Policies and Procedures: Student Workers

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Student Employment and Equal Opportunity Policy
  3. Eligibility
  4. Classifications and Wage Rates
  5. Payroll Guidelines
  6. Hiring Procedures
  7. On the Job Injuries
  8. Layoff, Termination and Grievances


I. Introduction

Student employees are those whose major efforts are directed toward receiving a formal education, and are employed part-time in the unclassified service. The following document outlines the policies and procedures for all student employees (including work-study) except graduate teaching fellows and those in student government positions. Work-study employment is subject to additional requirements established by the office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Questions regarding work-study status should be directed to that office. Employment of international students is subject to additional requirements based on visa status. Questions about employment of international students should be directed to International Affairs or to the Student Payroll Office.

II. Student Employment and Equal Opportunity Policy

The policy of employment of students by the University of Oregon is based on a philosophy which seeks to address and balance two equally important objectives:

1) furnishing valuable work experience for qualifying students (i.e., those who meet stated enrollment criteria) through the performance of necessary jobs on campus, and 2) providing financial assistance to students to help fund their academic studies.

The former gives students the opportunity for experience in the real world of work by performing work important to the university. This work provides students with experience and skills attractive to future employers and complements their academic credentials. Student employment provides financial assistance in the form of on-campus work responsive to the student's class hours and schedule. However, a student's financial need should not override relative merit and qualifications when departments make hiring decisions.

In the implementation of the university's student employment policy, no student shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, national origin, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other extraneous considerations not directly and substantially related to effective performance (UO Policy Statement 3.600, issued 3/1/85).

III. Eligibility

A. Student Status

To establish student status, an individual must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution, either secondary school or college. Course work offered through Continuing and Professional Education is acceptable if they are shown to be part of a student's planned and continuing course of study. Enrollment in a private vocational or business school does not satisfy eligibility requirements. When employing non-UO students, attach proof of enrollment with hiring paperwork.

College and university student employees must be enrolled for a minimum of eight undergraduate quarter hours or at least five graduate quarter hours. Formally admitted graduate students who have completed course work requirements and are working on their theses may be employed as students. Enrollment in three credit hours is required to maintain status as a graduate student. Exceptions to the minimum credit hour enrollment may be made under special circumstances. Requests must be made in writing to the Talent Acquisition team in Human Resources (talent@uoregon.edu).

It is the employing department's responsibility to verify eligibility of student employees each term by checking the Banner Student Information System or comparable documents for non-OUS students. The status of students enrolled in secondary schools may be verified by a phone call to the school administrative office.

Students may take one term off from school each year and maintain eligibility for student employment. Summer term is considered a term. (Policy update 7/11/13).

B. New Students

A new student is recognized as such upon proof of acceptance for admission. New students are eligible for employment the term before they start school. If registration does not appear in the Banner Student Information System, departments must specify in writing why the student has not registered prior to school starting and include this documentation with the hiring paperwork.

C. Employment of Minors

If the student is a minor, there are specific Bureau of Labor (BOLI) regulations which apply. Proof of age (copy of a driver's license, passport or birth certificate) must be filed in the department. Each year OHR, on behalf of the university, renews the annual employment certificate (on file with BOLI) which gives all departments the right to hire minors between the ages of 14 and 17.

D. Loss of Student Status

Exceptions may be granted to allow students to work one additional term after graduation to complete projects and special assignments.  Exception requests must be approved in advance.  Please e-mail your request to the Student Payroll Specialist in Central Payroll.  Requests should include the student's 95#.

Graduate Teaching Fellows may be eligible to work as a student employee one term past graduation.  Requests should include a brief summary of the work to be performed, confirmation from the supervisor, graduate program director, or department head that no other graduate student is qualified, eligible, and willing to perform the work, and pay rate.

International students generally are not eligible for employment after graduation. Questions about international students' visa status and eligibility to work one term past graduation should be directed to the Division of Global Engagement.

IV. Classifications and Wage Rates

A. Position Descriptions

Student position descriptions are required to be listed in the University of Oregon Student Jobs Database and students should be given a copy of their position description. Position descriptions are required for reporting purposes and give student employees clear job expectations.

B. Classifications

There are several levels of student employment recognizing various skill levels required to perform student jobs. See Student Wage Rates for a brief description of student pay levels.

C. Wage Rates

Student wage rates are revised periodically.  Student Assistant 5 wage rates must be approved in advance and in writing or via e-mail by the Senior Recruiter in Human Resources. The request must include a description of the professional level skills required, the name of the student employee, and the requested pay rate. Approval is necessary before student employment forms can be processed by the Payroll Department.

Most student positions are non-exempt and thus, students are paid an hourly rate. Non-exempt employees are subject to minimum wage and overtime regulations. Approval of exceptions to hourly pay must be requested in advance and in writing by Human Resources.

V. Payroll Guidelines

A.  Maximum Hours of Work

Student employees are students first and foremost and, in recognition of this, are limited to working 25 hours per week. Because of the visa requirements for international students, these students may not work more than 20 hours per week. This limit includes all university student employment positions held simultaneously.  It is suggested that supervisors of students working a high number of hours (18 to 25) confirm each term that their student workers remain in good academic standing.  

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Students are eligible for sick leave.  Any sick leave taken counts in the calculation of working hours in the week.  In some instances, the supervisor can reschedule work during the week so that the student does not miss any working hours and sick leave will not be taken. 

During term breaks and one term each year, students on leave from school may be employed full-time.  Summer term is considered a term for this purpose.

Students may have Graduate Employee (GE) appointments and also work as student employees. These students are limited to .49 FTE employment counting both GE and student employment hours, and may lose their GE appointments if they exceed this limit.

University Housing Live-in Student Staff (i.e., Residence Assistants, Language Assistants, etc.) are a special category of student employment. These students receive room and board, a small monthly payroll stipend, and are available to provide assistance to students living in the residence halls. These employees do not work traditional hours and it is expected that they spend a maximum average of twenty (20) hours per week carrying out their duties. Resident Assistants are permitted to serve in the Resident Assistant role while simultaneously employed by other on or off-campus jobs with advance approval from University Housing as outlined in the Role Agreement. 

B. Attendance Records

Student time record sheets are required to report hours of work for payment purposes. These records satisfy federal and state regulations. Forms are available on the web in the Banner Guide or from the Payroll Department.

C. Overtime

The Bureau of Labor and Industries requires that non-exempt employees be paid overtime at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in one week. Student employees are not eligible to earn comp time.

D. Breaks and Meal Periods

Because almost all student positions are considered non-exempt, departments must follow Bureau of Labor and Industries regulations regarding breaks and meal periods. Students must be given at least a 10 minute break for every four hour stretch of work, or major portion thereof, approximately in the middle of the stretch of work. Minors under the age of 18 must be given a 15 minute break. Two hours is considered a "major portion" of a four hour shift of work, thus students should be given breaks for any shift of more than two hours.

Meal periods must be given to employees who work six hours or more in a shift. Meal periods must be 30 minutes without interruption to be unpaid time.

Please contact the Talent Acquisition team in Human Resources if you have questions about the scheduling of breaks and meal periods for student employees.

E. Paid Leave

Student employees do not receive paid leave for holidays, jury duty, or vacation. Student employees are eligible for sick leave and accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, student employees receiving work study do not accrue sick leave, as the work study fund does not allow for earned sick leave. This only applies when work hours are reported under work study or hours are paid through work study. Graduate Employees accrue sick leave pursuant to their collective bargaining agreement.

F. Premium Pay

Premium rates such as holiday pay and night differential do not apply to student employees.

VI. Hiring Procedures

A. Recruitment

In order to support inclusive hiring practices and make opportunities available to all interested and potentially qualified students, hiring departments are required to post open positions on Handshake, the UO Career Center’s online database. To comply with Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines, hiring departments are encouraged to publicize student positions widely, so additional methods may be utilized in conjunction with Handshake.

If you have any questions or issues with posting to Handshake, please contact the UO Career Center directly at (541) 346-3235 or jobs@uoregon.edu.

B. Work-Study

Departments hiring work-study students are responsible for having a position description on file in their department. Department must use the RSACWSE form in Banner to verify whether or not a student has a work-study award offer, and must review students' class schedules each term, as students are not to work during regularly scheduled class time. Questions regarding work-study should be referred to the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at (541) 346-3221.

C. Job Applications

Students are required to complete applications in each department where they seek work. Application information will enable the employing department to evaluate the student's ability to perform job requirements. The Senior Recruiter in Human Resources can provide sample applications and is available for consultation. Student applications and search records (interview notes and reference check information) must be kept on file for one year.

D. Priority Applicants

The student employment program exists primarily for the benefit of students enrolled at the University of Oregon and employment priority shall be given to those students. Students enrolled at other institutions may be employed only when reasonable efforts to recruit qualified students on this campus have been exhausted. Departments may impose additional requirements when filling positions. For instance, University Housing gives priority to residents, both in residence halls and family housing.

E. Immigration Reform and Control Act

Hiring departments must comply with university policies and procedures regarding the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Students must provide evidence of their identity and employment eligibility and complete an I-9 form as a part of the hiring process. Departments shall send completed I-9 forms to the Payroll Department for filing. If a student has an I-9 form on file from previous student employment at the university, indicate on the hiring paperwork that an I-9 form is on file.

VII. On-the-Job-Injuries

If a student employee is injured on the job, the accident reporting procedures are the same as for regular staff. The employing department must immediately send a completed Safety Incident or Accident Report (SIAR) and Workers' Compensation Claim Form (801) to the Office of Risk Management.

VIII. Layoff, Termination, Grievances

If a layoff is necessary due to lack of work, lack of funds, reorganization or other reasons not reflecting discredit on the student employee, reasonable notice in writing shall be given.

Students may be terminated if their performance is deficient or if their behavior does not merit continued employment. Supervisors are encouraged to give the student opportunity to correct his or her deficiencies prior to termination. No written notification is required, but is strongly recommended. A student who wishes to grieve any employment related issue, including disciplinary action, may use the relevant university grievance procedure. The Student Advocacy Program can assist students with formal and informal means of grievance resolution; the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance can assist students with issues of employment discrimination.