Basic HR Terminology

 415 Limits: The limitations on benefits payable under qualified U.S. pension plans.

 Action Reason: The reason an employee’s job or employment information is updated.  The action reason is entered in two parts: a personnel action, such as a promotion, termination, or change from one paygroup to another—and a reason for that action. 

 Action Type: dictates what rows of data you can access and what you can do with each row.

 Add:  Adds a new row of information to the database with a high-level, primary key.

 Affirmative Action (AA): United States regulations require employers to prepare affirmative action plans that are intended to provide equal employment representation within their workforce, with respect to ethnicity, gender and age. 

 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This Act prohibits employers with U.S. operations from discriminating against applicants or employees with disabilities. 

 Annualization Factor – number by which you multiply a frequency to arrive at an annual equivalent (Frequency x Annualization Factor = Annual Equivalent, Weekly x 52 = Annual Equivalent, Hourly x 2080 = Annual Equivalent)

 Batch Processes: Any of the background programs in the client/server environment of PeopleSoft applications.  Batch processes perform operations—such as pay confirmation, deduction calculation, and so forth—on groups of records, and are usually scheduled to run on a regular basis.  You run these processes from the Process Scheduler, and they are executed through process-specific COBOL programs outside the Windows environment.

 Benefit Deduction: Any amount taken from an employee’s pay check to offset all or part of the cost of the employee’s benefits.

 Benefit/Deduction Program:  A set of benefits and deductions valid for an employee or group of employees.  A single company may have any number of programs.  An individual employee may belong to only one program; the deductions and benefits contained in that program are the only valid deductions and benefits for that employee.

 Benefit Plan Type:  Any category of benefit, such as health, life, or savings.

 Benefit Plan:  A specific benefit within a plan type. 

 Benefit Record Number: used to logically combine two or more concurrent jobs into a “benefits track”.

 Benefits Base:  The salary used for benefit calculations.  The benefits base will be either the employee Annual Rate or Annual Benefits Base Rate. 

 Breadcrumb: the tracking of each step of your navigation to a given page from the home page.

 Business Unit: a flexible structuring device through which PeopleSoft HRMS can be implemented on how a business is organized.

Cafeteria-Style Benefits.: Any programs offering several benefit plans from which participants make elections.  Cafeteria-style benefits may or may not include flexible credits.

Calculation Rules:  Criteria for calculating benefits, including as-of dates for age, service, premium, and coverage calculations; rounding rules; and minimum and maximum coverage amounts.  Any number of program and plan combinations can use a single set of calculation rules.

Checkbox: provides and on/off or yes/no response.

Child:  A node or detail of a tree linked to another, higher-level node referred to as the parent.  Child nodes can be rolled up into their parent.  A node can be a child and a parent at the same time depending on its location within the tree.

Cloning:  The process that enables you to copy run controls to create employee schedules from existing Run Control ID’s that have already been executed and saved.

Cluster – a group of like competencies and associated accomplishments.

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act):  Legislation that requires employers to offer continued health care coverage to employees and their dependents who lose benefits coverage under certain defined conditions such as voluntary termination, divorce, becoming an overage dependent, or retirement.  Any individual, whether employee or dependent, which is covered under a health plan at the time of a qualifying event, has the option to elect COBRA coverage.

Comp Rate Code: defines rate of pay and represents pay components.

Company:  a business organization.

oncurrent Processing:  The situation in which you run multiple batch processes at a time.  In PeopleSoft Benefits Administration, for example, simultaneous open enrollment and event maintenance qualifies as concurrent processing.

 Core Functionality:  Core functionality is the set of information in PeopleSoft HRMS that is common to all of your global workforce tracking needs—and is always displayed on the primary panel. 

Correction:  View, change, and insert rows of data regardless of the effective date.

 Current Year:  A period for event maintenance processing.

 Data Row:  Contains the entries for each field in a table.  To identify each data row uniquely, the system uses a key consisting of one or more fields in the table.

 Deduction:  Any amount taken from an employee’s pay check each pay period. 

 Deduction Priority – determines when to process deductions.

 Deduction Subset:  A group of deductions selected from a company’s standard set of deductions. 

 Deferred Compensation: Compensation payments that are payable to an individual in the future such as pension plan payments, annuities, stock awards and profit sharing. Note: Profit sharing can be considered direct pay if paid out in cash on a periodic basis or deferred pay if cumulative with the intention of payment in the long-term future.

 Drop Down List – where the valid values come from the translate table.

 Earnings:  The amount owed to an employee based on salary, hours worked, or other calculation routines, plus other types of compensation and holiday, vacation, and bonus pay.

 Earnings Type:  An abbreviated and encrypted set of business instructions containing compensation instructions.

 Edit Box: allows for free form text.

EEO Company Code:  In the United States companies are assigned this federal code for EE0 and VETS100 reporting.

Effective Date:  Date on which a table row becomes effective; the date than an employee action begins.

Effective Dating: used to ensure that system data is not accidentally accessed prior to it becoming effective.

Eligibility Rule:  PeopleSoft Benefits Administration uses eligibility rules during Benefits Administration processing to determine which benefit programs and options an employee is eligible for.

EmplID: unique identification code for an individual/employee associated with an organization.

Empl Rcd#: a system-assigned number that indicates an employee with more than one record in the system.

Employer Identification Number (EIN):  In the United States a company is typically defined as a business enterprise that has a unique federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) for payroll tax reporting purposes.

Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEO): Legislation, which requires United States employers to provide equal employment opportunity, to all persons regardless of ethnicity, gender or age.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):  In the United States the EEOC requires that most companies file one or more reports from a series named EEO-1 through EEO-9.  These reports include counts by federal employment categories of male and female employees in certain ethnic groups.

ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974):  The U.S. Federal legislation enacted to prevent abuses of employee pension rights by employers. 

Event Class:  An event or type of event that results in a change of benefits eligibility for an employee or dependent.

Event Maintenance:  The process enabling you to manage ongoing enrollments during a plan year.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): A federal regulation governing several time and labor issues.  FLSA Overtime requires that all nonexempt employees be paid at a rate of time-and-one-half for all hours over 40 physically worked during a workweek.  State or local laws may supersede this requirement, when the lesser law is to the greater benefit of the employee, or by union contract.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): A federal regulation that protects health benefits and job restoration for employees who must take a leave from work to care for themselves or family members.  FMLA regulations contain provisions regarding employer coverage, employee eligibility and entitlement, notice and certification, continuation of health benefits, and job restoration. 

Flexible Spending Account (FSA): An account to which an employee and (optionally) an employer pledge an annual amount for a plan year.  The employee then submits claims for authorized expenses. 

FLSA Status:  A PeopleSoft Human Resources term that is used to indicate whether a job is exempt or nonexempt according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Folder Tab – hyperlink used to move from one page to another.

Foundation Tables: PeopleSoft Human Resources tables that serve as the foundation of an organization’s human resource system.

General Deduction:  Any non-benefit deduction (garnishments, union dues, savings bonds, united way, etc.)

Highly Compensated Employee: An employee who meets one or more of the following definitions: (1) owns 5 percent or more of the company, (2) earns $90,803 or more (indexed annually), (3) earns $60,535 or more (indexed annually) and is in the top 20 percent of the organization’s employees in terms of pay, (4) is an officer of the organization and earns $54,481.50 or more (indexed annually).

HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  PeopleSoft Benefits applications enable you to comply with this act, which requires that employers provide Certificates of Group Health Plan Coverage to employees who have their health coverage terminated.

HR Action/Reason Category:  A group of related job actions—for example, hire and rehire. 

Imputed Income: “theoretical income” that a company pays on behalf of an employee, but the individual does not actually receive.  This income must be added to the employee’s gross wages. In general, imputed income refers to the value of excess Group Term Life or Dependent Life coverage, as well as for health plan (Plan Type 1x) coverage for domestic partners and other dependents classified as “non-qualified” by IRS Section 152.

Installation Table:  where various defaults, processing rules, and counters are stored for system us.

Job Events:  Actions relevant to an employee’s employment—such as a hire, transfer, or termination—that can affect benefit program or plan eligibility.

Key:  One or more fields that uniquely identifies each row in a table.  Some tables contain only one field as the key, while others require a combination.

Leave Accrual Processing: Processing of leave accruals is used to maintain employee leave balances.

Load:  The feature that initiates a process to automatically load information into a PeopleSoft application.

Local Functionality:  Local functionality is the set of information in PeopleSoft HRMS that is available for a specific country.

Multiple Jobs: enables an organization to process information for employees who hold multiple, concurrent jobs within and organization.

National ID Number:  Different countries track some form of National ID for payroll, identification or benefits purposes.

Navigation: provides the path for accessing a page or process

Node:  An individual item on a tree.

Nondiscrimination Tests (NDT Tests):  Tests used to help employers ensure that their organization’s 401(k), 401(m), and Section 129 dependent care reimbursement plans do not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees.

Normal Hours:  The hours an employee is normally expected to be at work for any given workweek.

NVision: A PeopleSoft reporting tool for importing information from your applications to Windows spreadsheets.

Object Name: gives the system name of panel as specified in the PeopleTools Application Designer. 

Parent:  A tree node linked to lower-level nodes or details that roll up into it.

Pay Frequency:  Defines how often employees in a pay group are paid—weekly, biweekly, monthly, and so on. 

Pay Group:  A set of employees grouped together for payroll processing.

Pay Period:  The established time segments for which employees in a pay group are paid.

Payroll Process Tables:  Records holding data necessary to process a payroll, such as employee, company, and tax information.

PeopleBooks: provides online access to the library of application and PeopleTools guides. 

Personnel Action:  Personnel actions are changes to employee data or status resulting from such activities as promotions, transfers, terminations, salary increases, and leaves of absence. 

Plan Type: A unique ranges of codes used during payroll calculation to determine deduction-processing rules. 

Portal – a gateway or launch pad to a larger set of applications and content.

Primary Insurance Amount (PIA):  The benefit amount calculated under the Social Security benefit formula.

Process Monitor: where you view the status of submitted process requests.

Profiles:  Group of employees defined according to a list of job codes and departments.

Radio Button: provides only one selection available per group box.

Rate Code Class – a way to classify Comp Rate Codes. 

Rates:  The arrays of values used to calculate the cost of a plan to an employee.

Regulatory Region:  The Regulatory Region functionality in PeopleSoft HRMS is designed for use in performing regulatory and regional edits. 

Run ID:  code that uniquely identifies a Run Control for batch processes. 

Scroll Area Navigational Header – used to review additional rows of data within a page.

Scroll Arrow: used to review additional rows of data within an effective dated or multi-keyed page.

Set ID: An identification code that represents a set of control table information. Links Business Units to the defined Record Control Groups.

Shift: The block of hours that an employee works in a day, such as nine to five, four to eleven, or ten to six.

Shift Code:  A numerical shift identifier that is unique within a SetID. 

Status: indicates whether a row in a tables is Active or Inactive.

Taxable Gross Component ID: used to define a taxable gross base that differs from the federal taxable gross base.

Translate Table:  A system edit table that stores codes and translate values for the miscellaneous fields on the database that do not warrant individual edit tables of their own. 

Update/Display: update or display information about a high-level key.

Update/Display All: allows user to review not only current and future rows of information, but also history rows of data.

VETS–100 Federal Contractor Report: This report is required of employers in the United States.  It lists federal job classifications, and the number of employees and new hires in the last 12 months who are special disabled military veterans or Vietnam era military veterans.  It also provides totals for each job classification of both veterans and non-veterans who hold these jobs.

Workflow:  The background process that creates a list of administrative actions based on

your selection criteria and specifies the procedure associated with each action.

Worklist: The automated “to do” list which Workflow creates.

HR Generalist Terminology

ERISA – Employee Retirement Income Security Act

·          For defined contribution plans

·          You must include an employee who is 21 years or older.

·          Has worked for a company for a year, 1,000 or more hours in the last 12 months.

·         Must report the administrative details of the plan and it rules to the Government.

·         You may only require an employee to be employed for two years before eligibility.

FMLA – Family and Medical Leave Act

·         Employers may be required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for defined medical reasons.

·         Must allow employee to return to the same or a similar position after taking the leave, except when position is not available.

·         Employees qualify if they have worked for a company more than 12 months, at least 1250 business hours, and this does not have to be consecutive months.


HIPPA – Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

·         Places limitations on when employers may impose pre-existing condition clauses for new employees under an employer’s sponsored medical plan.

·         If an employee or dependent received medical treatment, advice, or care within six months prior to hire date, a pre-existing exclusion may not be applied.

·         The law also prohibits the employer group medical plan from discriminating against individual employees based on health status or activities like skiing, etc.


FLSA – Fair Labor Standards Act

·         Establishes Federal Minimum Wage.

·         Must be 14 or 16 years of age for employment.

·         Must be 18 for hazardous occupations.

·         Employees are entitled to 1 ½ hourly rate for all hours in excess of 40 hours for any standard workweek.

·         The workweek is separate for overtime purposes.  Hours may not be averaged over two or more weeks, even if that is the way pay periods are administered.

·         Employers are not required to pay overtime for hours in excess of 8 per day.

·         FLSA does not interpret law in terms of hourly or salaried, but rather exempt or non-exempt.

·         Exempt employees must be properly classified as:

q       Executive/Professional

q       Administrative/Outside Sales

·         Non-exempt employees may be Hourly or Salaried positions, which do not pass the test for exempt status.

·         FLSA does not cover vacation, holiday severance or sick pay; meals or rest periods; premium pay for weekends or holidays; pay raises or fringe benefits or any limit on the number of hours per week for persons 16 or older.


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