Employee Recognition & Merit Awards

The State of Vermont encourages the establishment and active use of employee recognition programs to recognize and celebrate excellence in State government by outstanding individuals and groups with the goal of not only increasing the effectiveness of State government, but also of enhancing the career satisfaction and growth of committed state employees.

Policies and guidelines for the merit award process fall into three categories, based on the type of employee.

Employee Recognition and Merit Bonus Awards, Policy Number 7.1

This policy applies to all Classified employees and Exempt employees who are not covered by Policy 7.2 or who are not included in an approved Exempt Pay Plan.

Merit policy design is left to the discretion of the agency/department, within the general guidelines of the State of Vermont Statutes, Policy 7.1, and the Outstanding Performance Article of the current VSEA contract.

New agency policies and revisions to existing policies must be approved and on file with the Department of Human Resources.

Merit awards generally fall into three categories:

Merit Award Process for Certain Exempt Employees, Policy Number 7.2

This policy applies to Agency/Department Heads/Deputies, Principal and Executive Assistants, and Private Secretaries.

  • Any salary adjustments are subject to applicable statutory limits.
  • Merit awards may be in the form of non-recurring bonuses or increases in the employee's base salary.
  • The immediate supervisor of an eligible employee should submit the following documents to request an award for their employee:
  • Fully completed Exempt Salary Request Form.
  • A memo prepared and signed by the immediate supervisor that justifies the proposed merit award.
  • Any other supporting information and/or testimonial.

Reference Merit Award Process for Certain Exempt Employees, Policy Number 7.2 for complete guidelines.

Exempt Employees covered by a Unique Pay Plan

As authorized in 32 VSA § 1020 (c) unique pay plans have been established for certain categories of exempt employees. See Exempt Pay Plans.

  • Depending on Pay Plan conditions and guidelines, merit awards may be in the form of non-recurring bonuses or increases in the employee's base salary.
  • Both an Exempt Salary Request Form and an evaluation of the individual's performance must be prepared by the appropriate supervisor and submitted to the Department Head or Appointing Authority for review and approval. If approved, the request must then be submitted to the Department of Human Resources as the Governor's designee for final review and approval.
  • Reference the "Conditions and Operations" section of the applicable Exempt Pay Plan for complete guidelines.