Sac State University Policy Manual

Student Employment Policies and Procedures

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Student Affairs
Authority: PM SA 06-01
Effective Date: January 11, 2006
Index Cross-References:

Policy File Number:  STU-0117




  • Introduction


The policies and operating procedures for the employment of students were originally recommended by the Student Employment Task Force and ap­proved by the President in December, 1988.  Revised policies and operating procedures are now under the jurisdiction of the Vice President for Student Affairs.  These policies apply to Sacramento State campus student employees, not covered by Collective Bargaining Agreement. Graduate Assistant (GA), and Teaching Associate (TA) are not governed by the Student Employment Policies and Procedures.  GAs, TAs, and Instructional Student Assistant (ISA) are covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  For ISA:  If this policy and the terms of the Bargaining Agreement conflict, the Bargaining Agreement prevails. Contact Human Resources for further information. These policies do not apply for those employed by University Enterprises Inc., Associated Students Inc. (ASI), or other campus auxiliary organizations.


Student Employment at Sacramento State is intended to provide a vehicle for students to work part-time while they are in school, and to gain valuable experience related to their edu­cational goals.   The purpose is also to assist them with financial support during the period when they are in school.


Student employees are defined as Student Assistants (SA), Bridge Student Assistants (BSA), Federal Work Study Student Assistants (FWS), Campus Work Program Student Assistants (CWP) and Student-Non Resident Alien (NRA).


  • Minimum Requirements for Student Employment


    • Student Employees must meet the following requirements for eligibility:


      • Matriculated students who are currently enrolled in a regular academic session (semester) as new or continuing students in good standing (i.e., not on academic probation, continued probation, academic dismissal, disciplinary action) with a semester and an overall grade point average of at least 2.00 for undergraduates or 3.00 for graduate students, and have at least half-time status (undergraduate level=6 units, graduate level=4 units);



      • Continuing students who have completed the prior semester or who are registered for the subsequent semester;




      • Graduate students who have completed their first semester of Culminating Experience such as thesis or project may maintain enrollment for that work for a second through fourth semester either by registering for credit-earning units or through a College of Continuing Education (CCE) 599 course with the appropriate departmental designation (i.e. HIST 599), for 0 units and paying the appropriate fee per semester;




      • Students enrolled in a jointly sponsored degree or credential granting program where courses are offered both through the regular University or CCE and the students meet the unit and GPA requirement listed in II.A.1. Credential programs are defined as programs that offer credentials through the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


    • International Students. International Students holding F1 or J1 visas must secure approval of the Office of Global Education in order to be eligible for the Student Employment Program.


    • Federal Work Study or Campus Work Program Students. Eligibility for employment as a Federal Work-Study or Campus Work Program student is estab­lished by the Office of Financial Aid and subject to Federal Work-Study Guidelines which take precedence.


    • Students enrolled in only Extension, Open University, Intersession, Cross Over Program (enrolled at a Community College and allowed to register for units at Sacramento State), Special High School Admits (high school student and allowed to register for units at Sacramento State) and/or Summer Extension/Open University (through CCE) programs are not eligible for student employment. Exceptions are students who are enrolled in a jointly sponsored degree or credential granting program where courses are offered through the regular University or CCE. (see II.A.4 above).


    • If not enrolled in subsequent semester, a student may work until the day before the first day of the spring semester and the day before the first day of fall semester classes for spring enrollment.  Upon fall graduation, students are eligible to work as a Student Assistant until the day before the first day of the spring semester.  Upon spring graduation, students are eligible to work as a Bridge Student Assistant until the day before the first day of fall semester classes. Graduating students who are employed with Federal Work Study funds are not allowed to work beyond the last official day of the semester of graduation.


  • Definition of Student Employee Classifications

The purpose of these Student Employment Classifications is to meet the Internal Revenue Services guidelines concerning student assistant employment. The category from which a student employee is paid is determined by the funding source.  

The appointment and time sheet process is different for each of the classifications.  Please refer to the Human Resources Payroll Office’s website for more information:


    • Student Assistant. Student Assistant (SA) classification is used during the academic year and the summer semester (YRO).  Employment is governed by the Student Employment Policies established within the University and the CSU system. Student Assistants are funded from University resources whether it is General fund, Lottery fund, Parking fund, etc. Student Assistant employees are excluded from Social Security and Medicare withholding.  Student Assistant may earn an indefinite amount during the fiscal year.


    • Bridge Student Assistant. Bridge Student Assistant (BSA) is used primarily during the summer, if the student is not enrolled for the summer semester (YRO) or during the academic year, if the student assistant is enrolled in less than half time status (undergraduate level=6 units, graduate level=4 units). Using the Bridge classification does not automatically authorize a student assistant to work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Student employees who fall within the Bridge classification must contribute to the Part-time, Seasonal & Temporary Employees Retirement Plan (PST) and Medicare.


    • Federal Work Study/Campus Work Program. Federal Work Study (FWS) and Campus Work Program (CWP) classifications are used during the academic year. Federal Work Study and Campus Work Program employment is governed by the Federal Work Study policies established by the University and the CSU system, and must be in accordance with Federal regulations. Federal Work Study student employees are funded primarily by Federal Work Study dollars via the Financial Aid Office. Funding for the Campus Work Program student employees comes from the fees paid by students each semester. FWS and CWP Student Assistant employees are excluded from Social Security and Medicare withholding.  FWS/CWP Student Assistants may earn up to the maximum FWS/CWP eligibility established for the individual student by the Financial Aid Office.  They may be employed as a Student Assistant when their allocation has been exhausted.


    • Non-Resident Alien. The “Student–Nonresident Alien Tax Status” classification (code 1868) has been established in the CSU to help campuses meet federal tax compliance requirements in order to accommodate federal tax withholding requirements as appropriate.  This classification is used year-round while the student remains in a nonresident alien tax status. Appointments to the Student–Nonresident Alien Tax Status classification are exempt from FICA.


  • Hiring Policies


    • Administration of the Sacramento State Student Employment Pro­gram shall be in accordance with good man­agement principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.


    • All Sacramento State student employment (SA, BSA, FWS, CWP and NRA) is dependent upon the mutual consent of the University and the student employee.  All student employees serve at the will of the University, therefore, the University or the student employee can, at any time, terminate the employment relationship at will, with or without cause.  If the student employee is terminated by the university, they may meet with his or her supervisor to ask for reconsideration, but the supervisor is not required to state a cause for termination.


    • Student employees cannot be employed in more than one employment classification simultaneously (i.e. student assistant, graduate assistant, teaching associates, campus work program, federal work study, etc.) without prior approval from the Office of Academic Affairs or Human Resources in cases of dual appointments in the TA, GA and ISA classifications governed by the Unit 11 Bargaining Agreement.  Concurrent employment in Student Assistant and Staff/Faculty classifications is not allowed.


    • The individual program centers are respon­sible for the monitoring and implementation of the classifica­tion and salary aspects of this policy. Level Characteristics for Student Employment are found on at Human Resources Payroll Office’s website for more information: Pay rates are meant to provide consistency for all Sacramento State departments.  Hiring units must meet minimum pay rates for each level.  Pay sched­ules in auxiliary operations/organizations may differ.



    • The employing unit is accountable for monitor­ing employment levels and pay rates for com­pliance with the standards established herein.  It is recommended that students employed by Sacramento State for the first time be placed at the beginning rate of the pay range for the appropriate employment level. However, if in the judgment of the employing unit, the student has gained skills and experience relevant to the job through previous employment, then the student may be placed at a higher rate of pay within the range.


    • Student employees are covered by Workers' Compensation. They do not accrue sick leave, vacation credit, holiday pay or unemployment benefits.  Student employment is a temporary employ­ment status within Sacramento State. Therefore, no state service credit is accrued.



    • A Student Employment Payroll Transaction Form (SEPTF), original Social Security Card, and for Federal Work Study and Campus Work Program students, a Federal Work Study/Campus Work Program Referral Form must be delivered by the student to the Human Resources Payroll Office prior to the first day of work. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Payroll staff may require students to complete additional payroll forms.


  • Work Schedules


    • A student work week is defined as 12:01 A.M. Sunday through 12:00 A.M. the following Sunday (12:00 midnight the following Saturday).


    • Student employees may be scheduled to work up to 8 hours per day; and may work up to six consecutive days regardless of work week.


    • During the academic year when classes are in session, including finals week, student employees may work up twenty (20) hours per week. International students (i.e., Student-Non-Resident Alien classification) may also work up to twenty (20) hours per week.


    • Student employees working as a Student Assistant may work up to 40 hours per week during Winter Intersession and Spring Break.  They do not need to be placed in the Bridge Classification for this period.


    • Student em­ployees may work up to forty (40) hours per week as BSA when school is not in session (i.e., summer). Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), Bridge Student Assistants are designated as non-exempt employees and must, therefore, be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work week.


    • Student employees may work in more than one department unless FWS or CWP.  However, the supervisors are responsible for monitoring combined work hours to ensure the total work hours do not exceed eight (8) hours per day, twenty (20) hours per week when school is in session and/or forty (40) hours per week during Summer Session as BSA, Winter Intersession and Spring Break.


    • Breaks. Supervisors are responsible for the assignment of regular work schedule(s), including assigning appropriate breaks. Students working more than six (6) hours in one day are required by law to take a half-hour unpaid lunch break within a five (5) hour work period. For every four (4) consecutive hours worked, students are entitled to a 15-minute rest period in the middle of the 4-hour work period.


    • For exceptions, refer to Section IX.


  • Pay Rate Adjustments


Pay rate increases must be effective on the eleventh of the month (first day of a pay period) and are not valid until approval has been received from Student Affairs.


    • Merit Salary Increase. After a student has worked a minimum of 300 hours in the same position and same department, the supervisor may recommend a pay rate increase. All pay rate increases are at the discretion of the employing unit, and are dependent upon the unit's budgetary resources. The supervisor is responsible for forwarding the request to the Office of Vice President of Student Affairs for action.


    • Promotion to Next Level. If a student employee is assigned duties with a higher level of responsibility or diffi­culty, the student must be placed at the appropriate pay level for the work that is performed.  A request must be submitted with new duties stated and forwarded to the Office of Vice President of Student Affairs for action.


  • Payroll Information


    • Provided that time sheets and other documents are submitted correctly by the established due dates, pay warrants will be issued to student employees according to the Student Assistant Pay Calendar.


    • Direct Deposit is not currently available to student employees.


  • Performance Evaluation


Student Employees are subject to similar regu­lations as those which exist for regular work­force regarding violations of department/school work rules (e.g., poor performance, insubordi­nation, absenteeism, dishonesty, theft, sub­stance abuse, misuse of university property, etc.), and may be disciplined accordingly.


  • Exceptions


Requests for any of the following exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis and must be submitted to either the Office of Academic Affairs or Human Resources Office as noted below at least five (5) working days prior to possible employment. Concurrent employment in Student Assistant and Staff/Faculty classifications is not allowed.


    • Human Resources:


      • All requests for exception for students classified as Instructional Student Assistant.


      • Working in more than one employment classification (concurrent   employment in a regular student assistant and Unit 11 classification).


    • Academic Affairs:


      • Falling below the minimum grade point average (2.0 for undergraduates or 3.0 for graduates) requirement, or not in good academic standing.


      • Falling below the minimum unit requirement (6 undergraduate level or 4 graduate level).


      • Working in excess of eight (8) hours per day.


      • Working more than twenty (20) hours per week on a short term basis.

Approved by Alexander Gonzalez, President

October 2, 2008