The purpose of this policy statement is to advise student employees and their supervisors on appropriate hiring and employment practices.

I. Student Employment Eligibility

  • A student employee must be enrolled for at least six credits at Western Oregon University or another qualifying institution during any term that coincides with the period of employment.
    • Qualifying institutions include but are not limited to:
      • High school
      • Community College
      • Public/Private College or University
    • Documentation from the qualifying institution must be delivered to the Human Resources Office and is required every term by the end of the fourth week of classes.
      • Chemeketa students are required to obtain an Enrollment Verification from the Enrollment Center at Chemeketa.
    • Foreign students, on non-immigrant visas, must maintain full-time enrollment status (12 credits for undergraduates, 9 for graduates) at all times to qualify for student employment. Acceptions can be granted by the Office of International Education.
    • Students working as a Graduate Assistant are subject to the rules and policies administered by the Office of Graduate Studies. Students are unable to work in any other WOU position while serving as a Graduate Assistant.
  • Students must be authorized to work in the United States.

II. Hiring Student Employees

  • University faculty or staff who supervise student employees should contact Human Resources to receive training prior to hiring/supervising student employees.
  • Supervisors who wish to hire a student employee must use WolfLink to post all open positions.
  • Supervisors should refer to the Student Employment Checklist for Supervisors to complete all of the necessary actions and paperwork related to hiring student employees.
  • At the time of hiring, supervisors must provide student employees with student employment paperwork:
    • Student Employment Authorization
    • Student Employee Information
    • Student Employment Agreement
    • Direct Deposit (optional)
    • W-4
    • I-9 (ID Verification Required)
  • Student employees must visit the Human Resources Office (third floor of the Administration Building) to return required paperwork. The student will then return the completed Student Employment Authorization form to their supervisor to be kept with student personnel records BEFORE the student employee can begin work or training.
  • Departments are required to adhere to all employment practices, rules, and policies. Any fines charged to the university due to non-compliant policy violations will be charged to the responsible department.
    • The administration observes the same non-discrimination practices for student employees as required for other employees. Departments shall ensure that all affirmative action and other institutional policies are followed when hiring student employees.
    • Students are not allowed to work in a department where a conflict of interest or perceived conflict could be construed (i.e. student could not be supervised by partner).
  • Background checks for students will be administered by the Office of Human Resources. Costs for background checks for students will be the responsibility of the requesting department.

III. Student Employment Practices

20 Hours per Week

  • Students must not allow their work schedule to interfere with their coursework and applicable requirements. The administration believes that working while attending WOU can be a valuable part of the total educational experience. However, it is the institutional policy that students do not work more than an average of 20 hours per week within any 30 day period.
    • Written approval to work up to 30 hours per week can be attained by the student from the Vice President for Student Affairs Office. Such approval must be renewed each term the student wishes to exceed 20 hours per week.
      • International students may not exceed 20 working hours per week per the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to keep their supervisors informed of their total work schedule and should monitor their work hours so as to not exceed 20 hours per week.

Working during Academic Breaks

  • Students may work up to 40 hours per week during academic breaks which include the winter holiday break and spring break.
  • It is the institution’s policy that graduating students will be allowed to work through the term of graduation, including the subsequent break with their final day of work being on or prior to the day before the next term’s classes begin. The Academic Calendar can be found here.

Free Term

  • A student can work for one term per calendar year without meeting enrollment requirements.
  • When a student requests to use free term, the supervisor must alert Human Resources to be sure the student meets requirements, and so HR may note the Student Employment Verification page within the Portal when the free term was taken for the academic year.
  • Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours during free term.
  • If they select summer term, and are not enrolled for the fall term (for any reason other than graduation), their final day of work must be on or prior to the day before fall classes begin.
  • If they select spring term, they cannot work again the following summer unless they meet enrollment requirements.
  • Only students who met enrollment requirements in the term immediately prior are eligible to use a free term.


Winter Break

  • Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week during winter break. If they do not meet enrollment requirements for winter term, their final day of work must be on or prior to the day before winter classes begin.

Spring Break

  • Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week during spring break. If they do not meet enrollment requirements for spring term, their final day of work must be on or prior to the day before spring classes begin.

Summer Break

  • Students graduating in June must be re-admitted to school before working in the summer as a student. They are allowed to work up to the day before summer term classes begin. Their final day of work must be on or prior to the day before summer classes begin.
  • A student graduating at the end of summer term can work up to the day before fall classes begin.

Work Breaks

Students working a shift of four successive hours are entitled to a paid, 15 minute rest break.

  • Students working more than six successive hours are required to take at least an unpaid, one half hour lunch break.
  • Linked is a table outlining break requirements, and more information on work breaks is available on the BOLI website.

35 Day Rule

  • If a new employee begins work between the 10th and the 25th of any month, the department must submit a 35 Day Rule roster to the Human Resources Office by the 35 Day Rule by the due date.
    • 35 Day Rule checks will be ready by the 10th of the following month. Students can find their pay stub in Wolf Web to determine if the check is ready earlier (see “How to find your Pay Stub”).
    • Direct Deposit is not an option for 35 Day Rule checks.

Driving in Performance of Work Duties

  • All employees who drive state or personal vehicles for WOU business must be cleared by Campus Public Safety (CPS) to drive. Employees needing authorization must fill out a Vehicle Authorization form.
    • Employees driving personal vehicles must also complete a Private Auto Certificate of Insurance form (contact CPS).
    • A new form must be filled out if you change insurance companies while driving personal vehicles for WOU business.
  • All employees driving a state van transporting one or more persons must fill out the Vehicle Authorization form and complete the OSU Motor Pool Van Safety Test.
  • All employees who drive a golf cart or utility vehicle for their work must fill out the Vehicle Authorization form and complete the Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle form.
  • Students may not drive for any WOU event until they have verbal authorization from CPS. CPS is available 24/7 via phone at 503-838-8481.

Accidents on the Job

  • Student employees may be covered by SAIF for any injuries sustained while working. Any injury should be reported to the supervisor immediately. A Form 801 must be filled out if the employee sees a doctor and MUST be turned in within 24 hours of the incident.. An Occupational Injury Report form should be filled out with a supervisor within 24 hours if an injury occurs but no outside medical care is obtained. All forms must be submitted to the Human Resources Office.

IV. Payment Information

  • Students are paid on a monthly basis with the pay periods falling from the 11th of the month prior to payday to the 10th of the current month (i.e. payday on May 31st includes hours worked from April 11th to May 10th).
    • Departments must submit Payroll Rosters to Human Resources (via email) by noon on the 12th or next business day.
    • Students who elect to pick up paychecks from the Human Resources Office (3rd floor of the Administration Building) must show picture ID to receive paychecks. Paychecks and/or payroll information will not be given to anyone other than the employee.
    • Payroll checks cannot be mailed to an on-campus address.
    • Timesheets, filled out by students, must be kept until the student leaves the department.
      • Once the student leaves the department, their employee file (timesheets, application(s), performance reviews) must be kept by the department for 5 years after employee separation. 
  • Federal Work Study can be used to pay a student so long as the student received a work study allocation and the department has work study funds available.
  • If a student works for two different departments, the student must communicate between the two department supervisors regarding how to share work study funds.
    • Work Study may not be used between commencement and June 30th.
  • Student overtime (over 40 hours per week) will be paid by the department creating the overtime at time and one half the student’s regular hourly rate. It is the department’s responsibility to know if their student employees are working at more than one department on campus. Students will only be allowed to work 40 hours per week during breaks, summer session, and Free Term. The work week is calculated Sunday through Saturday for overtime purposes.
  • Use of Educational Activity Stipend
    • The Educational Activity Stipend (EAS) is geared toward providing students in paraprofessional positions some financial support. These positions often have an educational aspect and consist of campus leadership positions. Normal office functions and other common service positions do not qualify. While these positions are calculated based on time, they often require varying hours each week.
    • Students receiving stipends are not employees of Western Oregon University for any purpose, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, minimum wage or any other law and policy. The relationship between the University and students receiving a stipend is that of school and student and not of employer and employee.
    • Their stipends are paid through the HRIS/Payroll system requiring necessary payroll documents per the checklists.

V. Departing or Terminating Students

  • There may come a time in which students may be terminated due to deficient work, insufficient budgets, or the student chooses to leave for a variety of reasons.
    • Students are “at-will” employees thereby are subject to termination with or without cause, at any time, at the option of WOU or the employee.
    • Documentation must be maintained in the student personnel file specifying the business reason for termination.
  • Students separating from WOU as a student due to medical withdrawal may continue working through the end of the term of withdrawal.
  • If a student is terminated or resigns, a final roster must be submitted to Human Resources ASAP.
    • If a student is terminated by the department, final pay is due on the last day worked.
    • If a student resigns with greater than 48 hours notice, final pay is due on the last day worked.
    • If a student resigns with less than 48 hours notice, final pay is due within five (5) business days.

VI. Leave

Oregon Sick Leave for Students
  • Students may accrue up to 80 hours per fiscal year but are only allowed to roll 40 hours into a new year. A fiscal year is July 1st to June 30th of the following calendar year.
    • Students paid using work study funds will not accrue or use sick leave for hours worked.
  • Students may use previously accrued sick leave for qualifying absences regardless of position. Students must work with their supervisors to determine proper protocol for use of sick leave in the department.
  • Students earn 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.  To check sick leave balance, refer to the student employment verification page on the portal.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Students are considered eligible for FMLA if they have worked 1,250 hours over the past 12 months (approx. 24 hours per week).
  • Students who wish to obtain additional information on using FMLA can contact the Human Resources Office via phone (503-838-8490) or by visiting the office on the third floor of the Administration Building during work hours (M – F: 8am – 5pm).

VII. Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)

  • FICA includes Social Security and Medicare taxes levied on both the employee and the employer (unless employees are not subject to such taxes.
  • Student employees who work less than 40 hours per week while attending classes are not subject to FICA withholdings.
  • For breaks exceeding five weeks (summer break), IRS guidelines state that students are not eligible for FICA exemptions (excludes international students). During the summer months (July – September), students will automatically have Social Security (6.2% of gross pay) and Medicare (1.42% of gross pay) taxes withheld.


35 Day Rule: New employees must be paid within 35 days from the time that said employee begins their employment per ORS 652.120(2).

Employment: Any activity for which a student receives money paid for work or a service. Payment must be made through the Human Resources Office.

FICA: Taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) are composed of the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance taxes, also known as social security taxes, and the hospital insurance tax, also known as Medicare taxes. FICA taxes require a deduction from the paychecks of employees, as well as a contribution from employers.

FMLA: The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 guarantees an employee 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for certain family and medical reasons.

SAIF: The State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) is Oregon’s not-for-profit, state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance company.

Sick Leave: Oregon’s Sick Leave Law requires that the university allow employees to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. This law does not apply to work-study students.

Revised September 2017