Award amounts range from $50 up to $50,000 per adopted suggestion. Departments may authorize awards up to $5,000. Awards over $5,000 require approval of the State's Merit Award Board, California Department of Human Resources, and the Legislature.
Whenever possible, cash awards are based on the net savings or earnings realized by the state in the first year following the date the suggestion is placed in effect. The award is based on twenty percent of the net savings or revenues, although if the first year is not representative of net savings or revenue, a different period of time may be substituted.
Note: Suggestions requiring substantial refinement or modification for implementation will be calculated at five percent of the net savings or increased earnings received during the first year following adoption of the suggestion. Significant implementation costs will also be deducted from the benefits received during the first year.
Where annual net savings or increased revenue are calculated as at least $500, but not more than $1,000, the recommended cash award is $100.
When an adopted suggestion results in a one-time savings or earnings, the award will be calculated at five percent of the net savings or revenues.
Where the annual net savings or increased revenue cannot be determined or are calculated to be less than $500, a cash award may be recommended according to the Award Amounts for Improved Procedures scale.
Add $25 for suggestions which improve service to the public.
Value of improvement
Minor - Slightly improves methods, form, facilities, equipment, and so on.
Moderate - Provides an average improvement.
Marked - An exceptional change.
Narrow - Limited to the program, function, or policy and procedures of units in a division, branch, region, or district.
Broad - Wide change, affecting one or more divisions, branches, regions, or districts.
Low - Occurs seldom or occasionally.
High - Frequent, greater than usual or normal amount.
Improved safety suggestions propose improvements in practices or facilities to eliminate or reduce injury to state employees or to the public.
Examples include suggestions relating to equipment modification, maintenance that isn't routinely expected, and items not specified in building codes. The evaluator or Merit Award Administrator must refer to the Award Amounts for Improved Safety scale to calculate the award amount for an implemented suggestion.
The evaluator or Merit Award Administrator uses the table below to assign a number of points to the safety suggestion. The greater the number of points, the higher the award, with a maximum of $1,000.
Number of people exposed to the hazard at any one time
1 to 2
3 to 4
5 to 6
7 to 10
11 to 15
16 to 20
21 to 25
26 to 30
31 or more
Frequency with which people are exposed to the hazard
Less than 1 per month
1 per month
1 per 2 weeks
1 per week
1 per 2 days
1 per day
1 per 2 hours
1 per hour
More than 1 per hour
Extent of the potential injury or illness most likely to occur
Rate of death or serious injury
Less than 1 per year
1 per year
2 or more per year
Severity of hazard
Effectiveness of improvement
Slightly reduces hazard
Appreciably reduces hazard
Cost of adoption
Small or none
13 points or less: $50
14 points or more: $50 plus $25 per point over 13, to a maximum of $1,000