The SEO, a division of the Co-op and Career Services Department, is responsible for administrating all aspects of on-campus student employment, and for developing and implementing the Institute's policies and procedures for student employment.
In keeping with RIT's tradition of experiential education, student employment is seen as another aspect of the student's educational experience. The skills and attitudes developed through working, whether an extension of knowledge gained in the classroom or those related to more menial endeavors, are vital components of the student's maturation. Consequently, the SEO believes that the student's on-campus employment should accurately reflect the realities inherent in permanent employment.
We stress, therefore, the necessity of adherence to standards of punctuality, responsibility, neat appearance, and diligence. Furthermore, we recognize that the attainment of these objectives is ensured through cooperative effort between supervisors of student employees and the SEO.
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program refers to a form of federally funded campus-based student aid.
Eligibility for campus-based financial aid, including FWS, is determined on the basis of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is submitted annually before April 1st by the student to the RIT Financial Aid Office. The amount of the student's FWS award depends on the extent of his/her financial need. At RIT, the total cost of a FWS student's wages is borne by the employing department on its 71350 or 71450 (on-campus community service) budget line.
FWS employment must be governed by employment conditions, including pay, that are reasonable according to the type of work performed, the geographic region, the employee's proficiency, and any applicable Federal, State, or Local laws.
FWS employment must not displace employees (including those on strike) or impair existing service contracts. Also, if the employer has an employment agreement with an organization in the private sector, the organization's employees must not be replaced with FWS students. Replacement is interpreted as displacement.
The RIT - SEO is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all eligible RIT student applicants. Equal employment is provided on the basis of demonstrated abilities, experience, training and financial need. There will be no discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, marital status, veteran status or handicap in the selection, utilization, promotion or termination of any student.
In accordance with Section 86.9 of the Federal Regulations implementing Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1982, RIT does not discriminate on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities, including employment therein and admission to such programs and activities.
Furthermore, it is the policy of RIT's administration that sexual harassment will not be condoned at this institution. The 1980 Final Interpretive Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex specify that harassment on the basis of sex is an unlawful employment practice under Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In addition, the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against any qualified individual with a disability in regard to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential job functions of such position.
A student employee, who feels she/he has been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment, may file a complaint through the SEO.
For the purpose of on-campus employment, an eligible student is defined as one who has been matriculated into a degree program at RIT and is taking at least twelve (12) credit hours of course work per semester as an undergraduate student and nine (9) credit hours of course work per semester as a graduate student.
For on-campus summer employment, students do not need to be registered for classes as long as the student was registered full-time for spring semester AND is registered for fall semester. Students registered part or full-time for summer do not need verification of registration status for fall to work during the summer as long as they were full-time status for the spring semester.
In addition to the above, students registered part-time for credit bearing courses and part-time for non-credit bearing courses, the total of which would be equivalent to full-time status, are allowed to work as student employees. Written verification from the student’s academic department of study may be required for employment.
In compliance with the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986, students must also complete the I-9 process as outlined and submit ORIGINAL documentation to the SEO staff which verifies their eligibility to work. Students will not be allowed to work on-campus without proper employment eligibility verification. Failure to comply with this governmental regulation may result in fines of up to $10,000 per infraction imposed upon the employing department.
To complete the I-9 process, new student workers (students who have never worked on-campus) must
- First have an offer of employment from an RIT employer
- Receive the Employment Verification Slip from the employer with the jobs start date to bring to SEO.
- The student should also be provided with the web address to complete Section 1 of the government mandated I-9 Form- (http://www.newi9.com). Employer number is 15083.
- Section 1 of the I-9 Form must be completed by the student immediately after being hired, but prior to going to the Student Employment Office with their required documentation.
- To ensure government mandated compliance, students must complete Section 1 of the I-9 Form prior to or no later than the first day of employment AND must bring required documentation to the Student Employment Office to complete Section 2 of the I-9 Form, on or before their first day. Failure to do so may result in fines being imposed by the federal government.
Students who have met all employment criteria (completed I-9 and full-time registration status) will be given an Employment Eligibility Card, or SEO Card, the color of which will change each academic year. An up-to-date eligibility card will verify registration status for the current semester, in addition to I-9 and visa status, and Federal Work-Study award. This card verifies to you, the employer, that the student is eligible to work on-campus.
Students cannot begin employment until their employment eligibility has been verified. If the student is allowed to work prior to completing the government mandated I-9 Form, a fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed by the federal government.
Students are eligible to work a maximum of twenty (20) hours per week during periods when classes are in session and up to forty (40) hours per week during break periods and summer.
To be eligible for on-campus employment and before an Employment Eligibility Card can be obtained, International Students must:
- Receive an offer of employment from an RIT on-campus employer. Employers must provide new international student workers with the Student Employment Verification Slip to present to Student Employment before an I-9 can be completed.
- Employers must also provide new hires with the web address to complete Section 1 of the government mandated I-9 Form (http://www.newi9.com). Employer number is 15083.
- Complete Section 1 of the on-line I-9 Form immediately after being hired and prior to going to the Student Employment Office to complete the verification process. This process must be completed prior to or no later than the first day of employment.
- Complete Section 2 of the I-9 process in the Student Employment Office by presenting required documentation to prove identity and eligibility to work on or before your first day.
- Be enrolled full-time with a minimum of twelve credit hours (undergraduate students) or nine credit hours (graduate students) or have a full-time equivalency for the semester(s) of employment.
- Have a valid F-1 visa with I-20 or valid J-1 visa with DS-2019 or I-94.
Once these criteria are met, the Student Employment Office will issue the International Student an Employment Eligibility Card. If the International Student does not already have a Social Security Card, please see the section on International Students Without a Social Security Card for the proper hiring procedure.
International Students are eligible to work up to twenty (20) hours per week during academic semesters and up to forty (40) hours per week during break periods and summer.
International Students are responsible for keeping their visa status up-to-date. They must update their records the Student Employment Office whenever their I-20 (F1 Visas) or DS-2019 (J1 Visas) is updated. Students with expired documents are not eligible to work. Thirty days prior to a student's I-20 or DS-2019 expiration date, employers will receive an e-mail alert advising them that a student's documents are about to expire. At the end of the 30 days, if the student has not updated his/her visa in the SEO, the student will be terminated from employment. There are certain criteria that must be met in order for International Students to be eligible to work off-campus. For more information, contact the ISSO.
International Students are eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge with practical work. Such employment may take place at any location in the United States. For more information, contact the ISSO.
If an International Student does not already have a Social Security Card when hired, the student must be given a copy of the hire paperwork with an original employer signature in blue ink by the employer which will serve as verification of employment when the student applies for a Social Security Card.
Employers must also send the Hire Form to the SEO, using the International Student's University ID Number.
Once the International Student receives their Social Security Card, they must bring it to the Student Employment Office to update their record.
On-Campus student jobs are classified in one of two level according to the skills and experience required, Regular Student Worker or Advanced Level Student Worker.
- Regular Student Worker: Bas level positions with some degree of specialized knowledge or training requiring little or no experience and are routine and well-supervised. Examples of these types of positions are file clerks, food service workers, campus tour guides, office assistants, and data entry clerks.
- Advanced Level Student Worker: Designates a category of jobs, with wages determined individually based on comparable or identical full-time positions. The skill requirements and employee responsibilities of such positions are identical for student employees and full-time employees. These jobs may also include those positions in which a student has worked during the previous quarter in an on-campus co-op position, and is continuing in the position as a regular student employee. These jobs also require a highly specialized skill and/or several years of previous experience. Examples are web developers, research assistants, computer programmers, and supervisor positions.
Any hire form for a student being hired into an Advanced Level position must have an Advanced Level Job Description attached to it to serve as justification for any wage higher than minimum wage.
Student employees as defined in On-Campus Employment Eligibility fall into three categories: regular student employees (includes Federal Work-Study and non Work-Study student workers), on-campus co-op employees and graduate assistants. In all categories, student employees fall under jurisdiction of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other relevant Federal and State Legislation.
It is RIT's policy and practice that all regular student employees, both Federal Work-Study and non-Federal Work- Study, be hired according to the following procedure:
- All student job listings are listed on Handshake.
- Employers interview eligible candidates.
- Once an offer of employment has been made:
- New student workers must be given an 'Student Employment Verification Slip' to bring to the SEO in order to complete the employment verification process and the web site information to complete Section 1 of the government mandated 1-9 Form- (http://www.newi9.com). The Employer number is 15083.
- Returning student workers (students who have previously worked on-campus) must present Employment Eligibility Card, verified for the semester in which the student is to work.
- After the student presents his/her Employment Eligibility Card to the employer, the employer may complete the Student Employment Hire Form and forward it to the Student Employment Office for processing.
- The appropriate NYS Pay Rate and Pay Day Form must also be included for all new student workers.
Academic Direct Hire Positions are of an academic nature in which academic performance and background are the primary determinants of hiring (i.e. Printing Lab Assistants, Tutor/Note takers, etc.). Hiring procedures are the same as for regular student employees.
Students may be rehired directly by a department in which they have previously been employed. Supervisors must ask to see the student's current Employment Eligibility Card. If the card is current, complete the Student Employment Hire Form and return it to SEO. It is essential that the student is a matriculated full-time student, taking a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate and 9 credit hours for graduate students. The SEO staff will check each rehire for employment eligibility. Supervisors will be notified by the SEO if a rehired student is not eligible for on-campus employment.
Student employees may be terminated under any of the following conditions:
- End of job or project.
- Documented below standard job performance for which warnings and recommendations for improvement have previously been made.
- Change in a student's employment eligibility status as a full-time matriculated student (i.e. Dismissal for financial, social, or academic reasons (suspension), withdrawal from an approved full-time program of study, or graduation).
- International Student's I-20 or DS-2019 expiration.
- Theft and/or misuse of the Institute's equipment.
- On-the-job intoxication or drug use.
- Inappropriate on-the-job behavior.
In terminations based on items 1 or 2, a two week notice of termination should be given by the student's supervisor. In terminations based upon changes in employment eligibility (item 3), or I-20 or DS-2019 expiration (item4), termination is immediate.
In terminations arising from illegal behavior (items 5, 6 and 7), termination is immediate and may be followed by prosecution and/or requirements for restitution.
When a request for verification of employment is received from outside the Institute, no information other than confirmation of the dates of employment may be provided without the written consent of the student or former student.
If the verification request is accompanied by a signed consent, it should be completed and mailed to the inquirer. A copy of the completed verification should be forwarded to the SEO for inclusion in the student's employment record.
Employers may provide information regarding dates of employment, job title, and nature of employment. Professional references as a representative of RIT, either written on official RIT stationary or given verbally are discouraged. Personal references may be given at the discretion of the supervisor.
Relatives of RIT employees are considered for student employment if they meet the established criteria of eligibility. However, students may not be hired for positions in which their assignments or wages can be influenced by a relative.
RIT's student compensation policy has been developed with the following objectives in mind: equity among students performing comparable tasks, recognition for exceptional student employee performance, concern that student rates not impinge upon those of regular, full-time employees and ease and consistency in administrative maintenance.
All Regular Student Worker jobs pay NYS minimum wage. Advanced Level Student Workers may be hired as a wage higher than minimum wage, but the Advanced Level Job Description must accompany the hire form for every student hired at a higher wage to serve as justification for that wage.
Prior to the start of the student's employment, the supervisor should discuss the following items with the student:
- Specific job responsibility of the position.
- Standards of personal conduct on the job, including dress, personal calls, etc.
- Work schedule and relief/meal periods.
- Student employee's responsibility for equipment, supplies, security, record keeping, safety, etc.
- Penalty for unexcused absences or tardiness.
If the student will be expected to take directions from personnel other than the hiring supervisor, these persons and their functions should be identified.
In periods or situations when the twenty-hour rule is suspended, and the student works more than forty hours a week, the student must be paid time-and-a-half for hours in excess of forty. If the student is employed by more than one department, overtime costs are split between all departments. Therefore, it is essential that supervisors check with the student to ensure that the forty hour limit is not exceeded.
Student employees are paid shift differential of $0.75 per hour only when assigned to "C" shift (12 Midnight - 8 AM) for exact hours worked. Student "C" shift overtime is $1.13 per hour.
Student employees are paid only for hours worked. Therefore, they are not eligible for holiday pay or sick pay. If, however, a student is required to work on an Institute holiday, he/she will be paid time-and-a-half for the hours worked.
In general, student employees, who work four (4) consecutive hours or more in a day, are eligible for a fifteen (15) minute "break" for each consecutive four hour shift. It is recommended that this break occur approximately midway in a shift, consistent with the scheduling constraints of a department. The break, or rest period privilege, may be withdrawn in individual cases if abused. This policy may be waived, however, in departments such as Food Service where scheduling constraints may require that student employees work a full four hour block during meal periods.
Students working 6 hours or more per day are also required to a minimum 30 minute unpaid lunch break. Unpaid lunch breaks up to 60 minutes may be taken upon employer approval.
Regular student employees are not eligible for sick pay, holiday pay, or unemployment benefits. Co-op students are eligible to receive two sick days per quarter and holiday pay. The number of hours allotted per sick day or holiday is based on the number of hours per week indicated on the hire form. (Ex. 40 hours/week = 8 hrs/day. 16 hours of sick time; 35 hours/week = 7 hrs/day, 14 hours of sick time)
Worker's Compensation provides student employees with part of their average weekly wages, should they become injured on the job or in the course of employment, and as a result of the injury are prevented from working.
Regardless of age and the number of hours worked, students do not meet ERISA (i.e. retirement) eligibility criteria, so long as their employment is incidental to their education.
Students are also eligible for New York State statutory disability benefits should a non-occupational disability prevents them from working.
RIT Student Employees are eligible for the NYS Paid Family Leave Program (NYS PFL). This program provides job protected, partial paid leave for RIT Students to:
- bond with a new child
- care for an eligible family member with a serious health condition
- help relieve family pressures when an eligible family member is called to active military service
Additional details can be found on the HR-Benefits website.
Consistent with the idea that a student's employment experience is an educational one and contributes to his/her development as an effective and productive citizen, emphasis on responsible conduct on the job is essential.
RIT expects its student employees, as responsible members of society, to comply with all federal, state and local laws affecting them as employees or as private citizens while working for the Institute on or off its property. RIT will cooperate with all legally constituted law-enforcement agencies with respect to student employees accused of committing an act which may be in violation of the law.
Consumption of any alcoholic beverages by student employees during their working hours on their scheduled work days, on or off-campus, is not permitted. The use or possession of controlled substances is not permitted unless prescribed by a physician. Reporting to work in an inebriated condition or under the influence of non-medically prescribed controlled substances is also prohibited.
No property is to be removed from the RIT campus without prior written approval from the Director of Facilities Management Services. Theft of tangible items or of computer time or misuse of telephones (i.e. long distance personal calls), equipment, or facilities available to students during their working hours are grounds for immediate termination.
Upon separation from RIT, debts to the Institute incurred by the student employee are immediately due and payable in full.
In instances where a student employee's job performance does not meet the standard of competence specified in his/her job description, or in instances where on-the-job conduct is in violation of generally agreed upon standards of behavior (i.e. punctuality, courtesy, cleanliness, accountability, etc.) the supervisor should:
- Discuss with the student employee the responsibilities of the job and the expected standards of performance, give direction for improvement and indicate a time-frame, (i.e. one week) within which improvement is to occur.
- If the unsatisfactory performance continues, a written warning should be given specifying the problem, the time limit for the changes in performance to be accomplished and a clear indication that failure to conform to this directive will result in immediate dismissal.
- If the conditions listed in #2 are not met, the student may be dismissed.
Supervisors are counseled to keep written records of all disciplinary encounters or actions involving student employees. The Student Employment staff is always willing to discuss employment problems and to assist in effective problem resolution.
Experience at RIT has shown that most problems between students and their supervisors can be solved with honest, non-confrontational discussion of the problem at hand. Since employment provides another aspect of the student's experiential learning, the attitudes and skills developed through this interpersonal process are significant elements in the student's maturation.
All efforts on the part of a supervisor to correct or alleviate inappropriate behavior or inadequate performance should be documented. Such problems should be addressed on a direct, day-to-day basis. If, after a written warning and a specified time frame improvement is not evident, the student may be terminated "with cause".
On the student employee's part, a serious attempt should be made to resolve the problem with his/her immediate supervisor. If the problem cannot be resolved at this level, the student should make an appointment with an SEO staff member to discuss the issue. SEO personnel will in turn contact the student's supervisor in an attempt to resolve the problem informally.
Students are paid on a bi-weekly basis every other Friday. Information regarding exact pay dates for the current academic year can be found in the RIT Bi-Weekly Pay Schedule. Individual personal checks are sent to the departments for which the student works. Students with direct deposit may access their check stub on-line by using Oracle Self-Service. Further information regarding sign-up procedures may be obtained from the Payroll Office. When a student works for more than one department, the earnings from all jobs are combined into one paycheck. The check is sent to the department that most recently hired the student, unless the student requests it sent to a different department.
Direct deposit of wages is highly recommended for student workers. Forms can be obtained from the SEO or Payroll websites or by stopping by the Payroll or Student Employment Offices. Students taking advantage of the direct deposit option can view their paystubs online. For access, students must logon to http://finweb.rit.edu/controller/payroll/, and follow the directions provided.
If a department wishes to hire a student for a special project of short duration, requiring a one-time payment, the employer must complete the student Hire Form and write, "One-Time Pay" in place of the job number. An hourly wage must be given. For back wages, a payroll change form must also be completed and sent to payroll.
Earnings, including FWS earnings, are subject to all Federal, State and Local taxes. All students must file a W-4 form for tax purposes when they begin to work at RIT. Students are not eligible to claim "exempt" on the W-4 form if any of the following applies:
- The student's income exceeds $1,000 and his income includes more than $350 of unearned income (for example, interest and dividends) AND the student can be claimed by another person as a dependent on their tax return.
- Last year the student had a right to refund all federal income tax withheld due to no tax liability.
- The student's income exceeds $8,200 for 2006 (earned income is more than one standard deduction in the amount of $5,000 and one exemption in the amount of $3,200) AND the student cannot be claimed by another person as a dependent on their tax return.
Students are not eligible to claim "exempt" on the IT-2104 unless the following conditions are met:
- Student must be full-time status and under the age of 25.
- Student did not have a New York income tax liability for the previous year.
- Student does not expect to have a New York income tax liability for the current year.
- Student meets the conditions set forth under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, as amended by the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.
Students who are registered for a minimum of six (6) credit hours per quarter will be exempt from Social Security Taxes (FICA).
Full-time, matriculated students are exempt from paying Social Security Tax (FICA) if they meet the following criteria:
- Student is registered for a minimum of six credit hours per quarter
- Student is physically working on the RIT campus
Students who are registered for less than six credit hours or are paid by RIT, but working at an off-campus location, will have FICA taxes deducted from their paychecks at a rate of 7.65% with RIT paying a matching share. Therefore, it is extremely important that the employer indicate on the SEO Hire Form if the student is working off-campus.
Foreign students with a valid I-20 or DS-2019 are exempt from this policy.
Co-op employment is a mandatory component of many RIT degree programs. It is essential that on-campus co-op employment meet the criteria of program validity inherent in the Institute's commitment to quality experiential learning.
It is RIT policy and practice that all on-campus co-op students be hired according to the following procedure:
- On-campus co-op positions are listed with the Center for Cooperative Education and Career Services.
- Students seeking on-campus co-op respond directly to the departments listing the positions.
- Students must be registered for co-op through SIS.
- Once an offer of employment has been made:
- New student workers must be given a 'Student Employment Verification Slip' to bring to the SEO in order to complete the employment verification process and employers must provide the student with the website information to complete Section 1 of the government mandated I-9 Form -(http://www.newi9.com). The Employer Number is 15083. The student must also complete Section 2 of the I-9 Form in the Student Employment Office as indicated in Section 7, “I-9 Process and Employment Eligibility Card”.
- Returning student workers (students who have previously worked on-campus) must present their current Employment Eligibility Card, verified for the semester the student is to work.
- RIT Student Hire Forms are to be completed and returned to SEO for processing after co-op students present their current Employment Eligibility Card.
Employers may use their own discretion when assigning co-op wages. For assistance, employers may contact the Co-op Office at 475-2301 to request a copy of their most recent Co-op Wage Survey.
Unlike regular student employees, on-campus co-op students are also eligible for holiday pay for all Institute holidays falling within a given co-op employment semester. They are also eligible for sick pay on the ratio of two days per fall and spring semester and one sick day for summer co-op employment for a total of five sick days for the academic year. Sick day benefits are cumulative to a maximum of five (5) paid sick days per year. On-campus co-op employees are exempt from FICA withholding as long as they are registered for co-op and physically working on the RIT campus.
Criteria for GA employment:
- Students must be academic level 6 or 7
- Students must be registered full-time status (9 credit hours) during the duration of the assistantship or have a full-time equivalency for semesters in which they work.
- Students must meet all eligibility requirements as outlined in Section 12. Employment
- Hire paperwork along with a completed Graduate Assistant Job Description Form must be sent to SEO for processing
- The appropriate NYS Notice and Acknowledgement of Pay Rate and Payday Form must be included for all new student workers
Additional Graduate Assistant information, including types of GA employment and pay rates, may be found at https://www.rit.edu/emcs/seo/graduate-assistantships.
In order to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations, all on-campus student job openings are to be listed with the SEO. We ask, therefore, that you adhere to the following procedure in filling your student employment needs.
For New Departmental Positions
- Complete a job description in Handshake to get a Handshake ID number.
- SEO will review and approve every new Job Description entered into Handshake.
All forms needed to employ a student on-campus, such as the SEO Advancced Level Job Description, SEO Hiring Form, and the SEO Payroll Change Form can be found at the SEO website, Employment Resources section. Please use the most recent forms as currently found on the SEO website as they are frequently updated to reflect changes in employment requirement
In addition, all mentioned documents in this handbook, such as the RIT Bi-Weekly Pay Schedule, Student Wage Schedule, and the On-Campus Employment Handbook can be found in the Employer Resources section.
Students working on campus must have separate RIT Computer Accounts for work-related access if:
- The student employee conducts work-related business via email, OR,
- The student employee needs access to applications, file shares, or other resources that are not available to all students.
For questions about Student Employee computer accounts, contact the ITS Service Desk.
Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to work up to 40 hours per week during summer semester if the following criteria are met:
- Must be matriculated, and registered full-time status Spring Semester AND at least one of the following:
- Must be registered for at least 4 credit hours for summer session
- Are registered for 0 credit hours for summer, but are registered for at least 3 credit hours for fall
- Are registered for at least 3 credit hours for both summer and fall
- Are registered for 0 credits for continuation of thesis for summer and/or fall that can be verified via STARS
Students working in on-campus summer co-op positions must be registered for co-op for summer session.