3.02d Bilingual Pay Incentive - Regulation

Document Type: Regulation
Number: 3.02d
Effective: 01-05-24
Legal References:



The City of Boise (‘city’) is committed to providing the highest levels of service to the community and recognizes the value of employees who can communicate with customers in languages other than English.

This regulation applies to regular full-time and part-time non-bargaining unit employees. Regular part-time employees may be eligible for a pro-rated benefit. Employees occupying temporary positions are not eligible for bilingual incentive pay.


Budgetary restraints may limit a department’s ability to authorize all requests for bilingual incentive pay. Therefore, the city retains the right to test and incentivize employees based on the needs of the organization with priority given to employees fluent in languages specified on a qualifying list. Other eligibility requirements include:

A. Employees must hold a public facing position and regularly use a second language in the performance of their essential job functions.

B. Employees who use their bilingual skills on an incidental or occasional basis or for work done outside of the employee’s essential duties are not eligible for this benefit.

C. Employees must pass language proficiency testing as selected and scheduled by Human Resources.

D. Employees who fail language proficiency testing may retest after six months. The city will pay for one retest for employees who fail.

E. Employees must recertify their eligibility for bilingual incentive pay every three years by repassing language proficiency testing as selected and scheduled by Human Resources.

F. If an employee moves to a position that does not benefit from language services, they will no longer be eligible to receive bilingual incentive pay.


Employees will use the following process to request and receive bilingual incentive pay:

A. Employees must complete the Bilingual Incentive Pay Request form [see Exhibit 3.02e] and submit it to their supervisor and department director/designee for approval.

B. Supervisors are responsible for verifying the accuracy of the information provided.

C. Department directors or designees are responsible for verifying that the employee meets the eligibility requirements and send the form to Human Resources for final determination.

D. Human Resources will notify the department if the request was approved or denied. If approved, Human Resources will schedule the employee for testing.

E. The employee’s department is responsible to pay the costs associated with language proficiency testing, including initial testing, one retake if applicable, and recertification every three years.

F. Once an employee passes their proficiency testing and becomes eligible for bilingual incentive pay, their supervisor will work with Human Resources to submit a PAF. Upon PAF approval, the employee will begin receiving bilingual incentive pay effective the first day of the following pay period.


A. Employees receiving bilingual incentive pay must complete interpretation logs [see Exhibit 3.02f] documenting the language used and a brief explanation of the interpretation provided.

B. Employees receiving bilingual incentive pay are expected to primarily provide language services that are included in their essential functions or assist with other interpretations provided this does not interfere with their daily work. Employees should not be providing services that are out of the scope of their position or experience.

C. Employees receiving bilingual incentive pay who are not certified to provide written translation services must not translate documents for their department or others.

D. Employees who have not qualified for bilingual incentive pay should not be providing interpretations and should instead use the city’s approved language interpretation system.

E. Employees receiving bilingual incentive pay are not required or expected to provide language services outside of their normal working hours.


The following incentives will be paid to qualified full-time employees (pro-rated for qualified part-time employees) who are approved for bilingual incentive pay and pass the required proficiency testing:

A. Demonstrated oral proficiency: $1,500 annually ($57.70 per pay period)

B. Demonstrated oral and written proficiency: $3,000 annually ($115.39 per pay period)

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