Wage Employment

I.                   Scope  

This administrative policy applies to all George Mason University hourly student and non-student wage employees at all University locations.

II.                Policy Statement

This policy governs wage employment, both of students and non-students, at George Mason University.  The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) authorizes state agencies to hire employees in an hourly wage capacity. The terms and conditions of employment depend on whether the individual is a student or a non-student.

III.             Compliance

Wage employees are not covered by the Virginia Personnel Act and serve at the will and pleasure of the appointing authority, may be terminated without cause from employment at any time and have no guarantee of employment for a particular term.  Continued employment is contingent upon satisfactory conduct and performance, the appropriation and availability of funds and the continued need for the assigned work.

Wage employees are expected to meet the same standards of conduct and performance expected of all employees.

Mason utilizes standard procedures for recruitment and hiring of wage employees to ensure the most qualified candidates are selected and to promote diversity and equal employment opportunities as mandated by federal laws and regulations, as well as state and university policy.

A. Types of Wage Employment:

Student Wage Employment: The student employment program is designed to provide financial support while attending Mason. Student wage employees’ primary relationship with Mason is the pursuit of an academic degree and part-time employment is incidental to the individual’s presence.  Student employees are limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week. During semester breaks students may work up to 29 hours per week. Students who withdraw are eligible for non-student employment. Upon graduation, student employees must be transferred to the wage employee category, unless they are enrolled in a second undergraduate degree or graduate degree program.

Non-student Wage Employment: Non-student wage employees’ primary relationship with Mason is to provide a service in exchange for pay.  Non-student wage employment is intended to cover peak workloads, seasonal or short term needs. Non-student wage employees may take courses but are not in a degree program.

B. Work Limits and Timesheets:

Wage employees must be paid for all hours worked. Hours are reported via electronic timesheet that is to be completed at the end of each work shift. Student and non-student wage employees are limited to 1450 hours of work during in the twelve month period of May 1 through April 30 and may not exceed an average of 29 hours per week. Wage employees who reach the 1450 hour limit must immediately stop working and may not be reemployed until May 1.

C. Overtime:

All wage employees are paid on an hourly basis and are therefore non-exempt. The Department of Labor requires non-exempt employees be paid overtime at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in one week.  The total hours worked is the sum of all hours worked in a week regardless of the number of wage job assignments.

D. Breaks and Meal Periods:

The state Department of Human Resource Management Policy 1.25 states that employees are entitled to a one-half hour unpaid meal break when working 6 or more consecutive hours.

E. Benefits:

Non-student wage employees are eligible for certain employee funded retirement contributions and benefits. Information is available at http://hr.gmu.edu. Non-student wage employees do not accrue vacation or sick leave. Unpaid time off may be approved by the supervisor.

Student employees are not eligible for employee retirement or insurance benefits. Student employees do not accrue vacation or sick leave. Unpaid time off may be approved by the supervisor.

Students hired into the student wage category are potentially eligible for the Student Social Security and Medicare (FICA) exemption under IRS Code Section 3121(b)(10).  Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 9 undergraduate credit hours or 6 graduate credit hours each semester and maintain good academic standing.  Audit courses do not count toward the minimum credit hours. Student employees who drop classes below these minimums are no longer eligible for the FICA exemption. Departments must verify enrollment of student employees each Fall and Spring term.

F. F-1 and J-1 Students:

With very few exceptions, students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to be enrolled full-time during the fall and spring semesters in order to maintain their immigration status. They are also prohibited from working in excess of 20 hours per week during the regular semester. These requirements take precedence over any other discussions of enrollment and/or work schedules in this Policy. F-1 and J-1 students are required to first discuss their situation with, and receive authorization from an immigration advisor in the Office of International Programs and Services before dropping below full-time for any reason.

G. Responsible Parties:

The Vice President of HR/Payroll and Faculty/Staff Life coordinates the development of policies and procedures and oversees the program for employing and managing wage employees.

The Assistant Vice President of Payroll administers the payroll and web time entry for wage employees.

The Office of Sponsored Programs reviews wage employment requests for sponsored programs’ positions, verifies the availability of funds and compliance with grants, and takes appropriate action where indicated.

Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors and Activity Heads certify the need for work to be performed, the availability of funds and eligibility to work in this category, and approve requests for wage employment.

IV.              Dates:

1. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost.

2. Date of Most Recent Review:

April 26, 2019


V.                 Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or as needed.

VI.              Signatures


_____/S/__________                 ____9/4/2013____

Senior Vice President for                  Date

Administration and Finance


_____/S/__________                 ____8/26/2013____

Provost                                                 Date

Revised: 7/8/2015

Revised: 9/3/2015

Revision Approved: 4/26/2019