University of California Local Guidelines for the Staff Appreciation and Recognition Plan for Plan Year July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022
These guidelines serve as a framework for implementation of cash recognition awards for employees under the Staff Appreciation and Recognition Plan (the “STAR Plan”) at UC Davis
- Policy-covered career employees and MSP employees
- Clerical Unit (CX) employees
Employees in the categories listed above are eligible for STAR Plan cash awards if, at the time of the award, they:
- Have successfully completed their probationary period, if applicable;
- Are on active pay status or on an approved unpaid leave; and,
- Received a “Fully Achieved Expectations” or better overall rating on their most recent annual performance evaluation. (PPSM 23 requires that written performance evaluations be completed annually.) Policy-covered employees who have not yet received an annual performance evaluation may be eligible for an award if their manager confirms on the nomination form that they are “meeting expectations.”
- Policy covered contract employees who have at least 6 months of continuous service on a single contract are also eligible to participate in STAR Award program at UC Davis pending HR approval and provided that they meet the above requirements.
Exclusively represented employees are eligible for recognition awards under the Plan only if the applicable collective bargaining agreement expressly authorizes participation in the STAR Plan.
An employee may not receive an award under the STAR Plan if the employee is a participant in an incentive award plan that prohibits the receipt of a recognition award.
An employee’s receipt of an award under the STAR Plan does not establish any right or guarantee that the employee will be eligible for or entitled to an award in any subsequent Plan year.
Award Limits and Restrictions
The following limitations apply to STAR Plan cash awards.
No single STAR Plan cash award may exceed 10% of the employee’s base salary or $10,000, whichever amount is lower.
- Cumulative STAR Plan cash awards paid to an employee in a Plan year may not exceed 10% of the employee’s base salary or $10,000, whichever amount is lower.
STAR Plan cash awards over $500 require department head approval. STAR Awards greater than $1,000 require an additional level of HR approval. The Compensation Manager will obtain the additional level of HR approval from Executive Director, Talent and Rewards, as necessary.
STAR Plan cash awards are strictly discretionary and may not be promised or guaranteed in advance.
- “Across-the-board” type awards (e.g., awards to a category of employees without regard to a recipient’s performance or relative contribution) are not allowed under the STAR Plan. Awards must be based on the recipient’s achievement as an individual or as part of a team.
Exceptions to the above monetary award limits will not be made except in rare circumstances. Any exception will require the approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). If the CHRO approves, the CHRO will need to secure the approval of the Chancellor, the Administrative Oversight Committee (AOC) of the Plan, and the University President. Recommendations for an award that would be an exception to these limits must be submitted in writing to the CHRO and include a compelling justification for making the exception.
Individual Award Nominations - Individual employees may be nominated for STAR awards based on one or more of the performance standards set forth in the STAR Plan. Input will be required from the employee’s manager/supervisor if someone other than the employee’s manager/supervisor is nominating the employee.
Team Award Nominations - Team Awards may be granted to teams of employees who meet one or more of the performance standards set forth in the STAR Plan for work on a project within the same department or for work on the development and/or implementation of inter-departmental projects. Input will be required from the team leader and each employee’s supervisor/manager if someone other than the manager/supervisor is nominating the team.
The employee’s department head is responsible for confirming that the employee is eligible for an award and must approve the employee’s award, regardless of the funding source for the award.
Award Review and Approval Authority
The processes for all STAR Plan cash awards require endorsement of the employee’s immediate supervisor and approval of the next level manager. STAR Plan cash awards over $500 also require department head approval
STAR Awards greater than $1,000 require additional level of HR approval. The Compensation Manager will obtain the additional level of HR approval from Executive Director, Talent and Rewards, as necessary.
Timing and Processing of STAR Award Payments
STAR awards may be presented at any time during the Plan year and should be awarded as soon as possible after the accomplishment or event in order to provide immediate recognition to employees.
The assigned Description of Service (DOS) code of XSL specific to the STAR Plan, must be used when paying awards to employees.
All STAR Plan cash awards for the Plan year should be processed in accordance with year-end closing schedules.
College/School/Division HR departments are responsible for ensuring that the awards are entered into PPS. Central HR approval is not required unless an exception is being requested (see above).
Funding Requirements and Restrictions
Only local departmental funds will be used for STAR Plan awards.
Record keeping and Compliance
All departments that provide STAR awards must provide written documentation outlining the reason for the award, amount of the award, date award was provided, along with all internal approvals obtained prior to providing the award to employees. On a semi-annual basis, each department that has provided any STAR awards will provide a report to their respective deans or vice chancellors office and campus Human Resources.
Dates for submission of award reports:
- January 10, 2022 for awards provided between July 2021 and December 2021
- July 10, 2022 for awards provided between January 2022 and June 2022
Plan Contact for Questions
Questions regarding the STAR Plan should be directed to Ben Gamez - email@example.com or 916-734-3068.
STAR Program FAQs (PDF)
FY 2021-2022 STAR Plan Nomination Form (PDF) (through July 10th, 2022)
Star Award Certificate Templates
These templates are for optional use by any UC Davis department. They are Microsoft Word "forms," so you only need to fill in your specific information in designated form fields then save and print on your local color printer. Note that print quality may vary from printer to printer. If you require professional printing, you can make a PDF and send to Repro Graphics.
If you have campus fonts (Berkeley and Futura UC Davis) installed, use these templates:
If you do not have campus fonts installed, use these: