Student Employment Policy
PIM Number: 15
Dated: November 2, 2023
Category: Employment and Staffing
Contact: Student Employment Coordinator – Ext. 7-0671 and Director of Talent Acquisition - Ext. 7-0670
To define on-campus student employment for undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte). Student employees are not expected to exceed twenty-nine (29) hours per week in either a single or multiple assignment(s). However, in some circumstances where a department requires, or permits, a student to work thirty (30) or more hours a week, affected students will be offered health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. They will become ineligible for the 7.65% FICA student exemption. The hiring department will be responsible for these additional costs.
To encourage the use of on-campus student employment as a means to supplement the academic experience by providing opportunities to develop job-related skills and/or competencies through campus work experience.
For hiring managers who wish to hire students interested in on-campus work as a student employee — defined as Federal Work Study, Student Temporary Wage, and Graduate Assistants (Teaching and Research). Graduate Assistantships are administered through the Graduate School. For more information as regards the Graduate School’s policies and procedures, please visit the following link:
The Chancellor, Provost, and Vice Chancellors are responsible for ensuring the student employment program is administered on a non-discriminatory basis.
Temporary Hiring Managers are the student hiring authorities and are responsible for: communicating on-campus employment opportunities to UNC Charlotte students; identifying appropriate job duties, competencies, and position responsibilities; advertising job posting(s) via Hire-a-Niner - the University Career Center’s job posting site; screening, interviewing, and selecting student candidates; preparing and submitting the required forms for student employment before the student begins the work assignment; directing international students to the International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) for employment eligibility verification; determining appropriate and equitable student employee pay rates and/or length of assignment; completing reference checks; requesting criminal background checks, if applicable; reviewing work performance and student employee relations matters, as appropriate; approving student timesheet(s) within established payroll deadlines; and providing timely notification to the Graduate School and/or Human Resources as regards assignment change(s), discontinuation(s) and/or termination(s).
The Director of Financial Aid, or designee(s), is responsible for ensuring the financial aid program is administered on a non-discriminatory basis and that all necessary components are in place to enable an effective Federal Work Study program. In collaboration with Human Resources, designated Financial Aid staff are responsible for administering the student employment policy in conjunction with Temporary Hiring Managers and students through consultation and oversight of all Federal Work Study program areas, including: communication; procedures; employee and manager training; and program evaluation.
The Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, or designee(s), is responsible for ensuring the student employment program is administered on a non-discriminatory basis, and all necessary components are in place to enable an effective program. Designated Human Resources staff, in collaboration with the Graduate School, International Student and Scholar Office, and Financial Aid, are responsible for administering the student employment policy in conjunction with Temporary Hiring Managers and students through consultation and oversight of all program areas, including: communication; procedures; employee and manager training; and program evaluation. Student Employment training is part of the required training program for staff development.
The Dean of the Graduate School, or designee(s), is responsible for ensuring the Graduate Assistantship program is administered on a non-discriminatory basis, and all necessary components are in place for an effective Graduate Assistantship program. Designated Graduate School staff, in collaboration with the International Student and Scholar Office and Human Resources, are responsible for administering the student employment policy in conjunction with Temporary Hiring Managers and students by providing consultation and oversight of all program areas, including: communication; procedures; financial management; graduate student training; and program evaluation.
Student employees are responsible for: ensuring that applications are completed online for any/all positions of interest within the job posting period; completing employment eligibility documents with Human Resources or ISSO (for international students) to verify employment eligibility before the first day of employment; completing work assignments as instructed by the Temporary Hiring Manager; recording/reporting all hours worked via Web Time Entry/Banner Self Service (hourly employees) by the established payroll calendar deadlines, and notifying supervisor of any necessary changes to work schedules. Student employees who are paid at a flat rate are not required to report hours worked.
Note: International students with F-1 or J-1 visa status, who are enrolled in academic courses, may work on-campus up to twenty (20) hours per week during the academic term and up to forty (40) hours per week during summer break. A social security number is required for payroll and tax withholding purposes.
E. Student Employee Definitions:
Graduate Assistantship: Awarded by academic departments to graduate students for teaching (TA) or research (RA) assignments to enhance the educational experience through degree-related work opportunities and to enable student financial support. For these reasons, these positions are not considered as ‘employees’ under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Graduate assistantships are generally awarded a determined amount to be distributed over a designated work period. Graduate students may hold more than one (1) assistantship concurrently. For more information as regards the Graduate School’s policies and procedures, please visit the following link:
Student Temporary Wage: An undergraduate or graduate student who seeks on-campus work in any capacity for university departments or offices. The hiring department is responsible for funding the student payroll through its operational budget, non-state funding, discretionary funds, and/or grants. Students may hold more than one (1) job (Student Temp Wage, Graduate Assistantship, or Federal Work-Study).
The University Professional Internship Program (UPIP) is a program under the Student Temporary Wage designation. The department is responsible for funding half of the student payroll through its operational budget, non-state funding, discretionary funds, or grants, with the other half supplemented by the University Career Center with prior approval. For information about this program, please visit the following link: https://career.charlotte.edu/faculty/upip.
Federal Work Study: An undergraduate or graduate student who has applied for, and been awarded, a Federal Work Study Program grant. Eligibility is determined by Financial Aid and requires a student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application each year. If determined to be eligible for program participation, a student is awarded a set amount of money for the academic year/semester and paid an hourly rate until all money is exhausted and/or the term ends. Any unearned award funding reverts to Financial Aid. A Federal Work Study student may work in any capacity for university departments and/or offices. Federal Work Study students may only hold one (1) Federal Work-Study job. May also hold a Student Temporary Wage or Graduate Assistantship simultaneously. Additionally, please note that Federal Work Study students may not perform work during scheduled class time(s), even if class(es) have been canceled. Pending funding availability, Federal Work Study students may work during the summer months if not enrolled in summer courses.
Student Stipend: An undergraduate or graduate student who works in any capacity for university departments and/or offices. Student Stipend positions are paid a flat rate and do not require weekly time records. Stipend payments may only be available for certain types of jobs. Prior authorization must be received from the Student Employment Coordinator before permitting a student to work. Examples of student stipend positions include: Residence Advisors, UTOP Mentors, and SOAR Representatives. The hiring department is responsible for funding the student payroll through its operational budget, non-state funding, discretionary funds, or grants. Students may hold more than one (1) job (Student Temp Wage, Graduate Assistantship, or Federal Work-Study).
A student may not be employed in a unit, department, or division where a family member exercises direct supervisory responsibility and/or influence over the work unit, including: a family member‘s employment, transfer, promotion, salary administration, or other related management or personnel considerations.
Students are not eligible for State benefits and are not eligible to participate in any optional deduction programs. Student employees may become eligible for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act if required, or permitted, to work thirty (30) or more hours a week or if determined to work thirty (30) or more hours a week during the lookback period. However, all student employees are hired as variable part-time workers at the time of hire.
H. Job Postings:
All on-campus student employment opportunities must be advertised through Hire-A-Niner to allow any interested students to apply. Departments can advertise or have an application process on their site, but a formal job posting should be posted on Hire-A-Niner with a proper link directing the applicant to their website.
All new student employees shall complete all required new hire paperwork through the Student Employment Office or ISSO (for international students) to verify employment eligibility before the first day of employment. Students who perform services that constitute an employee-employer relationship must be paid in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act. Students who perform services in support of a University department may not be considered volunteers or compensated through scholarship, stipend, or as an independent contractor.
All student employment will comply with Equal Employment, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
I. Student Pay Status:
Hourly – Students are paid an hourly rate and record all hours worked on an electronic timesheet via Web Time Entry. Hourly employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis. The standard timekeeping period runs from Sunday through Saturday.
Stipend - Students are paid a fixed sum of money on a determined periodic basis for services or defrayed expenses. The fact that remuneration is termed a "fee" or "stipend" rather than salary or wages is immaterial. Wages are generally subject to employment taxes and should be reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Stipend payments for Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships are paid twice monthly.
J. Direct Deposit:
Direct deposit is required for all employees. All student employees shall be advised to enroll in all direct deposit types rather than Refund Only.
K. FICA Exemption:
Student employees are eligible for exemption from FICA tax deductions if they meet the minimum number of credit hours, as indicated in the table below. Students shall immediately become ineligible for work as a Federal Work Study employee if enrolled credit hours drop below the required minimums. Undergraduate students who enroll in less than twelve (12) hours for the fall and spring terms shall not receive the FICA exemption. Graduate students who enroll in less than nine (9) credit hours for the fall and spring terms shall not receive the FICA exemption. Graduate students enrolled in Thesis Only shall receive the FICA exemption.
Hiring departments shall plan to allocate appropriate funding for the additional costs of 6.2% for Social Security Tax and 1.45% for Medicare (7.65% total) if a student employee is not enrolled as a full-time student.
|Academic Term||Undergraduate Minimum Registered Hours||Graduate Minimum Registered Hours|
During the summer, student workers who do not maintain full-time enrollment, or are not enrolled in summer courses, will not receive the FICA exemption.
If a hiring department requires a student employee to work during the winter break (when the University is closed), it must obtain prior approval from the Student Employment Coordinator.
L. Summer Employment:
To be eligible for work on a student assignment during the summer, an employee shall have been enrolled for the spring term and the upcoming fall term. Newly admitted students may work on a student assignment during the summer if enrolled in a summer course during their employment. For example, if enrolled in the first summer session, they may begin work on the first day of class. If a student is not registered until the second summer session, eligibility for student employment may begin on the first day of that session.
The University's minimum wage is $10 per hour. Should a supervisor wish to change a student's hourly rate, a Temporary Employment Change Request form shall be completed and submitted to the Student Employment office for review and approval. Pay increases of up to 5% may be requested for additional duties, with pay rate requests for students returning to the same job limited to 2%. All approved rate increases shall be effective in the next pay cycle. Please note that pay rate increases may not be made retroactive.
Departments may also develop a compensation plan with the initial review and approval of Human Resources.
Please note that student employees are eligible to earn overtime compensation at the approved hourly rate x 1.5 if permitted to work more than forty (40) hours a week. Hiring departments are advised to monitor student work hours - especially if a student holds more than one (1) position - to ensure that forty (40) hours of work are not exceeded in any given work week.
Timesheets are due at the end of each pay period the student works. After the two-week cycle closes, the student shall submit all hours worked by hours no later than the close of business on the following Monday. The supervisor shall review/approve the timesheet by no later than the close of business on Wednesday to ensure student employees receive paychecks on Friday of the following week.
Work without the prior approval of the supervisor and/or “off the clock” is prohibited. Timesheets not approved by the aforementioned deadlines shall follow the late timesheet protocol. Please contact your business officer and/or payroll for instructions.
O. Position Type Determination:
All job descriptions are subject to review/approval by Human Resources. A determination as to the FLSA designation of a student employee shall be rendered based on the specific job description as assigned and/or duties as described rather than the job title. Students who perform work assignments unrelated to the University’s /instructional/research mission shall be regarded as employees and governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act regulations.
P. Termination of Employment:
A student worker who is no longer actively working shall be separated from the University payroll by submitting a Temporary Employment Change Request Form and a Student Evaluation. When a student worker separates from employment, the supervisor is responsible for submitting all necessary paperwork to ensure timely review and processing by the Student Employment Coordinator.
Q. Audit Requirements:
All departmental student employment records are subject to audit by the University's Internal Auditor and/or external auditors. All hours submitted on the student's timesheet shall reflect the hours worked on the indicated dates. Timesheets that misrepresent actual time worked may expose the University to serious and/or severe penalties under state and federal law. Such misrepresentation, either by the student or supervisor, is strictly prohibited.
PIM Number: 15
PIM Category: Staff Employment