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FACT-FINDING BOARD. A group of individuals appointed by a governing body to investigate, assemble, and report the facts in a labor dispute, sometimes with authority to make recommendations for settlement. (See BOARD OF INQUIRY.)

FACTOR COMPARISON. A job evaluation method comparing and evaluating jobs for purposes of pay determination based on selected key factors or attributes common to the jobs being compared.

FACTOR SCALES. The point ranges assigned to the various factors (skill, effort, responsibility, etc.) in a job evaluation plan which defines the importance of the factor in the overall plan.

FACTOR WEIGHT. A weight indicating the relative importance of a compensable factor in a job evaluation system.

FAIR DAY’S PAY. The level of pay for a job for which a standard level of work performance is expected. Equated to a “fair day’s work.” Normally the base rate or guaranteed pay rate of a job. The “normal” or “100%” base of a wage incentive plan.

FAIR DAY’S WORK. Standard level of work performance for the base or guaranteed pay rate “fair day’s pay.”

FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE LAWS. Laws that forbid discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, or conditions of employment on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, and in some cases, sex and age. Such laws exist at federal, state, and local levels. (See CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.)

FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT. The 1936 federal law which prohibits oppressive child labor and established a minimum hourly wage and premium overtime pay for hours in excess of a specific level (now time and one-half after 40 hours per week) for most workers engaged in interstate commerce. The minimum wage and the coverage of the act have been modified several times since enactment. Also known as FLSA; wage-hour law.

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA). This act, effective August 5, 1993, requires private-sector employers, with 50 or more employees, to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any 12 month period, with guaranteed reemployment, for the birth, adoption or placement of a child, care of a family member with a serious health condition and an employee with a serious health condition. Eligible employees must have worked approximately 25 hours a week for one year.


FATIGUE. A decline in performance due to physiological or psychological tiring.

FATIGUE ALLOWANCE. Percentage of time added to the normal time to allow for excessive fatigue.

“FAVORED NATIONS” CLAUSE. A provision indicating that one party to the agreement (employer or union) should have the opportunity to share in more favorable terms negotiated by the other party with another employer or union.

FEATHERBEDDING. A practice, working rule, or agreement provision which limits output or requires employment of excess workers thereby preserving unnecessary jobs.

FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY (FLRA). The Authority with responsibility for adjudicating unfair labor practices and other labor disputes within the federal government. (Similar to the NLRB)

FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE (FMCS). An independent U.S. Government agency which provides mediators to assist the parties engaged in interstate commerce and involved in negotiations, or labor disputes, in reaching a settlement; provides lists of suitable arbitrators on request; and engages in various types of “preventive mediation.” Mediation services are also provided by several state agencies.

FEDERATION. Association formed to promote common interests.

FINAL OR FINAL AVERAGE PAY (PENSION BENEFIT FORMULA). A formula which bases benefits on the credited earnings of an employee at or during a selected number of years (typically 3-5) immediately preceding retirement.

FINANCIAL INCENTIVE. Monetary compensation other than base pay to encourage and reward productivity above standard work performance.  

FINANCIAL INCENTIVE PLAN. A method or system for providing financial incentives for increased worker productivity. (See PRODUCTIVITY GAINSHARING (PGS))

FINISH-GO-HOME BASIS OF PAY. A practice under which employees are permitted to go home after completing a specific work assignment generally considered a standard day’s work.

FINK. Also applies to an informer or “company spy” (See STRIKEBREAKER).

FIRST AID CASE ACCIDENTS. An accident in which the person injured receives medical treatment, usually at the company’s medical center and/or at the company’s expense, and is permitted to return to his/her regular job within 24 hours after the injury.

FIXED BENEFIT RETIREMENT PLAN. A type of defined benefit pension plan providing retirement benefits in a fixed amount or at a fixed percentage.

FIXED SHIFT. The type of shift on which a group of workers maintains the same schedule of hours week after week, rather than rotating time-of-day assignments periodically with other groups.


FLAT BENEFIT RETIREMENT PLAN. A defined benefit pension plan providing benefits unrelated to earnings. An example would be one that specifies a certain amount of money per month per year of service.

FLAT INCREASE. A given adjustment in compensation similarly applied to all employees within a group. May also be called an across-the-board increase.

FLAT RATE. A fixed compensation for a job task.


FLEXTIME. Work schedule arrangement in which an employee is allowed flexibility within certain time constraints to choose individual or group working hours.




FOREIGN SERVICE PREMIUM. Additional compensation made available to employees assigned to positions in another country.

FORM AGREEMENT. Uniform agreement signed by individual members of an employers’ association and often by employers in the same line of work but outside the association. (See STANDARD AGREEMENT.)

FREE RIDERS. A term applied by unions to nonmembers who, because of being in the bargaining unit, share in benefits resulting from union activities without paying dues.

FREQUENCY RATE OF ACCIDENTS. The number of disabling occupational injuries per million man-hours worked.

FRINGE BENEFITS. Benefits supplemental to wages received by workers, at a cost to employers. Among these benefits, commonly designated as “fringe” are paid holidays, paid vacations, pensions, child care, tuition refund,  and insurance benefits (life, accident, health, hospitalization, and medical). Compensation other than direct wages or salary.

FRONT END. A compensation arrangement covering a set period of time in which the greater portion or rate of compensation occurs during the early part of the time period.

FULL CREW LAW OR RULES. Laws or regulations of several states which require a minimum number of workers having specified skills for each railway train, e.g., engineer, firemen, conductors, brake men, and flagmen.

FULL-TIME EARNINGS. Earnings received for working a regular schedule of hours over a stated period of time, e.g. a day, week, month, et. al.

FULL-TIME WORKER RATE. A rate paid to a full-time worker as distinguished from that paid to a part- time, or temporary worker.

 FUND. (noun) Money and investments set aside in a separate account to take care of the payment of pensions, supplemental unemployment benefits, strike benefits, etc. (verb) To set up a (fund); to set aside adequate reserves. Also known as trust fund.

FUNERAL LEAVE PAY. Pay to the worker for time lost because of the death and funeral of a designated member of his family. Also known as bereavement pay.

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