Handdrawn Payroll Warrants

When issuing hand-drawn checks, you must comply with the Handdrawn Policy (Revised 1/1, 2014). Departments should request hand-drawn warrants only when the circumstances match those in the policy. All other underpayments should be recorded in Time Collection for payment on the next available pay date.

Handdrawns verses Special Payroll Processing (Special Offcycle)

Pay for both monthly and bi-weekly paid employees can now be entered in the Special Offcycle. The deadline for BOTH Special Offcycle Time Collection and handdrawns is Tuesday at noon and BOTH pay on Friday. For most instances of late pay, the pay should be entered into the Special Offcycle and there is no advantage of a handdrawn for these situations. Click the link for step-by-steps on using the Special Offcycle.

In the following circumstances, pay must be processed through a handdrawn and should NOT be entered in the Special Offcycle:

  • Term-for-Cause Termination for Cause Procedures
  • Lost Check/Stop Pay/Reissue
  • Employee has transferred to a new position, department or pay group
  • The final payout on a deceased employee


If a payment error will be corrected in HRMS Time Collection, do not submit a hand-drawn request. This will result in an overpayment. Conversely, if a handdrawn warrant is requested, do not enter the data in Time Collection.

For additional information, see the Late Payment of Wages page which gives details on when the Special Offcycle can be used in place of a handdrawn warrant. The deadline for BOTH Special Offcycle Time Collection and handdrawns is Tuesday at noon and BOTH pay on Friday.

If a department requests a hand-drawn warrant, the date the employee can receive his/her warrant depends on if:

  1. The regularly scheduled pay date has passed (previous pay date).
    Request a hand-drawn warrant when the employee has already received a paycheck on a previous payday that was not for the full amount owed, or when the employee did not receive any pay for a pay date that has already passed. The check may be released to the employee as soon as it is ready. These requests will generally be processed within three to five business days. (See Notifying Employees.)
  2. The current or next regularly scheduled pay date has not yet arrived.
    In this case, payroll has been processed, and the department runs the Payroll Register report to confirm that its employees will be paid correctly. From reviewing this report, it is determined that an employee’s paycheck is not going to include the full amount owed, or that the employee will not receive any pay when he/she should be paid.

    For the employee to receive the correct amount of pay, the department must request a hand-drawn warrant for the difference between what the employee is about to be paid and what he/she should be paid. The department may submit the hand-drawn request immediately. However, the department may not, under any circumstances, request release of the hand-drawn check to the employee before the current/next regularly scheduled payday.

    The employee may only be paid on or after the current, or next regularly schedule pay date. If the request is submitted early enough, the employee may still be able to receive his/her pay on the current (or next regularly scheduled) pay date. If not, he/she will be paid as soon as possible after the current/next regularly scheduled pay date. Hand-drawn requests will generally be processed within three to five business days.

Exception: The above does not apply when an employee has been terminated for cause. (See Termination for Cause.)

Hand-Drawn Warrant Request Process and Form

The requesting department completes the Handdrawn Warrant Request Form. (Payroll will not accept outdated forms.) Hand-drawn warrants will be processed based upon the priorities discussed in the Hand-Drawn Policy. Generally, hand-drawn checks are processed in the following order of priority:

  1. involuntary termination;
  2. no pay was received on the regularly scheduled pay date;
  3. only partial pay was received on the regularly scheduled pay date;
  4. direct deposits were returned by the bank;
  5. vacation or sick payouts;
  6. refunds for a deduction taken in error

Additional Guidelines

  1. The requestor must be an authorized the HRMS user with security access for the department requesting the hand-drawn warrant.
  2. The employee’s job data must have been entered and approved in the HRMS with an appropriate effective date before a hand-drawn warrant can be issued.
  3. For hourly wages, enter the number of hours for each pay period requested.
  4. Additional pay requests may be processed on a hand-drawn warrant by specifying the appropriate distribution on the Additional Pay Form. A separate Hand-Drawn Warrant Request should NOT be completed in this situation. See Additional Pay for more information on these types of payments.
  5. Before processing the request, Employee Services will verify that the employee has not already been paid the requested amount.
  6. The warrant will either be printed at the designated location on each campus or mailed to the employee's mailing address via U.S. mail, based on the option selected on the Hand-Drawn Warrant Request Form.
  7. All hand-drawn requests must include the signatures of both the requestor and the approver. No hand-drawn warrants will be processed without the appropriate signatures.

Reminder: Wage payments requested and processed via the Hand-Drawn Warrant Request Form must not be entered in Time Collection; this will result in a double payment (overpayment). In addition, do not submit a Retroactive Pay Due Form, since this will also result in an overpayment.

Notifying Employees

The department should notify employees receiving a hand-drawn warrant that three to five business days are generally required for processing. Processing is contingent upon Employee Services receiving all the required paperwork, the department accurately updating the data in the HRMS system and the HRMS' availability

Departments must not promise a payment date to an employee before receiving notification from Employee Services. If notification indicating completion of the hand-drawn warrant is not received after three business days, departments may contact Employee Services for a status update.

Involuntary Termination and Layoffs

In accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes section 8-4-109, departments must submit to Employee Services all final paperwork, including leave payout hours (if applicable) and all other outstanding pay due the employee before, or no later than, the time the employee is notified of the termination.

Employee Services will then process the hand-drawn warrant within six business hours, provided all required information is approved, complete, and submitted to and received by Employee Services. See Termination for Cause for detailed information about this process.

Voluntary Termination

Employees who voluntarily resign their employment will be paid final salary and leave payout on their last regularly scheduled pay date. Their department is responsible for calculating leave payout hours, obtaining any required payout authorization, and entering the leave payout hours into Time Collection by the published payroll time entry deadline. No hand-drawn warrant request is necessary in this case. However, when employees are terminated in a prior pay period and do not receive their leave payout on their final check, payment must be processed as a hand-drawn warrant.