or producing goods and services for, interstate commerce; employees of certain hotels, restaurants, or motels; etc.).

Exempt Position
A job or position that is not subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements and that is usually paid on a salaried basis. Additional exempt employee resources.

Experience Rating
Process of basing tax rates or insurance premiums on the employers own record - as in workers compensation, unemployment insurance, and commercially insured health and insurance programs - so that the employer may benefit from a good record.

Export Report Data
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that allows its users to save report data as a CSV file that can be opened and edited with a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers.

Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Benefits that are paid during periods when unemployment levels exceed certain percentages. Individuals who have exhausted their regular benefits or whose benefits end within an extended benefit period are eligible for these benefits if they otherwise meet the requirements for regular benefits and are not disqualified for any reason.

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Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA; Wage & Hour Law)
federal law enacted in 1938 that regulates child labor and establishes a minimum hourly wage and premium overtime pay for hours in excess of a specific level (now time and one-half after 40 hours per week) for all workers engaged in, or producing goods for, interstate commerce. Additional wage and hour resources.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
A federal law enacted in 1993 that entitles employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-months for the following reasons:

  • To care for the employees newborn son or daughter
  • Because of the adoption or foster care placement of a child with the employee
  • To care for the employees spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • Because of the employees own serious health condition
  • Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the armed forces in support of a contingency operation.
  • To care for the employees spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin who is a military service member recovering from a serious injury or illness suffered while on active duty in the armed forces. (Employees may take up to 26 workweeks for leave during a single 12-month period.)

The FMLA applies to private sector employers engaged in commerce, or in any industry affecting commerce, that have 50 or more employees each working day during at least 20 calendar weeks or more in the current or preceding calendar year. State and local government agencies, including schools, and most Federal government employees are also covered.

Family Care Development Funds
Funds jointly administered by management and unions, primarily in the telephone industry, to encourage an increase in the number of child care and elder care facilities and to expand the capabilities and quality of professional care organizations and their staffs.

Family Care Leave
A variety of family-related paid or unpaid leaves including leave for maternity, adoption, care of a newborn child (i.e., parental leave), and family illness. Also included is short-term leave, generally paid time off from work for reasons such as a childs medical appointments or parent-teacher conferences. (See Child Care Benefit; Elder Care; Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).)

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)
An independent federal agency that provides mediators to assist the parties involved in negotiations, or in a labor dispute, in reaching a settlement; provides lists of suitable arbitrators on request; and engages in various types of "preventive mediation."

Fee-for-Service Plan
A health care plan that reimburses care providers or patients after services have been rendered which allows workers to select the health care providers (physicians and hospitals) of their choice.

Filter
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that allows the user to enter specific criteria in order to narrow down to specific records in that column.

Financial Counseling
Education provided to employees to increase their knowledge and understanding of personal financial decisions, financial planning, and financial investments.

First Dollar Coverage
A feature of a health benefits plan in which the plan does not require its participants to pay any deductibles or co-payments before benefits are received. Basic benefits are usually referred to as this, because initial expenses are paid by the plan rather than by the patient.

Flagged Rate (See Red Circle Rate.)

Flat Rate (See Single Rate Job.)

Flexible Benefit Plan (Cafeteria Plan)
A benefit plan that provides an employee with multiple options from which to choose a number of plans covering several different benefits. They often consist of a "core" package of benefits (vacations, low option health insurance, etc.) that employees must take. In addition, an optional package may be offered from which employees can select specific benefits (high option health, life and long-term disability insurance, extra vacation days, child care expenses, etc.).

Flexible Work Schedule Plan (Flextime)
A work schedule that allows employees to determine their own work hours within generally set parameters. Typically, employees are required to be at work a minimum number of "core" hours each day (e.g., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), but the start and end time or total hours worked varies according to employee preference.

Flexible Workplace (Flexi-place)
An employer sponsored arrangement that permits an employee to work at home several days of the workweek. Such arrangements are especially compatible with work requiring the use of computers linking home to the central office. (See Homework; Telecommuting.)

Floating Holiday
An employer paid holiday that can vary from year to year, the day on which the holiday is observed being selected by the employer or the employee.

Fringe Benefits (See Benefits.)

Front-Loaded
A multi-year collective bargaining agreement in which wage or benefit increases, or both, are greater in the first year of the agreement than in subsequent years. (See Back-Loaded.)

Full Screen Mode
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that allows its user to view more data at one time, reducing the need to scroll through multiple screens.

Fund (Trust Fund)
Money and investments set aside in a separate account, usually administered by trustees, to take care of the payment of pensions, supplemental unemployment benefits, strike benefits, etc.

Funeral Leave (Bereavement Leave)
An employer paid time off benefit for employees with a death in the family.

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Gainsharing Plan
A form of contingent compensation in which a portion of employee pay varies with the ability of groups of employees to reach or exceed predetermined goals in cost savings, earnings improvements, quality gains, or profit improvements. Included are Scanlon Plans, Rucker Plans, Improshare, etc. Payments are made in the form of annual bonuses, not added to basic wage rates.

Garnishment
The legal attachment of an employees wages through payroll deduction to pay a debt owed by the employee to someone other than the employer.

Going Rate (See Prevailing Rate.)

Grade
A level within an organizations salary structure, with either a single salary or a salary range associated with it.

Grade and Job Report
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that compares an organizations pay structure to BLRs benchmark survey data for similar positions. It also allows its user to establish pay rates that correspond to the value provided by employees at the specified job grade.

Grade Family
A grade family is used to group together job grades for similar titles or jobs in a specific department or branch.

Grade Spread
Also known as range spread, grade spread is the difference between the minimum and the maximum dollar amounts within a salary range or job grade. Suggested guidelines:

  • Manufacturing or service jobs – 20% to 30%
  • Clerical or technical jobs – 30% to 40%
  • Supervisory or professional jobs – 40% to 50%
  • Management or executive jobs – 50% or more

Grandfathered Benefit
Benefit (or benefit provision) available only to employees meeting certain criteria, usually having been employed and participating in a benefit plan prior to it being eliminated or its provisions changed.

Graveyard Shift (See Shift.)

Green Circle Rate (See Blue Circle Rate.)

Group Health Plan
An employer sponsored plan that provides medical benefits for employees and their dependents through insurance or otherwise (such as a trust, health maintenance organization, self-funded pay-as-you-go basis, etc.).

Group Incentive Plan
Payment of incentive earnings based on the output of a group of workers (team, department, etc.) rather than the output of an individual worker.

Groups
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that denotes departments or divisions within an organization.

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Hardship Allowance
An additional payment made to employees for working under adverse conditions, for example: outside during periods of extremely cold weather.

Hazard Pay
Additional pay made to an individual worker or a group of workers working under dangerous or undesirable conditions.

Health Care Cost Containment Provisions
Provisions included in some health benefits plans in an attempt to address the rise in medical care costs. Examples include mandatory second surgical opinions and preadmission certification before being admitted to a hospital, incentives for employees to audit hospital and medical services bills, and incentives for child deliveries in lower cost birthing centers rather than in hospitals. Additional health care resources.

Health Center
Usually a clinic administered by a union, or by trustees representing employers and unions, where members and their families may receive medical examinations and treatment free or at a nominal charge.

Health Insurance Portability and Acountability Act (HIPAA)
A federal law that imposes portability, nondiscrimination, and certain other requirements on employer-sponsored health plans. There are also regulations covering how employers must protect employees’ medical privacy rights as well as the electronic disclosure of employees’ medical information. HIPAA also requires you to cover employees’ and their dependents’ pre-existing health conditions under certain circumstances, as well as to protect the privacy of health information.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
An organization that provides prepaid comprehensive health care services. HMOs both insure and deliver health care services. Enrollees usually reside within a fixed geographic area and are required to obtain services only from providers affiliated with the HMO. An exception to this case is Point of Service Open-Ended HMOs, which allow enrollees the option of obtaining services from physicians and facilities not affiliated with their HMO.

Helpers
Semi-skilled workers who assist other workers with a higher level of competence or expertise. Helpers perform a variety of duties such as furnishing another worker with materials, tools, and supplies; cleaning work areas, machines, and equipment; holding materials or tools; and performing other routine tasks.

High Time Pay
Extra pay for workers engaged in a job high above ground, and, thus, dangerous or uncomfortable, as in construction. Sometimes also applied to work below ground level with extra dangers or discomforts. (See Hazard Pay.)

Hiring Hall
An office maintained by a union, or jointly by employers and the union, for referring workers to jobs or for the actual hiring operation. Commonly found in maritime and long-shore industries. (See Casual Workers; Contingent Workforce.)

Hiring Rate (See Entrance Rate.)

Holiday (See Paid Holiday.)

Holiday Premium Pay
Pay to workers at premium rates (e.g., double time) for work on holidays. (See Paid Holiday.)

Home Work
The production of goods by workers in their homes using materials supplied by the employer. Such activities are sometimes referred to as "cottage industries." (See Flexible Workplace (Flexiplace); Telecommuting.)

Hospitalization Benefits
Health benefits coverage for hospital room and board charges, routine nursing care, prescription drugs, and surgical dressings, etc.

Hourly Rate
Usually, the rate of pay, expressed in dollars and cents per hour, for manual and other workers not paid on a per piece basis. The term is also used to designate the earned rate per hour under incentive methods of wage payment.

Human Resource Management (HRM)
An employers management of its workforce that broadly encompasses personnel responsibilities including HRM planning, job design and job analysis, selection and staffing, employee training and development, performance appraisal, compensation, communications, and employee involvement.

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Import Employees
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that allows users to enter employee data into the system in bulk via a template instead of manually entering employee information one employee at a time.

Incentive Wage System
A general term for methods of wage payment that relate earnings of workers to their actual production either individually or as a group. Short-term incentives are based on targets less than 12 months; long-term incentives are based on targets over 12 months. (See Group Incentive Plan; Piecework.) Additional incentive compensation resources.

Independent Contractor
A worker who receives compensation for performing services for an establishment outside the normal employer-employee relationship. The Internal Revenue Service has established 20 factors or guidelines to clarify whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The guidelines include compliance with instructions, training, set hours of work, work done on employers premises, tools and materials, working for more than one firm at a time, etc.

Individual Practice Association (see IPA)

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
A type of retirement plan that a worker may establish independent of his or her employer and contribute to regardless of whether he or she is covered by an employer-sponsored pension plan. Usually, an employee may contribute up to $2,000 per year. Provisions related to deductibility of contributions, taxation of earnings, and timing of withdrawals can vary.

Industrial Classification (see North American Industry Classification System Manual)

Industrial Relations
The area of Human Resources that focuses on labor-management relations to address matters of mutual concern to employers and employees, including:

  • The relationships, formal and informal, between employer and employees or their representatives; and
  • Government actions and law bearing upon these relationships.

In-range Adjustment
An adjustment to salary within and existing salary range, usually, to bring an employees wages to an acceptable level for various reasons.

Insurance
Protection against some or all of the economic consequences of a loss. For employee benefits purposes, it is full or partial coverage for the financial losses and expenses that can result from employee injury, illness, disability, or death.

Insurance Carrier
A commercial insurer that underwrites or administers insurance policies or does both for such programs as life insurance, health care, short-term disability, and long-term disability benefits.

Insurance Policy
The contract between an insurance carrier and an insured employer under which the carrier agrees to pay the policy benefits when specific losses occur, providing the carrier receives the required premiums. The policy presents in detail the benefit plan provisions.

Internal Equity
The monetary relationship between jobs requiring comparable knowledge, skill, and ability, as well as education and experience, within an organization.

Inverse Seniority (Inverse Layoffs)
The waiver of seniority rights in a layoff of employees. This permits senior employees to avoid placement on relatively undesirable or low paying jobs, and allows junior workers, those more likely to have families with young children, to continue employment.

IPA (Individual Practice Association)
A form of HMO that contracts with medical care providers in the community who practice out of their own offices where they see HMO members.

IRA (See Individual Retirement Account.)

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Job Analysis
Systematic study of a job to assess its specifications, its mental, physical, and skill requirements, its relation to other jobs in the establishment, etc., usually for wage setting or job simplification purposes. Additional compensation administration resources.

Job Classification
Arrangement of tasks in an organization or industry into a limited series of jobs or occupations, rated in terms of skill, responsibility, experience, training, and similar considerations, usually for wage setting purposes. This term, or job class, refers to a single cluster of jobs of approximately equal "worth."

Job Description
A written record of the requirements related to a position that describes the basic elements of the job, the responsibilities, authority, and autonomy, as well as, the essential functions of the position and the environment in which the work is to be executed. Also, forms the basis for an appraisal of the employees job performance. Additional job description resources.

Job Evaluation (Job Grading; Job Rating; Job Ranking)
The process of determining the relative importance, or the ranking, of jobs in an organization for wage setting purposes, by systematically rating them on the basis of selected factors, such as skill, responsibility, experience, etc. Ordinarily used as a means of determining relative levels, not the actual rate structure as a whole. Additional compensation administration resources.

Job Grade
A hierarchy of categorized positions within an organization. Also may be referred to as salary structure and/or job evaluation points.

Job Grade Family
A job grade family is used to group together job grades for similar titles or jobs in a specific department or branch.

Jobs Screen
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that displays a list of available jobs within an organization. It initially displays 10 records at a time, but can be expanded to view more records on each screen.

Job Security
The protection of workers from the loss of job and earnings for reasons not related to a workers performance or behavior. Employment security is the certainty that the employees attachment to the employer will continue even though the employees specific job may disappear because of technological change, work reorganization, etc.

Job Sharing
The division of a full-time position into two part-time jobs. The duties and responsibilities of the job are assigned to two employees who share accountability, pay, and benefits. In recent years, it has been used to employ or retain workers whose obligations (e.g., education, child care, illness in the family, etc.) prevent them from taking a full time job. In a period of slack work, it also refers to sharing the available work to forestall layoff. In this event, the sharing occurs among groups of workers rather than two workers sharing one job. Layoffs may follow if the number of weekly hours falls below designated levels.

Job/Survey Comparison Report
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that compares annual base wages for employees from your organization with BLRs benchmark data for a selected Demographic Profile.

Job Title
A label for a job or occupation that distinguishes it from other jobs or occupations. For example, Benefits Manager or Operations Manager.

Journey Level
A fully qualified skilled trade or crafts worker, generally having mastered a trade by completing a formal apprenticeship program. Also, used to designate fully qualified workers in other jobs.

Journey Level Rate
The rate of pay for a fully qualified worker in a skilled trade or craft, usually as distinguished from apprentice rate, helpers rate, probationary rate, etc.

Jury Duty Leave
Fully paid, partially paid, or unpaid leave from work when an employee is summoned to serve as a juror.

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KSA (Knowledge, Skills & Abilities)
Elements of a job description used to identify the requirements an employee needs to be successful in the position.

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Labor Grades
One of a series of rate steps (single rate or a range of rates) in the wage structure of an organizations occupations. Labor grades are typically the outcome of some form of job evaluation, or of wage rate negotiations, by which different occupations are grouped, so that occupations of approximately equal "value" or "worth" fall into the same grade and, thus, command the same rate of pay. (See Job Classification and Job Evaluation.)

Labor-Management Cooperation (Employee Involvement; Quality of Work Life; Union-Management Cooperation; Worker Participation)
A process in which employees participate in making decisions, which are ordinarily made by management, that affect employees work and work environment. Activities may include goal setting, identification and solution of problems, and developing the means of implementing decisions. The goal for this process is to improve the quality of products and services, job satisfaction, the skills and abilities of workers, etc.

Labor Management Relations Act (Taft-Hartley Act)
A federal law enacted in 1947 that amended the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), 1935, which, among other changes, defined and made illegal a number of unfair labor practices by unions. It preserved the guarantee of the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, or to refrain from such activities, and retained the definition of unfair labor practices as applied to employers. The Act does not apply to employees in a business or industry where a labor dispute would not affect interstate commerce. Other major exclusions are: Employees subject to the Railway Labor Act, agricultural workers, government employees, nonprofit hospitals, domestic servants, and supervisors. Amended by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. (See National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act); National Labor Relations Board.)

Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Landrum-Griffin Act)
A federal law enacted in 1959 designed "to eliminate or prevent improper practices on the part of labor organizations, employers, labor relations consultants" and others. Its seven titles include:

  • A bill of rights which sets forth certain basic rights which Congress believed should be guaranteed to union members by Federal law;
  • Requirements for the filing of information and financial reports;
  • Regulations governing trusteeships over subordinate unions;
  • Standards for elections of union officers; and
  • Fiduciary responsibility of union officers.

Labor Market
The geographical area or industry within which workers seek and compete for positions and employers recruit and hire employees.

Labor Standards
The minimum levels established through collective bargaining or by law for wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions that together define the standard of living for workers and their families. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), for example, establishes levels of minimum wages and weekly hours for workers and sets age levels and the nature of jobs (e.g., non-hazardous) in which children may be employed. The Public Contracts Act (Walsh-Healey Act) applies similar standards to workers under Federal contracts. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) authorizes the establishment of worksite safety and health standards. (See Living Wage.)

Landrum-Griffin Act (see The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act)

Layoff (Reduction in Force; Furlough)
Involuntary separation from employment for a temporary or indefinite period, without prejudice, that is, resulting from no fault of the workers. Layoffs may be caused by a decline in sales of a companys product or service, a merger of one company with another, or a decrease in labor requirements brought about through automation. Although "layoff" usually implies eventual recall, or at least the intent of the employer to recall workers to their jobs, the term is occasionally used for separations plainly signifying permanent loss of jobs, as in plant shutdowns.

Learner
Normally refers to an employee that is just beginning to learn a job that does not require extensive technical training or experience. (See Apprentice.)

Learner Rate (Beginner Rate)
Rate or, more frequently, schedule of rates applicable to workers inexperienced in the job for which they are employed, until they attain the necessary competence. (See Entrance Rate.)

Learners Certificate
Certificates issued by the U. S. Department of Labor, under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which permit employers to pay rates below the statutory minimum to learners, messengers, apprentices, and disabled workers, so as not to curtail opportunities for their employment.

Leave Bank (Consolidated Leave Plan; Paid Time Off (PTO))
Provides several different types of leave, such as vacations, holidays, sick leave, etc., under a single plan.

Leave Of Absence
Normally, an employees excused time (unpaid) away from work, usually for a week or more, without loss of job or seniority.

Leave Sharing (See Donated Leave.)

Legally Required Benefits
The National Compensation Survey benefit grouping that includes railroad retirement, railroad supplemental retirement, railroad unemployment, workers compensation, Social Security, Medicare, state unemployment insurance, state required disability insurance, and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act.

Legal Services Plan
A prepaid plan providing to workers and their families a variety of basic legal services (e.g., drafting of wills, reviewing legal documents, etc.). For more complex legal problems, plans usually provide discounts from usual and customary fees.

Life Insurance
A benefit, often employer sponsored, that provides a lump-sum payment to a designated beneficiary or beneficiaries of deceased employees. Organizations may provide a basic amount of life insurance benefits, which may vary depending on an employees age, income, or occupation, and allow employees to pay for additional amounts of coverage.

Living Wage
A wage that is at a sufficiently high enough level to permit a worker to keep a given standard of living. (See Labor Standards.)

Location
An element of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that indicates the various branches or office locations for an organization.

Longevity Pay
A specified increase in hourly pay rate, a lump sum payment, or a form of bonus (e.g., government savings bond, add-on to severance pay, etc.) paid to employees based upon their length of service.

Long Term Care Benefits
Long-term care benefits, normally provided through an insurance plan, cover expenses related to home care, nursing home care, or custodial care. Benefit payments normally last for more than 1 year. Employers may offer plans that are financed entirely by the employees at group insurance rates. Employees may purchase policies for themselves, a spouse, or other family members.

Long Term Disability Insurance (LTD)
An employer sponsored benefit that provides a monthly benefit to employees who, due to illness or injury, are unable to work for an extended period of time. Usually LTD benefit payments begin after 3 or 6 months of disability and continue until retirement age is reached, or for a specified number of months, depending on the employees age at the time of the disability. Payments typically equal a fixed percent of pre-disability earnings.

Lump-Sum Payment
A payment made to employees in lieu of a general wage rate increases. The payment may be a fixed amount as set forth in a labor agreement or an amount determined by a formula. For example, 2.5 percent of an employees earnings (wages, cost-of-living allowance payments, shift differential payments) during the prior year. Lump-sum payments are not incorporated into an employees base pay rate or salary.

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Major Medical Insurance
This insurance is typically offered in two forms. Supplemental plans offer additional coverage, subject to deductibles and co-insurance requirements, to what is provided in a basic health plan by covering expenses that exceed the limits of the basic plan and expenses not covered by the basic plan. Comprehensive major medical plans are offered where there is no basic plan; they cover a wide range of medical services, with payment of benefits subject to a deductible and a coinsurance requirement.

Makeup Pay
The difference between actual piecework earnings and earnings at guaranteed rates or statutory minimum rates. The term is also associated with the practice of permitting employees to earn a full weeks wages by making up for lost time.

Managed Health Care
These plans integrate the financing and delivery of appropriate health care services to covered individuals. Managed care usually involves some or all of the following elements:

  • Arrangements with selected health care providers to furnish a comprehensive set of services;
  • Explicit standards for the selection of health care providers;
  • Formal programs for ongoing quality assurance and utilization review; and
  • Significant financial incentives for members of the plan to use providers and procedures covered by the plan. Health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations use managed health care concepts.

Management
The employer and his or her representatives, or corporation executives, who are responsible for the administration and direction of an organization. (See Employer.)

Market Adjustment
An adjustment to a positions salary range that brings that position within its market value range.

Market Analysis Report
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that compares multiple sources of benchmark data against an organizations pay rates by job.

Market Average
The sum of the market rates reported for a job within a market survey divided by the total number of market rates reported.

Market Consensus (MC)
Average of the mean, median, trim mean, and regression; represents the best estimate of the positions market value.

Market Index
A ratio that compares a salary to the market average for that position.

Market Rate
The value of similar jobs in the marketplace as reported by salary surveys. How to conduct a salary market analysis. Market analysis checklist.

Match Job Screen
A feature of the BLR Compensation Analyzer that indicates a standard job title as a benchmark for the job title used by an organization.

Maternity Leave (Pregnancy Leave)
Paid or unpaid leave provided to female employees at the time of the birth of their baby. Unpaid maternity leave usually may be taken after regular paid leave is used and can continue for a fixed period of time. Employees returning from employer approved maternity leave can expect to return to their own or similar jobs.

Max-point
The maximum dollar amount in a salary range. Often calculated at 125% of the mid-point for the job grade.

McNamara-OHara Act (See Service Contract Act.)

Mealtime (See Paid Lunch Period.)

Mean
Average of a set of numbers.

Median/Midpoint
A value which lies at the middle of a distribution; 50th percentile.

Mediation (See Conciliation.)
An attempt by a third party, voluntarily agreed to by the parties, to help in negotiations or in the settlement of a dispute through suggestion, advice, or other ways of stimulating agreement, short of dictating its provisions (a characteristic of arbitration). Most of the mediation in the United States is undertaken through federal and state mediation agencies. (See Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.)

Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb)
A dispute resolution process in which a third party neutral attempts to mediate outstanding issues and then arbitrates the issues that remain unresolved through mediation. In some instances, one neutral may mediate and then pass off remaining unsettled issues to another neutral for arbitration.

Mediator
A person who undertakes the mediation of a dispute between two or more parties.

Medical Leave (See Sick Leave.)

Medicare
The federal health insurance program under Social Security. It consists of two parts: Part A covers hospital insurance and Part B covers supplementary medical insurance to help pay for physicians services, outpatient hospital services, and other medical supplies and services not covered by Part A. The Medicare program is funded through a joint employer-employee paid tax applied to covered earnings.

Merit Increase (Merit Pay)
An increase in the wage rate of a worker, usually given on the basis of certain criteria of worth (e.g., efficiency and performance). Additional merit increase resources.

Merit Pay
A salary increase based on individual performance.

Merit Progression (See Wage Progression.) Additional merit pay resources.

Merit Systems Protection Board
Independent Federal agency charged with protecting the integrity of Federal merit systems and the rights of Federal employees working in the systems. The Board conducts special studies, hears and decides charges of wrongdoing and employee appeals of adverse agency actions. It may order corrective and disciplinary actions when appropriate.

Mid-point
The middle dollar amount in a salary range.

Mid-point Differential
The percent difference between the mid-point of one grade level and the mid-point of the next highest grade level in a job grade structure. Suggested job grade family guidelines:

  • Manufacturing or clerical jobs – 5% to 12%
  • Professional or management jobs – 8% to 15%
  • Executive level jobs – 20% to 35%
  • Between supervisors and subordinates - 15% to 25%

Migratory Worker
An individual whose principal income is earned from temporary employment (usually in farming) and who, in the course of the year, move one or more times, often through several States.

Military Leave
An employee benefit that provides an unpaid, partially paid, or fully paid absence from work to fulfill their military commitments. Some employers pay the difference between an employees regular earnings and the amount they receive from the military.

Minimum Premium Plan
Arrangement, used by self-insured health care plans, that provides insurance coverage to pay claims above a specified amount, limiting the employers liability in the case of catastrophic expenses. (See Self-Funding (Self-Insurance) Plan.)

Minimum Wage
The rate of pay, established by law or through collective bargaining, below which workers cannot be employed. Exceptions are frequently made for learners and disabled workers. It is usually expressed as an hourly rate. (See Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.)

Min-point
The minimum dollar amount in a salary range. Often calculated at 75% of the midpoint for the job grade.

Money Purchase Pension Plan
A defined contribution plan with fixed employer contributions that are, typically, a percent of employee earnings. Contributions are allocated to individual accounts established for each employee. Upon retirement, the contributions and investment earnings are used to purchase an annuity or to provide for some other form of retirement income. Some plans may allow employee contributions but employees are seldom required to make any contributions.

Moving Allowance (See Relocation Allowance.)

Multi-Employer Bargaining
The process of negotiating terms of employment between a union or unions and a group of employers, usually represented by an employer association, which results in a uniform or master agreement. Typically found in construction, maritime, retail food, trucking, and apparel industries.

Multi-Employer (Union) Pension Plan
A pension plan in which employers, usually in the same industry, contribute to a fund administered by a union or professional association, or jointly by an employer(s) and a union. Employer contributions are determined by the solvency of the pension fund, and in the case of union plans, the amount of the employer contribution is usually in terms of cents per hour worked and set during the negotiation for a labor-management agreement. Multi-employer plans are generally defined benefit pension plans.

Multi-Plant Bargaining (Companywide Bargaining)
The process of negotiating terms of employment between a company and the union or unions representing workers in more than one of the employers locations, usually resulting in a master agreement. If all or most plants are involved, the term "companywide" is appropriately used.

Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs)
MEWAs, also referred to as multiple employer trusts (METs) or association health plans (AHPs), sell health and welfare benefit plans to employers.

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NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
An agreement established in 1994 between the United States, Canada, and Mexico opening each countrys borders to free trade with the other participating Nations.

NAFTA-TAA (NAFTA-Transitional Adjustment Assistance Program)
An agency established in the U.S. Department of Labor to help workers who lose jobs or are threatened with job loss because of the increase in imports from Canada and Mexico that are competitive with products or services of their employers. Assistance, available through the combined efforts of Federal and State agencies, include skill training, job search help, relocation allowance, and income support.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA, Wagner Act)
The federal law enacted in 1935 that guarantees workers the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. The Act also defines "unfair labor practices" of employers. It was amended by the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act), and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (Landrum-Griffin Act).

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Federal agency created by the National Labor Relations Act, 1935, and continued through subsequent amendments, whose functions are to define appropriate bargaining units, to hold elections to determine whether a majority of workers want to be represented by a specific union or no union, to certify unions to represent employees, to interpret and apply the Acts provisions prohibiting certain employer and union unfair practices, and otherwise to administer the provisions of the Act. (See Labor Management Relations Act, 1947.)

National Mediation Board
Federal agency established by the Railway Labor Act, 1926, to provide aid in settling disputes between railway companies and unions over union representation, negotiation of changes in agreements, and interpretation of agreements reached through mediation. The provisions of the RLA were later extended to airlines. (See Railway Labor Act of 1926.)

National Railroad Adjustment Board
Federal agency established in 1934 which functions as a board of arbitration, handing down final and binding decisions on disputes arising out of grievances, or the application and interpretation of agreements, in the railroad industry (airline industry not covered). Board is composed of 36 members, 18 of whom represent and are paid by the carriers and 18 by national railway labor organizations.

Night Shift (See Shift.)

Nine Point-Factor Job Evaluation
A process that assigns numerical scores to the fundamental elements of a job. A good point-factor system yields tiers of jobs with each tier representing a group of jobs that can be vastly different in content yet pay roughly the same rate. All jobs are subjected to the same analysis to ensure a high degree of internal equity. The most common evaluation system is the one used by the federal government to classify its civilian workforce. It is a simple system employing nine generic factors to describe the full spectrum of job demands and levels of responsibility. It measures the requirements of each job against a set of narrative descriptions of job demands for each of the nine factors that range from relatively undemanding to extremely demanding, with a point score prescribed at each level.

Noncontributory Plan
An employee benefit plan that is completely paid for by the employer. (See Contributory Plan.)

Nonexempt Employees (See Exempt/Nonexempt Employees.)

Nonexempt Position
A job or position subject to the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Non-production Bonus (See Bonus (Production and Non-production.)

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan
Deferred compensation plans that do not receive favorable tax treatment, usually because they are offered to only a few executives or managers of a company leading to the plan not meeting the governments nondiscrimination rules or because they offer benefits in excess of those allowed by the rules.

Non-wage Cash Payments
Non-production bonuses and lump sum payments given in lieu of wage rate increases.

North American Free Trade Agreement (See NAFTA.)

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
The standard used by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Manual replaces the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual. The NAICS Manual, as was the SIC Manual, is used by Federal Government statistical agencies to define and classify industries in the economy in a consistent manner based on their primary economic activity. The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States developed the NAICS Manual, which became effective January 1997.

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Occupation
A job or family of jobs that is common to many industries and areas. For example, carpenter, administrative assistant, or accountant.

Occupational Classification System (See Standard Occupational Classification System Manual.)

Occupational Rates
Wage rates (single or rate ranges) for particular occupations in an establishment, industry, or area.

Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits (OASDI)
Retirement income, survivors, and disability payments that are available to eligible workers covered by the federal social security legislation.

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
A federal law enacted in 1990 which clarifies that employee benefits and benefit plans are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

On Call Pay
Pay received by employees for being ready to report to work if necessary. Employees receiving on call pay usually are required to be readily available by phone or pager, within a reasonable distance from the workplace, and able to report promptly to work.

Open Season
A specified time period during which employees may change their benefit selections. For example, an employer may allow employees to change health benefit plan providers during November of each year. Sometimes referred to as Open Enrollment.

Organization Name
The Organization Name is the name of your company, division, or subsidiary as it will display in the system and on reports within the BLR Compensation Analyzer.

Organization Type
The Organization Type indicates the nature of a business, for example: for profit, non-profit, public, private, etc. as it is identified within the BLR Compensation Analyzer.

Other Leave Plans
A National Compensation Survey benefit grouping that includes personal leave, military leave, funeral leave, jury duty, and family leave.

Out of Line Rate (See Red Circle Rate.)

Out of Town Work Payments
Payments, in addition to per diem or meal allowances, to employees required to work outside of their normal living area. For example, construction workers may receive an out of town payment of 15 percent of their normal pay rate. (See Travel Time.)

Out of Work Benefits
Payments made by a union to unemployed members.

Outplacement Assistance
Help that is usually provided by the employer, union or a public agency, or all three, to displaced workers who have lost jobs for reasons other than cause (e.g., downsizing, restructuring, plant closing, etc.). Among the kinds of help provided is job search assistance, resume development, training for job interviews, etc.

Outsourcing (See Contracting Out.)

Overtime
Work performed in excess of basic workday or workweek, as defined by law, collective bargaining agreement, or company policy. Sometimes applied to work performed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays at premium rates. Additional overtime resources.

Overtime Pay
Payment for hours worked in excess of the maximum hours applicable to the organization. Usually refers to hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Overtime under the FLSA is paid at a rate of not less than 1.5 times the nonexempt employees regular rate of pay.

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Paid Absence Allowance
Payment for lost working time available to workers for various types of leave not otherwise compensated, for example excused personal leave.

Paid Holiday Leave
Holidays are days of special religious, cultural, social, or patriotic significance on which work and business ordinarily ceases. Workers typically receive time-off from work, at full pay or partial pay, on a specified number of holidays each year. Some employers also include "personal holidays," such as an employees birthday or "floating holidays" that vary from year-to-year as determined by the employer or employee or both.

Paid Lunch Period (Mealtime)
A period of time, normally 30 minutes to one hour, for employees to eat and rest.

Paid Vacation
Time-off from work normally taken in days or weeks that provide employees with a rest or break from work. The amount of time-off may vary based on an employees length-of-service with the employer or it may be a fixed number of days or weeks. The time-off is normally paid for at an employees normal hourly rate or salary.

Parental Leave
Paid or unpaid leave for a new mother or father to care for a child. Parental leave plans are separate from an employees other leave plans, such as sick leave and paid vacations. Unpaid maternity and paternity leave usually can be taken after regular paid leave is used and can continue for a fixed period of time. Employees can expect to return to their own or similar jobs following approved parental leave.

Part-Time Employees
Workers employed on a temporary or regular basis for a workweek shorter than the scheduled workweek for full-time employees.

Paternity Leave (See Parental Leave.)

Pattern Bargaining (See Wage Pattern.)

Pay Compression
A lessening of the difference in pay between workers in different pay grades. Pay compression can be caused by workers receiving across-the-board, flat sum pay increases or by workers at higher pay grades receiving smaller percentage salary increases than those at lower pay grades.

Pay Equity (See Comparable Worth.)

Pay-For-Knowledge (Skill-Based Pay)
An alternative compensation system in which pay is based, not upon the specific job the employee performs, but upon the number of skills or tasks the employee is capable of performing. Such pay systems are linked to flexible work assignments or rotating jobs typical of self-managed work teams. Sometimes referred to as skill-based pay, knowledge-based pay, or multi-skill compensation.

Pay Grade
Refers to the level or hierarchy of a job and its pay range within an organization. Additional pay grade resources.

Pay Range
The low, middle, and high end of salary paid for a specific position. It can be based on a variety of factors including type of work and the skills needed to be successful, the level of experience and edutation needed, internal equity, and market analysis of the average pay for that job. Additional pay range resources.

Payroll Deduction
An amount withheld from an employees earnings by the employer for Social Security, Federal and State income taxes, and other governmental levies, union dues, group insurance premiums, and other authorized wage assignments.

Payroll Period
The frequency in which workers wages are calculated and paid, usually weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly.

Penalty Rate
Extra rate paid for particularly hazardous or onerous work. The term may apply to any premium or overtime rate. (See Hazard Pay; Premium Pay.)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
A federal agency established under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to guarantee the payment of basic retirement benefits, within limits set by law, to participants of private defined benefit pension plans. PBGC programs are financed by premiums levied on employers sponsoring covered plans, investment returns on PBGC assets, and recoveries from employers responsible for under funded terminated plans.

Pension Plan (Retirement Plan)
Pension or retirement plans are designed to provide funds to retirees. (See Defined Contribution Plans; Defined Benefit Plans.)

Pension Portability
The ability of an employee to maintain and transfer years of credited service or accumulated pension benefits from one employer to another.

Percentile
A percentile is a measurement used to indicate the value below which the salary for a given percentage of incumbents in the survey fall. For example, the 10th percentile indicates that 10% of the incumbents in the survey (for that demographic element) are below or at that amount. The 25th percentile is also known as the first quartile (Q1), the 50th percentile as the median or second quartile (Q2), and the 75th percentile as the third quartile (Q3).

Per Diem Allowance
The daily add-on to pay for workers in travel status that usually covers lodging, meals, and miscellaneous expenses related to travel.

Performance Appraisal
The process of evaluating employee job performance resulting in a document that outlines strengths/competencies and weaknesses/aress for improvement. Additional performance appraisal resources.

Performance Improvement Plan
A structured plan for improving an employees performance-related issues that outlines specific areas of performance requiring improvement.

Perks (See Employee Purchases and Discounts.)

Perquisites (See Employee Purchases and Discounts.)

Personalized Rate (See Red Circle Rate.)

Personal Leave
Also known as general leave, personal leave provides employees with time-off from work for various purposes not covered by other types of leave plans.

Piece Rate
Predetermined amount paid per unit of output to worker under a piecework incentive plan.

Piecework
A method of wage payment based on the number of units produced, or any work for which piece rates are paid.

Point of Service Health Plans
A type of health maintenance organization (HMO) that allows employees the option of using doctors and facilities outside the HMO network. Employees who use the option typically pay a higher fee for the health services than if they would it the services were provided by the HMOs own physicians. These plans are sometimes called open-ended HMOs.

Portal-to-Portal Pay
Payment for time spent traveling to and from the plant or mine entrance to the working site, or conceptually, for all time in the plant rather than time at the workplace. (See Travel Time.)

Post-Retirement Pension Increases
Adjustments to pension benefits being received by employees that have already retired. Post-retirement pension increases may be at the discretion of the former employer or pension fund or may be automatic usually based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Preadmission Certification
The authorization given by a health benefits provider to a benefit recipient prior to hospitalization or before the delivery of certain health care benefits. Failure to obtain a preadmission certificate in non-emergency situations reduces or eliminates the health benefit providers obligation to pay for services rendered.

Preferential Hiring
Agreed upon arrangement whereby the employer gives preference in hiring to union members, to applicants with previous training and experience in the industry, to workers displaced from another plant or from another part of a particular plant, or by order of the National Labor Relations Board to employees found to be discharged on a discriminatory basis.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
Preferred Provider Organization health plans offer a higher benefit for services rendered by designated health care providers although plan participants are free to choose any provider they wish.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
A federal law enacted in 1978 that bars discrimination in hiring or at the workplace because a woman is pregnant or affected by childbirth or related medical conditions.

Pregnancy Leave (See Maternity Leave.)

Premium Pay
An employees compensation that is paid at a rate that is greater than his or her regular rate. It may refer to overtime, shift differentials, or penalty rates.

Prescription Drug Plan
Health benefits plan provision covering outpatient drug prescriptions. Benefits may be subject to an annual deductible or may include a minimal co-payment per prescription.

Prevailing Rate (Going Rate)
A term that may be used in varying contexts. It may refer to average level of wages paid by employers for specific occupations in a community or area; or rate most commonly paid; or rate paid to most workers; or rate established by union contracts.

Prevailing Wage Law (See Davis-Bacon Act of 1931.) Additional prevailing wage resources.

Probationary Employee
A worker during a probationary period. Where informal probation is the practice, a worker who has not yet attained the status of regular employee may be called a temporary employee. (See Regular Employee.)

Probationary Period
Usually a stipulated period of time (e.g., 30, 60, or 90 days) during which a newly hired employee is on trial prior to establishing seniority or otherwise becoming a regular employee. Sometimes used in relation to discipline (e.g., a period during which a regular employee, accused of misbehavior, is on trial).

Probationary Rate
A trial rate of pay for an experienced and otherwise qualified worker during the initial period of his employment on a new job in a new plant.

Production Bonus (See Bonus (Production and Non-production).)

Production Workers
Usually, employees directly involved in manufacturing or operational processes, as distinguished from supervisory, sales, executive, and office employees. Often referred to as blue-collar workers.

Profit Sharing (See Cash Profit-Sharing; Deferred Profit-Sharing.)

Progression System (See Wage Progression.)

Promotion (See Upgrading.)

Push Money
Money paid by a supplier of goods or services, directly or indirectly through the employer, to retail salespeople as an incentive to increase sales of the goods or services. Department store cosmetics sales persons often receive push money payments.

Pyramiding
Double payment of overtime rates for overtime work that may result from paying both daily and weekly overtime rates for the same hours of work; sometimes applied to any premium added to another premium rate.

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Quality Circle (Quality Committee)
A structured employee involvement group, operating in designated work areas, that meets regularly to identify work related problems and to suggest solutions or improvements to management.

Quality of Work Life Committees
Committees existing at multiple organizational levels within a company charged with developing changes to improve performance and the quality of employees work life. If committees are established as part of a labor-management agreement they do not address contractual issues such as pay and benefits.

Quasi-Government Establishment
Establishments that are controlled both by the government and private sectors through joint ownership of stock or joint membership on boards of directors or other controlling bodies.

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Railroad Retirement Act (RRA)
A federal law enacted in 1935 that established a nationwide program providing railroad employees with retirement benefits (old age, disability, and survivors benefits) based on the individual workers earnings and length of service in the railroad industry. (Railroad workers are not covered by the Social Security Act.)

Railway Labor Act (RLA)
A federal law enacted in 1926 that established a framework for labor-management relations within the railroad industry and, later, the airline industry. Two agencies administer the Act: the National Mediation Board and the National Railroad Adjustment Board.

Range Penetration
The level of an individual salary compared to the total pay range.

Range Spread
Also known as grade spread, range spread is the difference between the minimum and the maximum dollar amounts within a salary range or job grade. Suggested guidelines:

  • Manufacturing or service jobs – 20% to 30%
  • Clerical or technical jobs – 30% to 40%
  • Supervisory or professional jobs – 40% to 50%
  • Management or executive jobs – 50% or more

Rate Cutting
The act by management of reducing an established incentive or base wages in the absence of comparable changes in job content, or any action by companies in reducing wages.

Rate Range
The spread of salaries paid for jobs assigned to the same salary grade. Essentially, the lower and upper limits of wage rates paid to workers in an occupation. For example, the rate range for an administrative assistant might be $20,000 to $35,000 per year, expressed as $10 to $17 dollars per hour.

Rate Setting
The process of establishing wage or piece rates for a job or occupation.

Real Wages
The purchasing power of wages or the amount of goods and services that can be acquired with wages. An index of real wages takes into account changes over time in earnings levels as measured by an appropriate index (e.g., the Consumer Price Index).

Red Circle Rate (Out of Line Rate; Flagged Rate)
A wage rate exceeding the formal pay rate or range of rates for a job due to such factors as the employees long service with the company, superior skills, or other factors. Additional compensation administration resources.

Reduction In Force (See Layoff)

Referral Bonus
Money payment made to an employee as a bonus for aiding in the recruitment of another person hired by the company.

Regression
Mathematical computation used to model a presumed linear relationship between two variables used to predict a dependent variable from an independent variable.

Regular Employee
A full-time employee who has met the formal or informal probationary requirements of a job. Distinguished from seasonal, part-time, probationary, or temporary employee. (See Probationary Period.)

Regular Rate
The basic rate of pay or the straight-time rate of pay for a job. The Fair Labor Standards Act defines "regular rate of pay" for overtime pay computations; collective bargaining agreements also usually define the term for calculation purposes (vacation pay, overtime, etc.).

Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) bars discrimination and requires reasonable accommodations by Federal contractors and subcontractors. (See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.)

Reimbursement Accounts
Accounts funded by employee pretax contributions to pay for health care deductibles, coinsurances, costs of services not covered by a health care plan, child care expenses, and the non-medical expenses that allow a person to work while ensuring a qualified dependents well-being. Accounts may be partially funded by employers.

Relief Time
A period of time during which a worker is permitted to leave his workplace, usually for personal needs, with his place being taken by a substitute when necessary. (See Rest Period.)

Relocation Allowance (Moving Allowance)
Money paid to an employee to cover the cost of moving from one locality to another as a result of a permanent change in duty station. Payment may cover costs of moving personal items, real estate brokerage fees, a loss of money on the sale of the employees residence, or the living costs for a period of time spent looking for a residence in the new locality.

Re-opening Clause (Wage Re-opener; Benefit Re-opener)
A clause in a collective bargaining agreement that states the time or the circumstances under which negotiations can be requested, prior to the expiration of the contract. Re-openings are usually restricted to wage or benefit issues and, perhaps, other specified economic issues, not to the contract as a whole.

Report: Employee
A report generated with the BLR Compensation Analyzer that provides an overview of information for a specific location and department, this report compares an employees annual base wages against their associated grades and pay to view how they compare against average compensation for this position.

Report: Grade and Job
A report generated with the BLR Compensation Analyzer that allows the user to evaluate an organizations pay structure at a specific job grade level against BLRs benchmark survey data for similar positions. Also allows user to establish pay rates that correspond to the value provided by employees at the specified job grade.

Report: Job/Survey Comparison
A report generated with the BLR Compensation Analyzer that compares annual base wages for employees from your organization with BLRs benchmark data for a selected Demographic Profile.

Report: Market Analysis
A report generated with the BLR Compensation Analyzer that compares multiple sources of benchmark data against an organizations pay rates by job.

Reporting Pay
Minimum pay guaranteed to a worker who is scheduled to work, reports for work, and finds no work available, or less work than can be done in the guaranteed period (usually 2-4 hours). Sometimes identified as "call-in pay." (See Call-In Pay.)

Rest Period (Coffee Break; Break Time)
A short period of time set aside as a paid break from an employees work.

Retirement
An employees withdrawal from his or her work because of age, disability, etc. Retirement generally occurs at age 65 when full Social Security benefits are available. The age at which such full benefits are available will gradually rise to age 67 for those born after 1937. Privately sponsored retirement plans typically provide normal retirement benefits at age 65 or earlier. Early retirement benefits are reduced benefits available at an earlier age, with reductions designed to account for the longer receipt of benefits. Plans may also offer disability retirement benefits for those workers unable to continue working due to poor health. Also, special early retirement benefits may be provided by companies to encourage workers to retire as a result of a firms merger with another firm, downsizing, etc. (See Pension Plan; Social Security Act.) Additional retirement resources.

Retirement Plan (See Pension Plan.)

Retirement Savings - 401(k), 403(b), 457 Plans
Defined contribution benefits plan established under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) permit employees to make pre-tax contributions via salary reduction agreements. IRC Section 403(b) plans are deferred compensation plans for employees of certain not-for-profit organizations and public schools. IRC Section 457 plans are deferred compensation plans for employees of State and local governments and tax-exempt organizations.

Retraining
The development of new skills for workers through a defined program of on-the-job training or study or both so that employees are able to qualify for new or different work, or new careers.

Retroactive Pay
Wages due for past services, frequently required when wage increases are made effective as of an earlier date; or when contract negotiations are extended beyond the expiration date. (See Back Pay.)

Roll Up
The incorporation of cost-of-living allowances or longevity pay into an employees regular base pay rate or salary.

Rotating Shift (See Shift.)

Round the Clock Operations
A business that operates shifts 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 weeks per year.

Royalty
As used by some unions, term for employer payments to health, welfare, or retirement funds. For professional workers, royalties are payments for work based upon a percentage of money received from the sale of a product (an invention, book, musical composition, etc.).

Rucker Plan (See Gainsharing plan.)

Runaway Rate (Loose Rate)
Piece rate or other incentive rate which, because of changed technology or faulty rate setting, yields earnings that is substantially higher than earnings on other jobs with similar job requirements.

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Sabbatical Leave
Traditionally considered for professional occupations (e.g., teachers, nurses, etc.) time off with pay usually up to 1 year following an eligibility period (e.g., 5 years, 7 years, etc.) to pursue projects that enhance and enrich professional knowledge. For nonprofessional workers, usually a shorter time period with pay (e.g., 5 weeks, 9 weeks, but up to 1 year) after completion of a longer eligibility period (e.g., 10, 15, or 20 years), but without limiting the time off to educational purposes.

Safety Bonus
A non-production bonus paid to employees for maintaining a high level of safety in the workplace. For example, all plant employees receive $50 if the number of workplace accidents falls below a specified level. (See Bonus (Production and Non-production Bonus).)

Salary (Salary Rate)
For workers hired on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis (e.g., clerical, technical, managerial employees), the rate of pay normally expressed in terms of dollars per week, month, or year, as opposed to payment for an hour of work.

Salary Reduction Plan (Savings Plan; Thrift Plan)
Plan authorized under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code that allows employees to divert a portion of their salary or wages to fund benefit plans. The money contributed to the benefit plan is not subject to Federal income tax.

Scale (See Union Rate.)

Scanlon Plan
A formal program that has as its general objective the reduction of labor costs through increased efficiency and the sharing of the resultant savings among workers. The scope and details of the few plans bearing this name vary considerably. (See Gainsharing.)

Seasonal Employment
Employment during part of the year only. It arises out of the seasonal character of an industry or weather conditions at the location of an establishment. Agriculture, canning, construction, and logging are examples of industries that may have seasonal employment.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
A software program used by the BLR Compensation Analyzer to manage security of messages transmitted on the Internet between the application and its users.

Self-Funding (Self-Insurance) Plan
A fully non-insured (or minimally insured) plan in which no insurance company or service plan collects premiums and assumes risk for payment of benefits. The employer assumes the role of an insurance company and is responsible for paying all benefit claims by using money set aside for that purpose. The employer may also be self-funded (or self-insured) for only a set amount of claims with an insurance company assuming responsibility for claims in excess of a set amount per year. (See Stop Loss Insurance, Minimum Premium Plan.) Additional self-funding insurance resources.

Seniority
A term used to designate an employees status relative to other employees, as in determining order of promotion, layoff, vacations, etc.

  • Straight seniority - seniority acquired solely through length of service.
  • Qualified seniority - other factors such as ability considered with length of service.
  • Departmental or unit seniority - seniority applicable in a particular section of a plant, rather than in the entire establishment.
  • Plant-wide or companywide seniority - seniority applicable throughout the plant or company.
  • Seniority list - individual workers ranked in order of seniority. (See Super Seniority; Inverse Seniority.)

SEP (See Simplified Employee Pension.)

Service Contract Act (SCA)
The McNamara-OHara Service Contract Act covers contracts entered into by Federal and District of Columbia agencies where the purpose of the contract is to furnish services (laundry and dry cleaning, janitorial, food, security, etc.) through the use of service employees. The Act requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various work classes no less than the wage rates and benefits found prevailing in the locality. For contracts equal to or less than $2,500, contractors are required to pay the Federal minimum wage.

Service Worker
A worker in a protective service, food service, health service (health and dental aides), cleaning and building service, or personal service occupation.

Settlement
An agreement that specifies the changes occurring in wages and salaries, benefits, and working conditions as a result of negotiations between an employer and a union representing employees. In first contract situations, it refers to the full agreement reached between the parties following recognition or certification of the union representative.

Severance Pay (Dismissal Pay or Allowance; Termination Pay; Separation Pay; Layoff Allowance)
A monetary allowance paid by an employer to displaced employees, generally upon permanent termination of employment with no chance of recall, but often upon indefinite layoff with recall rights intact. Plans usually graduate payments by length of service. Additional severance pay resources.

Shift (Tour of Duty; Turn)
The daily working schedule of employees.

  • Day shift - usually the daylight hours; evening shift - work schedule ending at or near midnight;
  • Night (graveyard) shift - work schedule starting at or near midnight.
  • Fixed shift - scheduled hours remain the same, week after week, for each group of workers.
  • Oscillating shift - policy under which the work schedule of a work force alternates between two shifts.
  • Rotating shift - practice whereby crews change their work schedules at periodic intervals, rotating between more than two shifts.
  • Split shift - daily work schedule is divided into two parts or more.
  • Swing shift - the fourth or rotating shift used on continuous 7-day or "round the clock" operations.

Shift Differential (Shift Premium)
Additional compensation (cents per hour or percentage of day rate) paid to workers employed at other than regular daytime hours.

Short-Term Disability Plan
A benefit plan that provides full, partial, or a combination of full and partial pay, to employees who are unable to work because of a non-work related accident or illness. Short-term disability payments are normally paid for only a fixed number of weeks, typically 26 weeks. The benefit payment is either a percentage of an employees earnings or a fixed dollar amount per week.

SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) (See North American Industry Classification System.)

Sick Leave
Provides full or partial pay for time-off while an employee cannot work due to non-work related illness or injury. Workers may also be able to use sick leave for a doctors appointment or to take care of a sick child. Employees typically receive a specified number of allowed sick leave days per year, although some employers may allow workers to carry over and accumulate sick leave from year to year up to a specified maximum number. Sick leave plans may also provide additional sick leave days based on the length of service of workers. For example, 10 days of sick leave are granted workers after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, and 18 days after 10 years.

Sickness And Accident Benefits (See Short-term Disability Plan.)

Signing Bonus
A form of lump sum payment provided to employees upon ratification and signing of the agreement. May also refer to a bonus paid when an employee signs an employment contract. (See Bonus (Production and Non-production) and Contract Signing Bonus.)

Simple Plan (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers)
These plans allow businesses with 100 or fewer employees a way to offer retirement benefits through employee salary reductions and matching contributions, similar to those found in 401(k) plans. Eligible employees can contribute up to $6,000 each year through payroll deductions. Employers may offer matching contributions equal to employee contributions (up to 3 percent of employee wages) or fixed contributions equal to 2 percent of employee wages.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)
Specifically intended for small businesses, SEPs involve individual retirement accounts created by a firm for each of its eligible employees. In years that the employer makes contributions they must be made for all eligible employees. Employees have a vested right to the employer contributions made to their accounts and they have complete control over the investment and distribution of the employer contributions.

Single Rate Job
A job where the rate of pay is the same for all workers in the same job or job classification, without any longevity pay rates or pay steps.

Skill Based Pay (See Pay-For-Knowledge.)

Social Security Act
The federal law enacted in 1935 that established a national social insurance program for retired and/or disabled workers. The law provides for:

  • Old-age, survivors and disability benefits (an all-Federal program);
  • Public assistance to the aged, the blind, and to needy families; and
  • Unemployment insurance (both Federal-State programs). The coverage and other provisions have been modified several times since enactment of the program in 1935. (See Retirement.)

Split Shift (Shift) Additional hours of work resources.

Standard Occupational Classification Manual
Contains the classification system for the collection and publication of statistics covering occupations. Formerly used by federal statistical agencies to classify the economys occupations in a consistent manner.

Standard Rate
Usually, a uniform rate of pay established for an occupation or craft in an area or industry through collective bargaining or by law.

State Unemployment Insurance (SUI)
An employee benefit required by law that provides payments to workers who have been laid off from their jobs. The amount of the benefit payments and their duration in terms of number of weekly payments vary by each state program. Nearly all private sector employers are covered by SUI laws, while State and local government agencies normally reimburse the state programs for any benefits paid to their former employees.

Step Rates
Fixed levels between the minimum and maximum rates for an occupation in a wage progression system. (See Wage Progression.)

Stint Work
Employment for a specified length of time that covers only the completion of a particular project. For example, the delivery of new telephone directories. May also refer to payment of a fixed amount of money regardless of the amount of time required to complete an assigned task or job. Additional hours of work resources.

Stock Bonus Plan
A defined contribution plan financed solely by the employer, or jointly by the employer and employee. Contributions are placed in a separate trust fund that invests in securities, including those of the employing company. Upon retirement or separation from the company, proceeds from the trust fund are paid out to eligible employees in the form of company stock or cash.

Stock Option Plan
Plan allowing employees or officers the privilege of purchasing company stock (shares) at a certain price at a time of their own choosing, usually within time limits set by the employer.

Stock Purchase Plan
Plan enabling employees to purchase stock (shares) in the company, with or without employer contributions, usually under more favorable terms than are available on the open market.

Stop Loss Insurance
Insurance that limits the amount of money an employers self-insured benefits plan must pay from its own resources. Once claims for benefit payments reach a specified level, the company providing the stop loss insurance assumes responsibility for payment of claims.

Straight Time Pay
Payment for work at an employees regular pay rate (base rate), as distinguished from pay based on an employees overtime pay rate, typically 11/2 times the regular pay rate.

Strike Benefits
Union payments made to members who are on strike.

Strike Fund
Money allocated by a union or set aside in a separate account to pay strike benefits and to defray other expenses of strikes.

Strike Insurance
Payment to a fund by companies that are members of an association, or to purchase of insurance, to reimburse a struck member company for lost business resulting from a strike by workers.

SUB (See Supplemental Unemployment Benefits.)

Subsidized Commuting
Program where employers subsidize employees cost of commuting to and from work via public transportation, a company sponsored van pool, discounted subway or bus fares, etc.

Subsistence Allowance
Payment to a worker for expenses of meals and lodging (and sometimes transportation) while traveling for the employer; or reimbursement of living expenses required by the nature of the job.

Substance Abuse
A major problem that includes alcoholism and illegal or prescription drug abuse that often spills into the workplace, causing attendance problems, misconduct, safety problems, and productivity issues. A substance abuser may be protected by the ADA and other disability laws.

Substandard Rate
Rate of pay below the established plant or occupational minimum allowed. Usually, for workers who are physically or otherwise unable to meet the production quota. The term also applies to rates below Federal or State minimum wages, "prevailing" levels, or union scales.

Superannuated Workers
Employees who are unable to perform their jobs, or any job, at the normal level because of advanced age and its attendant infirmities.

Superannuated Rate
A rate of pay set below the regular pay level for a job and paid only to superannuated workers.

Super-Seniority
A position on the seniority list ahead of what the employee would acquire solely on the basis of length of service or general seniority factors. Usually such favored treatment is reserved to union stewards, or other workers entitled to special consideration in connection with layoff and recall to work. (See Inverse Seniority.)

Supplemental Pay
Premium pay for overtime and work on weekends and holidays; shift differential pay; and non-wage cash payments.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans (SUB)
Introduced by agreement between the Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers in mid-1955 and subsequently adopted in the automobile, steel, and related industries, these plans provide regular weekly payments to laid off workers receiving State unemployment insurance, through funds financed by the employer. Other benefits (e.g., short workweek benefits and severance pay) were added to many plans.

Survivor Income Insurance
An element of a life insurance plan that provides benefits as installments (annuity) to a beneficiary upon an employees death. Only dependents of the deceased employee are eligible to be beneficiaries of this benefit.

Swing Shift (See Shift.)

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Taft-Hartley Act (See Labor Management Relations Act of 1947.)

Take Home Pay
Usually, earnings for a payroll period, less deductions (legal and authorized); the amount of cash the worker "takes home."

Target Benefit Plan
A defined contribution plan where employer contributions are based upon an actuarial valuation designed to provide a "target benefit" to each plan participant upon their retirement. The plan does not guarantee that the "target benefit" amount will actually be paid. (This would be a requirement under a defined benefit plan.) A target benefit plans only obligation is to pay whatever benefit can be provided by the amount in each participants account. Target benefit plans are a hybrid of a money purchase plan and a defined benefit plan.

Tax Deferred Defined Contribution Plans (See Defined Contribution Plans.)

Telecommuting
Work at satellite offices or at home using a computer and related equipment that links the telecommuter to the employers main office. The telecommuter may be required to spend some time (e.g., 1 or 2 days each week) in the main office. (See Homework; Flexible Workplace.) Additional telecommuting resources.

Temporary Disability Insurance (See Short-Term Disability Insurance.)

Temporary Employees (See Contingent Worker.)

Temporary Rates
Wage or piece rates set tentatively on new job tasks performed by workers in an occupation; sometimes called experimental or trial rates.

Termination Pay Or Allowance (See Severance Pay.)

Third Party Administrator (TPA)
An entity other than the employer or employee organization that administers a benefit plan or benefit trust fund. TPAs may provide services related to benefit claims administration and payment, COBRA rate administration, data management and government forms reporting, managed health care plans, prescription drug card administration, hospital concurrent review, second medical opinions, employee assistance plans, actuarial services, etc.

Thrift Plan (See Salary Reduction Plan.)

Tonnage Rate
Pay on the basis of tons of material handled, common in basic iron and steel and coal mining.

Tool Allowance
Allowance to an employee, paid by the employer, as reimbursement for the cost of tools and their upkeep, where the employee furnishes his own tools or is responsible for their maintenance.

Total Compensation
An employees complete pay package that includes wages and salaries, non-cash wage payments, and the employers cost of employee benefits.

Trade Union (See Union.)

Trainee
A worker receiving on-the-job training.

Travel Accident Insurance
A specific form of accidental death and dismemberment insurance that provides payments to beneficiaries in the event of the death or injury of an employee while traveling on company business.

Travel Time
Time spent traveling to and from a designated point and the work site. Such time may be paid for as portal-to-portal pay in mining, deadheading on railroads, and out-of-town work in construction. Additional business travel resources.

Trim Mean
Calculates the mean taken by excluding data points from the top and bottom of a data set.

Trustee
A person, bank, or trust company who administers and takes responsibility for a trust fund, or a person who is a member of a board of trustees. (See also Fund.) Sometimes may be applied to the person appointed to administer the affairs of a union placed under trusteeship in accordance with a union constitution, or appointed by a Federal court in accordance with Federal law.

Tuition Pay Plan (See Educational Assistance.)

Turn (see Shift) Additional hours of work resources.

Turnover Rate
The rate at which employees leave a company, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Two-Tier Wage or Benefit Systems
Wage payment structures in which employees hired after a specified date are paid a lower wage rate or a lower level of benefits than employees hired before that date. In some labor-management contracts, provision may be made to merge the two tiers into one with payment based on the higher wage rate after passage of a specified time period.

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Unemployment Insurance (Unemployment Compensation)
A joint federal-state program, established in 1935 under the Social Security Act and subject to the standards set forth in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, under which State administered funds obtained through payroll taxes provide payments to eligible unemployed persons for specified periods of time. Levels of benefits and tax rates are established by each State. Generally excluded groups include, among others, railroad workers (covered by Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act), agricultural workers, State and municipal employees, and workers in nonprofit institutions. The Federal part of the program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. See also Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans (SUB).

Uniform Allowance (See Clothing Allowance.)

Union (Trade Union; Labor Union; Labor Organization)
Any organization in which workers participate as members, which exists for the purpose of dealing with employers concerning grievances, wages, hours, and conditions of employment. Unions are voluntary organizations and need no license from the government to operate. Unions may incorporate if they wish.

Union Contract (See Collective Bargaining Agreement.)

Union Dues
Fee paid periodically, usually monthly, by members of a union, typically as a condition of continued membership. Each union sets its own dues requirements. Under some collective bargaining agreements, nonmembers may be required to pay the equivalent of union dues or a portion as a condition of continued employment.

Union Leave
Paid or unpaid, but excused, leave for union representatives, shop stewards, etc., to attend to union business (e.g., participating in union conventions, investigating grievances, etc.).

Union-Management Cooperation (See Labor-Management Cooperation.)

Union Member
In broad terms, a union member is a worker who has met the unions qualifications for membership, has joined the union, and maintained his or her membership rights. Each union usually determines its own qualifications. Dues paying members pay dues regularly to the union. Members in good standing - include dues paying members and members exempted for various reasons (unemployed, on strike, ill, etc.) but still carried on the union rolls as full-fledged members. Book members - are listed on the union rolls, whether they pay dues or not.

Union Rate (See scale.)
Minimum rate (hourly or weekly) paid to qualified workers in a specific occupation or trade under the terms of a union agreement.

Union Security
Protection of a unions status by a provision in the collective bargaining agreement establishing a closed shop, union shop, or agency shop. Closed shop provisions require an employer to hire and retain only union members in good standing. Union shop provisions require newly hired employees to become union members within a specified period of time, typically 30 days, and to remain as members of the union as a condition of continued employment. Agency shop provisions require that all employees who do not join a union pay a fixed amount monthly, usually the equivalent of union dues, as a condition of employment to help defray the unions expenses in acting as the bargaining agent. The payments may be allocated to the unions health and welfare fund or to a charity group. Union security may also be enhanced by maintenance of membership arrangements, whereby employees who are members of a union at the time a contract is negotiated, or who join the union subsequently, must maintain their membership for the duration of the contract as a condition of continued employment.

Union Shop (See Union Security.)

Upgrading
Process of raising the pay level of a job relative to other jobs or of advancing workers to jobs with higher skills and rates of pay.

Usual, Customary, and Reasonable Charges (UCR)
Standard applied to charges assessed by health care providers. Normally refers to not more than a physicians usual charge, within the customary range of fees in the locality, and reasonable, based on the patients medical circumstances. Normally, a health benefits plan will pay all, or a portion of, expenses incurred up to the UCR charge and expenses above the UCR charges must be paid by the patient.

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Vacation Pay
Wages received by an employee for his vacation period. See also Paid Vacation. Pay in lieu of vacation - vacation pay to workers who do not take the actual time off, paid in addition to wages for time worked.

Vesting (Vested Rights)
Amount of time an individual must work before earning a non-forfeitable right to a pension benefit. When a worker is fully vested, the accrued benefit will be retained even if the worker leaves the company before reaching retirement age. Usually employees are fully vested if they are employed by the company when they reach the pension plans normal retirement age. Under ERISA rules, employees must also be able to earn a vested right to an accrued benefit through completing specific amounts of service.

Vision Care Plan
Benefits cover eyeglasses and with few exceptions, eye examinations. Plans may also include coverage for contact lenses.

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Wage (See Wage Rate.)

Wage Assignment
Voluntary transfer by a worker of some of his or her earned wages to another party, e.g., for the payment of purchases or debts, union dues or assessments, or charity contributions. (See Garnishment.)

Wage Determination
Process of establishing wage rates and wage structures through collective bargaining, employer determination, arbitration, or other methods.

Wage Differentials
The differences in wages among occupations, plants, areas, industries, type of worker, etc.

Wage Freeze
Action taken to freeze all employees at their current wage or salary rate, nullifying anticipated increases due to longevity pay, merit increases, cost-of-living adjustments, within-grade pay increases, etc. Normally taken as a temporary measure in response to poor sales or a decrease in company profits.

Wage and Hour Law (See Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.)

Wage Leadership
Influence exercised by the wage settlement reached by a large firm or group of firms on other negotiations in the same industry or area.

Wage Pattern
A wage (or benefit) change negotiated by a major company that is followed by similar changes in other companies in the industry or area.

Wage Progression
Plan providing within grade pay increases, generally at specified time intervals or on a merit basis, for workers in occupations having established minimum and maximum wage rates. (See Automatic Progression; Step Rates.)

Wage Rate
Monetary compensation paid by an employer to a worker for a given unit of work time, normally an hour, exclusive of premium payments for overtime, shift differentials, cost-of-living allowances, etc.

Wage Re-opener (See Reopening Clause.)

Wage Scale (Wage Schedule)
A schedule specifying the pay structure for an organization, industry, or locality. May also refer to a single rate. (See Union Rate.)

Wagner Act (See National Labor Relations Act, 1935.)

Waiting Period
The duration of time between the beginning of a qualifying event and the start of actual benefit receipt. For example, a short-term disability plan may have a 5-day waiting period before benefits will be paid. Other benefits, such as sick leave, may be available during this waiting period.

Waiting Time (See Downtime.)

Wellness Benefits
Preventive insurance benefits such as payments for annual physical examinations, mammograms, and childrens vaccinations.

Wellness Programs
Programs encouraging employees to improve their physical well being including on-site exercise programs or health clubs, programs to help employees stop smoking, stress management, high blood pressure control, weight control, health risk appraisals, back care, nutrition education, etc. Additional wellness resources.

White-Collar Workers
Office, clerical, administrative, sales, professional, and technical employees, as distinguished from production and maintenance employees who are usually referred to as blue-collar workers. The National Compensation Surveys series for white-collar workers cover the following four occupational groupings: Professional specialty and technical; executive, administrative, and managerial; sales; and administrative support, including clerical. (See Blue-Collar Workers.)

Work Schedule (Duty Hours; Duty Time)
A listing of the starting and stopping times of work for individuals or groups of employees. Especially useful in planning coverage in industries where the demand for workers varies with service hours (e.g., retail trade) or in continuous operations industries having rotating shifts (e.g., steel).

Workers Compensation
A system of insurance required by State law and financed by employers which provides payment to workers or their families for occupational illness, injuries, or fatalities resulting in loss of wage income. Additional workers compensation resources.

Workweek (Work Schedule)
Usually, the expected or actual period of employment for the week, usually expressed in number of hours. Some uses of the term may relate to the outside dimensions of a week (e.g., 7 consecutive days). Additional hours of work resources.

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Year End Bonus (See Bonus (Production and Non-production).)

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