Compensation and Benefits

Time Cards & Pay Periods

In order to determine hours worked, all non-exempt employees must document arrival and departure times by using Centratel’s biometric clock.

Non-exempt hourly paid employees are to clock-out whenever they leave the building for any non-business reason.

Our official work-week runs from 12:00 midnight Monday through 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night. Payday is by direct-deposit to your bank account, every two weeks, the Friday following the end of the pay period. Centratel issues payroll through direct deposit. If a new employee does not have a bank account established to accept direct deposit pay when they are first hired, Centratel will issue paper pay checks for the first 2 pay periods of employment. After that time, and as a condition of employment, new employees MUST have an account set up to receive direct deposit payroll. Pay can be deposited to either a checking account or a savings account.  For new employees who require paper checks during their first 2 pay periods, those checks will be issued on the regular pay day and be available for pick up in the office after 1PM.

When a time punch is missed it creates confusion and extra administration time to fix. It is “part of the job” to punch in and out properly. For this reason, to be eligible for the quality bonus (see Logged Call Review Quality Bonus, below), TSR staff members must remember to punch in and out and to punch in on-time when their shifts begin. Things happen, so each TSR receives a credit of two missed punches or late check-ins (or a combination of the two) per month. A TSR’s third late punch-in or missed punch within a month means that TSR is ineligible for the quality bonus to be paid the following month.

Employee Advances on Earnings

In the event of a financial emergency employee’s may take an advance on earned wages prior to the employee’s designated pay-day. Advances will not exceed 60% of gross wages currently earned and the entire amount of the advance will be deducted from the next paycheck issued. Requests for advances require a 24 hour turn-around. Employees are limited to two advances a year, with each new year beginning on the anniversary of employment.


Overtime pay is time and one-half, and it must be authorized in advance, in writing, by either the CEO or the COO. It is company policy to strictly limit overtime. It is paid to non-exempt employees for hours worked over 40 in one work week. Only hours actually worked count towards overtime; if one is on vacation, those hours not worked are not included when computing overtime hours. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay. Revised 12/3/2012

Every effort will be made to provide advance notice of any required overtime. It is company policy to limit overtime. Overtime must be authorized in advance.

Split Shift Position, “Graveyard” Premium, etc.

Centratel incorporates a split shift into the TAS shift schedule as an effective way to handle peak-period call volume. For example, the busiest time of a weekday day is from 6am to 10am and 4pm to 8pm with a “slow” period from 10a to 2pm. As the term suggests, the split shift consists of two short shifts broken into two separate time periods. The Split shift requires additional flexibility and commitment on the part of the TSR so additional compensation for working as a Split Shift employee is warranted. Here are the split shift guidelines:

Split shift definition: In the same calendar day, two separate short shifts, instead of one regular eight hour shift. Usually the two shifts are separated by several hours but add up to eight hours total in a given work day.

Split Shifts lasting longer than 2 hours: Split shifts lasting longer than 2 hours in duration will receive a $3/hour premium for the shift in addition to hourly wage.

Overtime Hours and Split Shifts: Employees who work a split shift and qualify for overtime or holiday pay will receive the split shift pay premium at regular “straight” rate

Graveyard Premium: Shifts 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the (Shift Block List) will receive a $3.00/ hr differential. No other graveyard differentials will be paid. (Updated 2/6/2017)

Approval: To qualify for pay premium, split shifts must be pre-scheduled and approved by the telephone answering service Manager

Substituting: A Telephone Service Representative who covers a pre-scheduled split shift for another will receive the hourly pay premium in addition to hourly wage.

Unscheduled call-ins: In the event an employee is called in (unscheduled) to work a partial shift, the employee will receive base hourly pay; however, employees who are called in will receive not less than a minimum of 2 hours base pay.

Logged Call Review Performance Bonus

Revised 9/12/2016: The Logged Call Review Performance Bonus (LCRB) process provides objective measurement of TSR performance. Its purpose is to generously reward TSRs for the following awesomeness:

  1. Superior message quality
  2. Few mistakes
  3. Friendly yet serious comportment with the caller
  4. Speed (fast but not too fast…)
  5. Being on time, contributing to a near flawless database (1550’s), attending staff meetings, etc.
  6. Being “in rotation.” TSRs are paid to handle calls, not to just be here!

For each TSR, twelve randomly selected calls are reviewed each month (four times per month, three calls each time). The starting score for the month is 100%. In each message review, various deductions are made for less than perfect performance in several dozen different categories. Additionally, if the TSR makes an error based on a customer complaint, there is a 4% decrease per complaint in that month’s total quality score.

Note that it is a job requirement that a LCRB minimum score of 85% be consistently maintained. In the review, recommendations are made by the reviewer that will assist the TSR in achieving a higher quality of performance.

The new TSR is given three months to achieve the minimum necessary score of 85%

Requirements for qualifying for the bonus:

  1. Per month, a minimum of twelve “1550” account improvement suggestions must be submitted.
  2. Must attend monthly staff meeting unless excused by Chief Operating Officer.
  3. Must not have any written warnings within bonus time period
  4. Bounced Call Percentage must not exceed 20.0% of total calls processed (if a TSR’s Bounce percentage exceeds 20% there is a 4% decrease for that month’s total quality score)

Bonuses available:

  • Monthly score 90.00% – 94.99% will receive a bonus of 15% of the previous month’s gross pay for hours worked.
  • Monthly score 95.00% to 99.99 will receive a bonus of 25% of the previous month’s gross pay for hours worked.
  • Monthly score 100.00% and above will receive a bonus of 35% of the previous month’s gross pay for hours worked.

Pro-rating Evening/Weekend calls
We have carefully studied the average call duration for both daytime and evening/weekend shifts and find that evening/weekend calls take an average of 16.9 seconds longer to handle than daytime calls. Our most recent analysis was performed in early September 2016. (Daytime shifts are from 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday. Evening/weekend shifts are all other times.)

Most TSR’s work a variety of shifts. Based on the individual TSR’s 40-hour shift schedule, we carefully account for how many daytime hours per week are worked and how many evening/weekend hours per week are worked. Evening/weekend/holiday hours average call duration results are adjusted downwards by 16.9 seconds to make them equivalent to daytime call durations. By doing this, every TSR’s avg. call duration score is measured via the same criteria. Graveyard, weekday evening and weekend shift people have the same opportunity for a bonus as weekday shift people. So…your average talk times have nothing to do with the time of day. They have to do with how well you control your calls, whatever shift you work.

The LCRB is paid per the statistics of the previous month, on the 2nd payroll of the current month (For example, November’s performance bonus is paid in the second paycheck in December). The calculation of the bonus is based on the actual gross pay received in the previous month. It is not prorated from the first of the month to the end of the month. (There are two months of the year in which you will receive three paychecks: Yes, your bonus in the next month will be calculated on all three of those paychecks). The LCRB calculation does not include PTO allowance, commissions, pay premiums, the previous month’s quality bonus or any other bonuses.

The employee must leave employment in good standing in order to receive the most recent bonus on their final check. Termination of employment or not giving at least two weeks’ notice prior to quitting disqualifies the employee from the previous month’s bonus.

“High Efficiency Bonus”
Updated: 10/5/2016 arf

We must avoid sending calls to PAA (our on-hold) system. On-holds, both frequency and duration, are the most prevalent customer complaint. Our aim is to have no more than 10% of total calls go to PAA. Please help us to reduce PAA calls by getting control of your callers and then working efficiently and quickly to wrap up each message.

The High Efficiency Bonus is earned by those TSRs who handle their calls promptly and who score well on the LCRB.

The bonus is calculated by using a TSR’s talk-time average for the previous month. The TSR must score at least 90.00 on the LCRB in order to qualify for the speed bonus.

We have approximately 24 TSRs (as of this writing in mid-September 2016). The fastest 16 TSRs will receive an additional bonus for their speed. The top eight will each receive a $200 bonus, and the second eight fastest will receive a $100 bonus. The slowest eight will receive no “High Efficiency” bonus.

Along with the LCR Bonus, the “High Efficiency” Bonus is also paid on the second paycheck of the following month.

Talk times and quality scores for all TSRs will be posted in operations within the first ten days of each month.

Note that it is a job requirement to have a maximum talk time not more than 40% longer than the average of the five fastest TSR’s time. For example, if the average fastest time is 50 seconds, the slowest average a TSR should have is 70 seconds. We will post this fastest average time and the maximum allowed speed along with the bonus scores.

During the LCRB review, recommendations will be made by the reviewer to assist the TSR in achieving a higher speed.

Sales Referral Commission

As callers realize the superior quality of service that Centratel provides, they may become curious, especially if they themselves use an answering service. Try to get the caller’s name and number and then pass this information on to our sales team. Assure the caller “our sales specialist will be getting back to you very soon.” Do NOT attempt to sell the service by talking about how many TSR’s we have, how many accounts we have, service rates etc. You can say this: “I know there is a 30 day free trial period,” but no more! If the caller won’t leave information, you should still give them our toll free sales number (which should always be handy at your station) and our website address (

Note, the referral can’t be an inquiry from Centratel’s own sales efforts (for instance, you take an overflow call on the sales line). The commission for your sales leads is $100. The new account must stay with Centratel a minimum of 90 days while paying their bill properly, so the commission won’t be paid for 120 days. This commission is only available to TSRs, not to administrative staff.

Employee Referral

Centratel offers $200 for referring a job applicant who is subsequently hired and then who successfully completes the 90 day introductory period.


Once the 90 day introductory period is past, the full-time employee is eligible to take his/her birthday day off WITH pay. If the birthday is on a day off, the employee takes off the regularly scheduled work day that is closest to the birthday (no exceptions). The staff member can come to work on the birthday if he or she wishes but will be paid regular time and there will not be an alternative day that can be taken off. A birthday is a big day and we think the employee should make the best of it!

Anniversary Bonus

We reward our employees for their loyalty and longevity. THANK YOU!!

The bonuses are as follows:

5th year………$200
10th year…….$400
15th year……..$600
20th year…. $1,000
25th year…..$1,500

These bonuses are issued as separate checks from regular payroll checks. Payroll tax withholding on the bonus amount will be withheld on the next regularly scheduled paycheck.

Holidays – Telephone Answering Service

Holiday Pay for Operations Staff

Updated 5/15/2017 arf

Because we provide 24 hour/365 day services, telephone answering service employees often work on holidays.  The following policies apply to non-exempt hourly paid employees in the telephone answering service department. To be eligible for the holiday pay rate, an employee must work his/her scheduled shift the day before and/or after the holiday.  If  the employee has an unscheduled absence the day before and/or after the holiday, the employee will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay for the holiday.

On the following holidays those who work will receive double-time. (Those who do not work will not receive additional pay):

New Years Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

On the following holidays those who work will receive time and one-half. (Those who do not work will not receive additional pay):

Memorial Day
4th of July
Labor Day

Holidays – Administrative Personnel

Holiday Pay for Administrative Staff

Updated 5/15/2017 arf

On the following holidays Administrative offices will be closed. All administrative staff will have the day off with regular pay. Those who work will receive comp time equal to hours worked.:

New Years day
Easter Sunday
Memorial day
4th of July
Labor day
Thanksgiving day
Christmas day

If New Year’s day, the 4th of July, or Christmas day fall on a Saturday, salaried/exempt admin staff will be paid for Friday and have the day off. If the Holiday falls on a Sunday then the salaried/exempt employee will be paid for Monday and have that day off.

Salaried/exempt administrative staff will have the Friday after Thanksgiving off with pay. Salaried/exempt administrative staff who work will receive comp time equal to hours worked.


Christmas Eve. Admin office closed at 3PM.
New Year’s Eve: Admin office closed at 3PM.

Paid Time Off (PTO) Allowance (non-exempt Employees)

Updated 3/1/2016

We all need time away from work to help balance our lives. Our Paid Time Off Allowance (PTO) policy provides a flexible approach to meeting these time-off requirements. The policy is inclusive, containing provisions for vacation, personal, parental, bereavement and sick leave.

PTO is paid to each employee as it is earned, not when the time off is actually taken. PTO is included on every paycheck, based on the number of hours worked. It is up to the employee to manage PTO allowance received.

PTO awarded on each paycheck is based on actual hours worked. It is calculated by taking the employee’s hourly wage and multiplying it by the number of PTO hours they are allowed in a year (see schedule below). The result is the total dollar value of the PTO pay for that year. That total dollar figure is then divided by 2080, the number of work-hours in a standard year. The result is the PTO for that employee: a dollar figure that is multiplied by the number of hours in a given pay period and paid on that paycheck. Note that the PTO calculation reflects that the employee earns allotted time off when he or she has completed a full year of service, even though the employee may actually take the time off during the year in which he or she is compiling the PTO.

Employees earn PTO according to the following schedule: (updated: 1/23/2017 arf)

  • 1st and 2nd years of employment: PTO compensation is equivalent to 80 hours per year. PTO begins accumulating upon completion of the 90 day introductory period.
  • 3rd through 9th years of employment: PTO compensation is equivalent to 120 hours per year.
  • 10th and subsequent years of employment: PTO compensation is equivalent to 160 hours per year.

PTO is available to all regular full-time, non-exempt, eligible employees after they have completed their 90 day introductory period (there is no PTO accumulated during the 90 day introductory period). Non-exempt employees working less than 35.00 hours weekly accrue no PTO. revised 4/9/07

Scheduled time off is subject to advance approval from your Manager. For scheduled time off of five or more successive days in a row, staff must submit a written request to the telephone answering service Manager at least 6 weeks in advance of the desired time off.

Administrative personnel must request time off through the COO or CEO. Time off is approved on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is to one’s advantage to request time off as soon as he or she knows the exact time period to be taken off. If more than one employee asks for the same time off, time off may be granted to both employees only if staffing is sufficient and no overtime is incurred. Otherwise, time off will be granted to the first employee to request time off in that time period. It is critical that time off be requested in written form.

One may use PTO for an immediate and unexpected absence due to illness or emergency. If the employee wishes to use PTO for time off due to illness or emergency, the details should be noted in the book by the time clock.

The employee must leave employment in good standing in order to be compensated PTO on the final check. If employment is terminated or if the staff member quits without a 2-week notice, outstanding PTO will be forfeited.

The employee should review the policy for calling in sick in the Attendance section of the handbook.

Should a holiday occur during a scheduled leave period, it will not count as a PTO day.

PTO (Exempt Employees)

The basics of non-exempt PTO described above apply to exempt PTO. However, for exempt employees PTO is not paid on each paycheck, but is “stored” for future use. The employee must exhaust PTO before taking unpaid time off. The employee must leave employment in good standing in order to be compensated unused PTO on the final check. If employment is terminated or if the staff member quits without a 2-week notice, PTO will be forfeited.

If an exempt administrative staff employee works on a full holiday – one which they were not required to work, they will be reimbursed with PTO time equal to the hours worked.

The staff member must have prior approval from his or her supervisor before taking PTO.

Simple IRA Salary Deferral Retirement Plan

Under this plan, you may direct Centratel to withhold a percentage or dollar amount of your compensation from each paycheck as an “elective deferral contribution” to a SIMPLE IRA account. Centratel will, also, contribute to your SIMPLE IRA account by matching your contribution, dollar-for-dollar, up to 3% of your annual compensation. Enrollment in the plan is available each calendar quarter (the first day of January, April, July and October).

Family & Medical Leave

Private employers with fewer than 50 employees are not covered by the FMLA, but we are covered by Oregon Family Leave Act (see below).

The Oregon Family Leave Act provides unpaid leave for certain purposes to eligible employees.

An employee returning from leave is entitled to the former job or to an available equivalent job if the former job has been eliminated. Reasons for leave include:

  • For the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child (parental leave).
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition or the employee´s own serious health condition (serious health condition leave).
  • For pregnancy disability or prenatal care (pregnancy disability leave).
  • To care for a sick child who does not have a serious health condition, but requires home care, known as sick child leave.
  • To deal with the death of a family member (two weeks per death – effective January 1, 2014).

Family members include spouse, same-sex domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, parents-in- law, and children and parents of same-gender domestic partners.

To be eligible for OFLA parental leave only, employees must be on the job at least 180 days. For all other OFLA leave benefits, workers must be employed at least 180 days and also work at least an average of 25 hours a week during the 180 days before leave begins. Employees are required to give written notice to the company 30 days in advance of the leave unless it is impracticable to do so, or if the leave is taken for an emergency.

The Oregon Military Family Leave Act requires that employers with 25+ employees provide up to 14 days of unpaid leave to an employee who is the spouse or same-sex domestic partner of a member of the military forces that are on active duty per deployment. Leave applies before deployment and/or during leave from deployment. Employees must work an average of 20 hours per week to qualify for leave.

During a period of military conflict, an eligible employee is one who is a spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard, or the military reserve forces who has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, or impending leave from deployment.

An employee who intends to take leave must provide the employer with notice of their intention within five business days of receiving official notice of an impending call or order to active duty or of a leave from deployment. An employee who takes leave authorized under this section may choose to substitute any accrued leave to which the employee is entitled for any part of the leave. Military family leave counts against an employee’s general OFLA leave entitlement.

Employees taking OFLA should provide as much notice as practicable. When the need for leave is foreseeable, 30 days’ advance notice is requested. Employees should make effort to schedule OFLA leave in the least disruptive manner so as not to affect operations. An employee who is taking OFLA leave may be required to report periodically to the company regarding his or her status and intent to return to work. An employee who fails to return to work at the expiration of the leave without an approved extension will be considered to have resigned. After the leave, the employee must be restored to the same or essentially-same position held before the leave.

Health Care Benefits
If applicable, health care benefits will be maintained during the leave. The employee is responsible for their portion of the medical insurance premium cost, if any. Failure to pay the employee portion of the health insurance premiums in advance may result in the termination of coverage. If eligible, the employee will receive notification of continuation of benefits.

The company reserves the right to seek reimbursement from the employee for the medical insurance premiums paid by the company, on behalf of the employee, while the employee was on OFLA leave if the employee fails to return from OFLA leave for reasons other than the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s family member which would otherwise entitle the employee to leave under the OFLA or other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

COBRA Insurance Coverage after Centratel Employment

According to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), you and your eligible dependents have the right to continued health insurance coverage after termination of employment or loss of eligibility. Coverage is for a limited time at your own expense. We will provide details of the COBRA benefit to you upon eligibility for group health insurance coverage and again on termination of employment or the eligible event.

Group Health Insurance

Centratel provides group health insurance coverage for full-time, regularly employed employees. Our group health insurance carrier is Pacific Source Health Plans. Coverage commences on the first day of the month following 60 days of employment.

The group plan is a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. Details are covered in the Plan Handbook provided by Pacific Source.

If an employee chooses not to use Centratel health insurance because they are covered through another program or family member, we will compensate the uncovered employee at the rate of $100 per month.

Complete information regarding health insurance coverage is provided to each employee at the time they become eligible for coverage.

Pacific Source Health Plan Health Insurance Premium (updated 1/23/2017 ARF)

Effective 12/1/16 Health Insurance Premium amounts and responsibility for contributions are:

Centratel Monthly Contribution: $401.75 (76% of the Employee Only premium):

Employee Monthly Contribution:

Employee Only: $126.88

Employee & Children: $576.20

Employee & Spouse: $655.50

Employee & Family: $1,104.82

Employees who take a personal leave of absence or maternity or family leave are responsible for their entire monthly premium for any month in which they are gone. Employees who leave employment before their monthly share of the premium is deducted from their paychecks will have their entire premium share deducted from their final check.