Our Goal

Our goal is to attract, retain, and motivate employees so that we can achieve our collective GW goals. Our pay philosophy is aligned with and supports the institution's mission and business strategy.  As part of the total rewards strategy, we design competitive compensation packages governed by guiding principles. 

Our Guiding Principles:

  1. Targeted Market Position - We align our pay structures to "match" the market, or peer salary data. This helps us target employee base pay that also matches the market, for employees that are fully proficient and meeting expectations of the role.  We strive to create structures that allow for additional compensation growth for high performers or key talent.

  2. Choose Relevant Market Data - We work to ensure that we're using data from true competitors - where we attract employees from.
  3. External versus Internal Focus - We set pay levels primarily on competitive external market data. We also consider internal alignment, to support GW's aim to deliver fair levels of compensation to all employees.

Explore Our Resources

The Career Path Program is designed to identify the different types of jobs and career paths we have at the university. Explore possible career paths at GW.

Learn about starting pay, Annual Salary Planning, and incentive tools.

Explore information and tools to administer pay within your team.

Get answers about pay practices at GW.

Note on Minimum Wage:

At GW, we follow DC minimum wage, regardless of the campus location or funding source of a position. The minimum wage rate applies to all employees, including temp and student employees. The minimum as of  1/1/24 is $17.20. The DC Office of Wage-Hour Compliance typically reviews minimum wage rates annually. At this time, future increases will be based on CPI increases.

Note on Overtime Pay:

At the university, the workweek begins on Sunday at 12:00am and ends on Saturday at 11:59pm.

Nonexempt Employees

Nonexempt employees are expected to accurately document all time worked using the university’s time reporting system. Managers must authorize overtime before the time is worked. For more information on timekeeping, please consult the Time Reporting Systems and Guidelines section.

To determine whether overtime pay is owed to a nonexempt employee for hours worked in excess of 40 in one workweek, only hours actually worked are counted. A bona fide meal period (when a nonexempt employee is completely free from duties) and hours in which the employee received compensation but did not perform work (such as holiday pay, annual leave, or sick leave) are excluded from the calculation.

The university does not pay overtime for work exceeding eight hours in a single day unless a contract or local laws or regulations specify otherwise. However, if the total hours worked during the workweek exceed 40, overtime will be paid.

Nonexempt employees with a regular workweek of 35 hours will be compensated at their regular hourly rate for hours worked over 35 up to a maximum of 40 in any one workweek. All working hours exceeding 40 in a workweek must be paid at the rate of one and one-half times the regular hourly rate.

Nonexempt employees in more than one position who work more than a combined total of 40 hours in a workweek must be paid overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 at one and one-half times the employee's regular hourly rate. The regular hourly rate in such situations is calculated by adding all pay from all rates for all hours worked and then dividing that amount by the total number of hours worked in all positions.

When the workweek includes hours for which premium pay is owed, premium pay will be included with other compensation to determine the regular hourly rate on which overtime pay is calculated, unless otherwise provided by law. However, premium pay generally will not be provided for any hours for which the employee is entitled to overtime pay.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees, such as executive, professional, and supervisory positions (as defined by the FLSA), are expected to fulfill their responsibilities on an ongoing basis and are compensated for the duties they perform, not the hours they work. Exempt positions are not eligible to receive overtime pay and are not subject to other provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that apply to nonexempt employees.

Managers must ensure that an exempt employee performs the functions defined in the classification description.