University Policies
Policy Contact
Payroll Office Email 401-863-2361

Payroll Under and Over Payments Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

This policy sets forth requirements for resolving underpayments and overpayments to faculty, staff, and students.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students.

3.0 Policy Statement

Only authorized HR Business partners, HR coordinators, managers, and supervisors are authorized to request underpayment and overpayment adjustments from the Payroll Office.

3.1 Underpayments

Underpayment adjustments for non-exempt employees, hourly student workers, and grant-funded exempt employees/graduate students must be made as an Underpayment Request through Workday and will generally be provided in the next pay period for the payee. For details on how to process an underpayment request, please see the Submitting Over/Underpayments in Workday.

The following exceptions will be processed as an on-demand payroll payment on Friday, if submitted by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. of that week. 

  • The payee has received less than 50% their regular wages and the department requests the underpayment to be processed as an on demand payment.

The following will not be processed as an on-demand payroll payment:

  • Retroactive Pay
  • Supplemental Payments, if the payee has been paid for their regular wages
  • The payee received greater than or equal to 50% of their wages

Underpayment adjustments for all other exempt employees/graduate students must be timely processed by the appropriate HR Business Partner as a one-time payment business process or an additional compensation line in Workday for a graduate student.

3.2 Overpayments

The department must submit an overpayment request in Workday as soon as they are aware of an overpayment. For details, please see the Submitting Over/Underpayments in Workday. The department is responsible for communicating the overpayment to the employee/student. The Payroll Office will calculate the amount due from the employee/student, who is responsible for returning the funds. Return payments must be made by check and delivered to the Payroll Office. Once full repayment is received, the Payroll Office will correct the employee’s/student’s record in Workday.

Overpaid amounts cannot be deducted from an upcoming or future payment.

Overpayments from a previous calendar year require a correction to the payee’s wage and tax statement. Upon full repayment, the Payroll Office will generate a W-2C form. Both the original W-2 and the new W-2C forms are required to file personal income tax returns or amendments.

4.0 Definitions

On-demand Payment: An underpayment request paid in the same week it is requested. For example, if the request meets the exception criteria above and is submitted by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., a payment will be made for the Friday of that week.

Retroactive Pay: Pay determined to be owed for a prior pay period.

Supplemental Payment: Payment made to an employee in addition to their regular wages (e.g., bonus or hourly pay supplement).

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy apples are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy.  University supervisors and employees with student oversight duties are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure and enforce compliance with it.

Employees/Students: Responsible for accurately submitting their hours worked in Workday in a timely manner, if applicable. If there is a discrepancy between the amount owed and the amount paid for any reason, the employee/student must contact their HR Business Partner, HR Coordinator, manager, or supervisor promptly to report the needed adjustment.

HR Business Partners, HR Coordinators, managers, or supervisors: Upon notification of the need for a payroll adjustment for a non-exempt employee/student or a grant-funded exempt employee, must submit an under or overpayment request to the Payroll Office in a timely manner. In the case of a non-grant-funded exempt employee/student, must process a one-time payment business process or an additional compensation line in Workday.

Payroll Office: Enter the underpayment adjustment in the employee’s or student’s next open pay period or as an on-demand payment or calculate the net amount due for an overpayment.

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures.

7.0 Related Information

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone, 877-318-9184.

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws and requirements.

7.2 Related Procedures

7.3 Related Forms


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions


7.5 Other Related Information

Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services & Chief Financial Officer

Policy Approved by: Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services & Chief Financial Officer

Contact Information:

Payroll Office Email 401-863-2361

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary:

Updated policy template

Previous policy version(s) superseded by this policy:

  • Payroll Under and Over Payments, Effective Date: October 28, 2020



Webpage Updated October 13, 2023