Student Employees and Remote Work: FAQ

Supervisors can find information below regarding the continuation of their students' employment with the university's move to online learning and suspension of many aspects of on-campus life. Please check back as information will be updated periodically and as it becomes available. If you have further questions, please direct them to the Office of Student Employment.

“How will my student employees continue their work in the event of a campus-wide move to online learning and remote work?”

For student employees whose work can be reviewed, tracked, and substantiated remotely, an exception to the Student Employment Policy will allow our student workers to telecommute to work during this period.

When determining if your student employee can complete their job duties remotely, please take into consideration the following:

Regardless of the student's job on- or off-campus, we are fostering professional development in all of our student employees. You should be available for your student worker via phone, email, Zoom, or Slack during their shifts. Likewise, your student worker should be available at all times during their shift: their work should continue throughout the entirety of their shifts, and should be monitored, and substantiated, by their supervisor.

One of the ways that offices are planning for remote work is the preparation of Google Sheets, on which an employee and their supervisor can collaborate on projects simultaneously, and a supervisor can review their employee's work and monitor their progress as it is completed.

“How will my student workers with Federal Work-Study be impacted by this decision? Will the students lose their FWS award?”

A Federal Work-Study award is a Federal Student Aid program that helps fund the wages of an eligible student employee. Unlike other forms of financial aid, FWS awards do not directly apply to a student's owing balance--students earn their award through compensation for work performed. Furthermore, the FWS award is not a guaranteed sum of money: in order to receive the full amount of the FWS award, a student must work to earn wages totaling the award. The maximum amount of the award is not guaranteed, and students who do not earn the full amount of the award forfeit the difference. Additionally, a student's FWS funds can be used only to compensate for work.

“My student employee’s job cannot be completed remotely, and I don’t want them to be negatively impacted financially. Can I still pay them, even though they aren’t working?”

The university compensates our employees (staff, faculty, and student) for work performed. Unfortunately, the university cannot pay an employee for work they have not completed. If possible, you might find tasks or projects for your student worker to complete that can be done remotely, even if the job assignment is only temporary--the students can resume their typical work responsibilities when the university resumes normal scheduling.

“Can my students utilize their sick-leave during this time?”

Per San Francisco Sick Leave & The Coronavirus update as of March 9, 2020, employees may use accrued sick leave because:

  • a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends an employee isolate or quarantine;
  • the employee falls within the definition of a "vulnerable population" under the San Francisco Department of Public Health's (DPH) March 6, 2020 guidelines or any subsequent updates. As of March 5, 2020, a "vulnerable population" is a person who is 60 years old or older or a person with a health condition such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or weakened immune system;
  • the employee takes time off work because the employee’s business or a work location temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation;
  • the employee takes time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member who is not sick but who public health officials or healthcare providers have required or recommended isolate or quarantine; or
  • the employee takes time off work because they need to provide care for a family member whose school, child care provider, senior care provider, or work temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation.

"Since our students won't physically be in classes for the next few weeks, can they work up to 35 hours per week as they can during normal university breaks?"

Since classes are not cancelled but moved to the online realm, the weekly hours maximum of 25 (for domestic students) or 20 (for international students) will resume effect at the end of our scheduled Spring Break (Sunday, Mar. 14). Although students will not need to travel between physical buildings, we must ensure that their study time is protected and that their main focus remains academic.