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The Lowdown
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I. Introduction
Student employment at the University of South Alabama is educational in nature and as such
should afford students opportunities to use and further develop their skills, creativity, sense of
awareness, and responsibilities while earning a portion of their educational costs. Student
employees do not come under the umbrella of regular staff employees. Student employees are
defined as those students who are employed as student assistants or employed in the Work-Study
program. Nursing and Allied Health students employed by the University hospitals as part of
their training, elected SGA student officials and graduate students who have university
assistantships are not a part of this definition. It is the responsibility of supervisors to give new
student employees the proper orientation, counseling, and supervision that is needed to develop
healthy attitudes toward their jobs. Students are to supplement rather than replace University
staff. Any modification or deviation from these guidelines must be approved by the Associate
Vice President for Enrollment Services. 
II. The Meaning of "Hourly Employment"
Students are employed under "an hour's pay for an hour's work" arrangement. However, a
department should not deny payments to students for brief interruptions in their daily schedules, such as rest periods or coffee breaks, if it is the department's policy and practice to permit such
interruptions for its regular hourly employees. Students are not compensated under a salary,
commission, or fee arrangement. In addition, fringe benefits such as paid sick leave, vacation
pay, and holiday pay, which are provided benefits to eligible regular employees, do not apply to
student employment. Student assistants are not covered by Social Security as long as they are
enrolled at least half-time and regularly attending classes. Student employees are not covered by
workmen's compensation or unemployment compensation. This should be explained to students
when hired. 
III. Hourly Wage Rates
Wages paid to students working under the student assistant program must be paid the minimum
Wage ($7.25/hour), however, said hourly wage should not exceed $2.15 per hour over minimum wage without
permission from the Office of Enrollment Services. Students employed under the Work-Study
program will be paid at least minimum wage as required under the federal guidelines to
participate in the program. Employment under the Work-Study program is determined by the
financial need of the family. The University of South Alabama is an equal opportunity employer
and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, disability,
disabled veteran, Vietnam Era Veteran status, or sex.
IV. Mandatory Direct Deposit of Paychecks
All newly hired and current student assistants will be required by the University to be paid by
direct deposit. Student assistants who are not already enrolled in direct deposit of paychecks will
be required to do so through Payroll Accounting. If a student assistant is unable to secure an
account at an eligible financial institution they can establish an account at the USA Federal
Credit Union. There will be a one-time $25 share deposit required for opening the account.
STUDENTS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THIS REQUIREMENT BEFORE HIRING. 
The direct deposit enrollment form can be obtained at the following link:
www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/directdepositform.pdf
Failure to establish a direct deposit account will result in termination of the student appointment. 
V. Appointments
Each department should have on file a job description for each student assistant position,
including Work-Study. For student assistants, the rate of pay can be based on job requirements
and skills needed, but should not normally exceed minimum wage by more than $2.15 per hour.
ALL STUDENT PERSONNEL ACTION FORMS MUST REFLECT THE STUDENT I.D.
NUMBER. The effective date on the Personnel Action Form should be the first day that the
student actually starts to work. At the time of appointment, the student assistant must be:
• enrolled at least half-time (undergraduate six (6) hours or graduate three (3) hours)
• be a degree seeking student 
• and must be at least 18 years of age. 
Work-Study students generally must be enrolled full-time. Student assistants currently hired in a
department may choose at their option not to enroll for one semester each academic year (Fall -
Summer) during which time they may work up to a maximum of 40 hours per week. This does
not apply to international students during the fall and spring semesters.
Students admitted and registered to attend the University for the first time are not eligible to work as student assistants until one week prior to classes beginning. Returning students and
students who withdraw during a semester cannot begin working for the upcoming semester until
after exams are over for the current semester and the student has registered for classes for the
upcoming semester.
Example 1: Student withdraws during spring semester and has to cease working immediately.
Student registers for classes for summer semester, but cannot begin working until after spring
exams are over. 
Example 2: Student has not been enrolled for several semesters and has applied for readmission
and registered for classes for summer semester. The student cannot begin working until after
exams are over for spring semester.
The maximum number of hours a student assistant is allowed to work is 20 hours per week when
classes are meeting. If a student holds more than one student assistant job, the total maximum
hours to work between the jobs is 30 hours per week when classes are meeting. The student assistant may work up to 40
hours per week between semesters and during fall and spring breaks. Exceptions to this policy
must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services. International
students cannot work more than 20 hours a week during fall and spring semesters due to
immigration rules. Students are not allowed to work more than 40 hours per week under any
circumstance. Students are not allowed to work overtime hours. Fifteen hours per week is the
maximum allowed for Work-Study students. Work-Study students generally are not allowed to
work between semesters or other periods of non-enrollment. Students are not allowed to work at
home. All work must be conducted under departmental supervision.
Student assistants, if they desire, may work during official University holidays if the office in
which they are hired remains open during the holidays. Students cannot be required to work
during official University holidays.
Students holding both a part-time staff position and a student position may work no more than 20
hours in their student appointment with the combined total hours worked not to exceed 40 hours
per week.
Students who completely withdraw during a semester or who are suspended should cease
working immediately.
Immigration rules (Immigration Reform Control ACT - IRCA ‘86) for international students
working “on-campus” specifically state that a maximum of 20 hours per week is allowed “. . .
while school is in session. Such employment may be full-time during vacation periods for
students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term. There is no
exclusion from the overall 20 hours per week ceiling for work undertaken pursuant to a
scholarship, fellowship, assistantship or postdoctoral appointment.” Normal on-campus
employment (academic department, bookstore, cafeteria, etc.) must not exceed 20 hours per
week maximum.
The international student employee must meet Department of Labor and Immigration regulations
regarding citizenship or alien status. Documentation proving satisfaction of regulations must be
provided to the Payroll Office. Documentation includes I-94 card, passport with expiration date,
visa and the form I-20. Illegal aliens will not be employed.
Each department must submit a new Student Personnel Action appointment form once a year
(valid August 15 through August 14) for employment. A separate student personnel action form
is not needed for summer employment if a student is in an active working status for the current
fiscal year! See Section VI for instructions on the new mandatory I-9 policy. In addition, Payroll
must be notified (for FICA withholding purposes) when a student employee is not enrolled. The original or a copy of the social security card must be presented to the Payroll Office for social
security number and name verification. 
Changes to a current student assistant’s PA (i.e. current student assistant hired at pay rate of
$7.25 per hour and you wish to increase the rate of pay to $9.00 per hour) should be made
effective with the beginning of a pay period. A link to USA’s biweekly payroll calendar is on the
website at www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/calendar.html.
Departments and divisions should observe University policy and state laws regarding nepotism.
Students that have relatives working at the University cannot work in the same department as
their relatives but they can work within the same division. Refer to Section 3.1.3 of the Staff
Employee Handbook for more information. 
VI. Mandatory I-9 Policy
All new employees are required by the provisions of the Immigration and Reform and Control
Act of 1982, to complete a government form I-9. Complete information including the I-9 New
Hire Notification form is located at:
www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/i9.html
1. Prior to the first date of employment, the hiring manager completes the I-9 New Hire
Notification form
(www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/i9newhire.html) in order to
inform Payroll of the established date of hire for the new employee.
2. The hiring manager or designee is to advise the new employee to report to the Payroll
Office before or on the first day of work prior to reporting to his/her work location.
Student nurses/workers located at the hospitals may go to their respective Human
Resources Office.
3. The Payroll Office will follow-up with the hiring department if the employee does not
arrive for their appointment time as indicated on the I-9 New Hire Notification form. 4.
Upon completion of Section I (or Sections I and II) the new employee will be given an I-
9 completion receipt (see attached) to take to the hiring department. The employee is not
allowed to begin work until they provide the hiring department with this receipt. 
5. Those who do not provide acceptable documentation as required for Section II of the I-
9 form on the first day of employment, are required to return to the Payroll Office in
person by the third business day with acceptable documentation. 
6. The Payroll Office will notify hiring managers/designees of any new employees who
fail to comply within three business days and advise the department that the new
employee is to be terminated immediately. The employee cannot report to work for a
fourth working day without adherence to the federal act. 
VII. On-the-Job Injury
If a student is injured while performing duties as a student employee, said student should
be seen by USA Student Health Services. Serious injuries should be sent to the
emergency room of the University of South Alabama Medical Center. 
1. An Accident/Incident Report must be completed by the student employee’s
supervisor within 72 hours of an on-the-job injury. For this reason, an on-the-job
injury must be reported immediately to the student’s supervisor. The supervisor
will forward the completed form to USA’s Risk Management Office, CSAB 216 and a copy of the form to the Office of Enrollment Services, Meisler Hall, Suite
2400. The Employee Accident/Incident Report Form is located on the website at
www.southalabama.edu/hr/applicationforms.html.
2. All claims for property damage and/or medical expenses not paid by the
University or the student’s insurance, may be filed by the student with the State
Board of Adjustment. Approval by the State Board of Adjustment is based upon
an investigation of the accident by University officials and a determination by the
State Board that the accident occurred while on the job.
A letter explaining the State Board's claim filing procedures and requirements along with
the appropriate claim forms can be obtained by the student employee at USA’s Office of
Risk Management, CSAB 216.
Students who suffer an injury in the scope of their student employment may receive
prompt treatment in the emergency room of USA Medical Center and may, if justified, be
eligible for up to three days of leave without pay, normally not to exceed 12 hours.
Additional unpaid leave may be taken if approved by the Division Head and reported to
the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services.
VIII. Full-time Employment
The IRS has announced, through a private letter ruling, that student employees who are
enrolled less than half-time (less than three hours graduate or six hours undergraduate)
are subject to FICA taxes. To comply with this ruling, student employees' enrollment
status will be verified each payroll period. 
IX. Graduation
A student who is currently employed as a student assistant at the time of graduation from
the University may continue to work for one semester immediately following graduation
in the current student assistant job. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services. International students cannot work
after graduation due to immigration laws. 
X. Voluntary Services
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, prohibits a covered employer
(including educational institutions) from accepting voluntary services from any paid
employee. Therefore, students must not be allowed to work more hours than their
maximum limitations as established at the time of appointment and must be paid for all
hours worked. Students must be paid for all work performed. Voluntary services should
not be permitted.
XI. Pay Policy and Procedure
Student employees must be paid through normal student personnel/payroll procedures
initiated by completing the appropriate student personnel action papers. Students should
not be paid by a requisition. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services. Students are paid every two weeks. Payroll
authorization (time sheets) must be signed by the student and supervisor (except for offcampus work-study STAY students) and received by the Payroll Office before 9:00 a.m.
on Monday before payday. Changes to the timesheet deadline will be posted on the
Payroll website www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/calendar.html.
Student assistants must have direct deposit and check stubs will be mailed to the
department. See Section IV for the mandatory direct deposit for paychecks requirement.
www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/directdepositform.pdf.
Students unable to work because of a natural disaster or other causes beyond their control
will not be paid for lost work. The students may be allowed to make up the lost work
during the semester at the discretion of the supervisor.
XII. Supervision
The employing department must provide sufficient staff to adequately supervise the work
performed by student employees, set work schedules including starting and ending time,
arrange for absences when necessary, see that pay procedures are followed, and in
general ensure that a reasonable work relationship is developed and maintained between
the student employee and the department. Students are not allowed to work at home. All
work must be conducted under departmental supervision.
XIII. Grievance
Student employees may use the grievance procedure to seek redress of grievances arising
out of terms or conditions of student employment. A student employee having a
complaint or grievance should first discuss the matter orally with the immediate
supervisor within ten working days after the incident. The supervisor should consider the
grievant's request and render an oral decision within five working days of the discussion.
Failing satisfactory adjustment from the supervisor, the aggrieved student employee shall,
within five working days following receipt of the supervisor's decision, reduce the
grievance to writing stating (1) the facts of the case, (2) the nature of the complaint, and
(3) the adjustment desired. The written grievance shall be presented to the department
head who shall give a written response to the grievant within five working days. (NOTE:
if the department head is the immediate supervisor, initial grievance may be oral,
followed by a written grievance to the dean or director). Failing satisfactory adjustment
from the department head, the aggrieved employee shall, within five working days after
receipt of the department head's response, present the written grievance to the appropriate
dean or director who shall render a written statement to the grievant within five working
days. If satisfactory adjustment is not forthcoming from the dean or director, the grievant
shall, within five working days after receiving the dean's or director's response, submit
the grievance to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student
Affairs shall thoroughly investigate the case and render a written answer within ten
working days. Work-Study students should follow the same grievance procedure as
student assistants. Rather than submit the grievance to the Vice President for Student
Affairs, the grievance should first be presented to the coordinator of the Work-Study
program. The case shall be investigated thoroughly and presented to the chief student personnel officer. A written answer shall be rendered to the aggrieved employee within
ten working days. XIV. Terminations
Student employees are considered to serve at the pleasure of the University and are "at
will" employees. In the event that need arises to terminate a student employee, the
supervisor should discuss with the student the on-the-job problem and corrective action
necessary to maintain job and appropriate time-line to correct problems before
termination. Proper documentation supporting any or all disciplinary actions should be
maintained by the department. Their employment must not violate Affirmative
Action/Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations. The filing and resolution of
grievances shall be done in accordance with the terms of Section XIII of this policy. In
cases involving student misconduct, the matter will be referred to the University
Disciplinary Committee for adjudication as outlined in the Student Handbook. The
University reserves the right to suspend the student employee job related activity without
pay pending the outcome of the University Disciplinary Committee hearing process. In
terminations involving students on the Work-Study program, the supervisor will
complete the evaluation sheet to be returned with the termination papers.
XV. Summary
The basic guidelines for student employees are:
1. As hourly employees, student assistants must be paid only for hours actually
worked. 
2. The hourly pay rate should not normally exceed the current minimum wage by
more than $2.15 per hour.
3. Student assistants are limited to a 20 hour week when classes are meeting. If a
student holds more than one student assistant job, the total maximum hours to
work between the jobs is 30 hours per week when classes are meeting.
International students cannot work more than 20 hours a week during fall and
spring semesters.
4. Student assistants must be enrolled at least half-time, be a degree seeking
student and must be at least 18 years of age.
5. Student assistants must meet Department of Labor and Immigration
regulations.
6. University policy and state laws regarding nepotism must be followed.
7. Any modification or deviation from these guidelines must be approved by the
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services. 
8. This policy must be reviewed with the student at the time of employment.
9. Student assistants may work (maximum 40 hours/week) and not be enrolled for
one semester each academic year (Fall-Summer). This does not apply to
international students during the fall and spring semesters.
10. Student assistants who are working and not enrolled at the University are not
eligible to utilize the Student Health Services and are not exempt from FICA.
11. Students enrolled less than half-time are subject to FICA taxes.
12. All new employees are required by the provisions of the Immigration and
Reform and Control Act of 1982, to complete a government form I-9. Complete information including the I-9 New Hire Notification form is located at:
www.southalabama.edu/financialaffairs/payrollaccounting/i9.html

 
     
University of South Alabama