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Handbook for Supervisors of Students

General Information and Policies


General Information & Policies

Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity

Central Michigan University's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Protocol requires equitable treatment and opportunity to all persons in an environment which appreciates and respects the diversity of the community it serves.  CMU prohibits discrimination and harassment of persons based upon age, color, disability, gender, gender identity/gender expression, genetic information, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight, except where such a distinction is required by law or directly related to a legitimate university purpose.  Furthermore, as an affirmative action employer, CMU has instituted policies and procedures to ensure that all qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veteran applicants and employees are receiving an equal opportunity for recruitment, selection, advancement, and every other term and privilege associated with employment. Departments acting on behalf of CMU are obligated to apply every good faith effort to comply with the University's affirmative action plans.

This statement reflects compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972; Executive Order 11246, as amended, and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Central Michigan University, in compliance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Executive Orders 11246 and 11375, and Section 402 of the Vietnam Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended, does not discriminate against any employees or applicants for employment on the basis of age or because they are qualified protected veterans. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access and treatment in programs and activities, and application for and treatment in employment.

Central Michigan University also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.

Inquiries or concerns may be addressed to the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity or Student Employment Services.

CMU's Employment Commitment to Students

CMU is committed to providing employment opportunities for CMU students.  Central Michigan University students have the first opportunity to apply for all available positions. In the event there are no available and qualified CMU students to fill a student position, high school students may be considered for employment (see:  Employment Eligibility.)

Discipline and Discharge

Central Michigan University respects and honors the right of each student to terminate his or her employment at any time and for any reason.  The University retains the same right in terminating the employment of a student at any time.

On-campus student employment jobs are meant to assist students with their financial needs and provide hands-on work experience that will complement their educational training.

The use of a Counseling Form is encouraged to help correct or improve job-related performance.  If a department has a disciplinary termination of an employee, they should contact the Student Employment Office.

If a discharge is necessary, supervisors are responsible for completing a Termination Notice and forwarding it to Student Employment Services.  All University property such as keys, uniforms, and tools must be returned to supervisors before final paychecks are issued.  Passwords and access to technology resources must be canceled.


Employment Verification

Requests involving verification of wages or length of service should be forwarded to Student Employment Services for handling. Employment or personal recommendations from departments are permissible provided the student employee has signed an authorization to release information.  Provide only information that can be substantiated. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Student Employment Services for clarification.


Nepotism-Family Employment Policy

Background:  This Board of Trustees' policy does not permit the employment of an individual in a department where one employee has direct control over making employment decisions about an immediate family member such as (but not limited to) supervision, salary, or promotion; such activity is considered to be nepotism.   Direct control is where an immediate family member is in the direct line of authority to another, no matter how far removed; due to the potential of influence based upon the relationship.

Policy:  Board Policy states "members of the immediate family may work in the same department at the University provided all meet the standards of employment, provided none are involved in making employment decisions about the others and provided the functions performed by any are not involved in any office or operations where internal financial control would be jeopardized.

A complete description of the CMU Nepotism Policy can be found at Human Resources: Employment Policies, Procedures & Resources.



Student employees should give at least two weeks' notice to their employer when resigning from a University job. All University property such as keys, uniforms, and tools must be returned to employers before or on the student employee's final workday.  Passwords and access to technology resources must be canceled.

Procedures for processing resignations are handled in the same manner as terminations. Supervisors must complete a Termination Notice and send it to Student Employment Services.

Rights and Responsibilities

Hiring departments and student employees each have rights and responsibilities concerning employment at Central Michigan University. Rights and responsibilities should be discussed when a student employee is hired and a statement of acceptance signed. The current Rights and Responsibilities document can be found on the Student Employment Services website. The hiring department should:

  1. Outline student job duties;
  2. Inform student employee of pay rate (if a new position, after confirmation from Student Employment Services);
  3. Discuss specific policies/procedures that are unique to the department;
  4. Provide proper supervision for the student employee. Supervision should mean the employee has someone in authority to contact in the event of a problem in the workplace.


Sexual Harassment Policy
Central Michigan University is committed to maintaining an educational and working environment free of conduct that degrades or oppresses individuals, including conduct that sexually humiliates individuals.

Definition and Statutory Reference

Harassment on the basis of sex is discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e, and Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681. Also, sexual harassment by any individual may constitute assault, sexual assault, public lewdness, or indecent exposure under state law.

It is a violation of the University Policy for an employee, agent, or student of the university to engage in sexual harassment, as defined in the Michigan Civil Rights Act as follows:

"…Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct or communication is made a condition either explicitly or implicitly to obtain employment, public accommodations, or public services, education, or housing.

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting such individual's employment, public accommodations, or public services, education, or housing.

  • Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's employment, public accommodations or public services, education, or housing, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, public accommodations, public services, educational, or housing environment."

Responsibilities of Supervisors

Supervisors have a special responsibility for assuring the implementation of CMU's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Protocol, including its Sexual Harassment Policy. When supervisors observe behavior in areas they supervise that violate this policy, they have a responsibility to address the situation.  If employees bring complaints to the attention of supervisors, it is a supervisor's duty to inform those employees about their rights under this policy, provide them with direction about where to get assistance, attempt resolution, or contact the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity for advice.  The person in authority will take appropriate action.  The supervisor should report all concerns, cases, and complaints to the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity even if there has been a satisfactory resolution.  Violation of this policy can result in discipline and/or dismissal for students. Violations should be reported to and discussed privately with an investigator in the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity.  Cases will be handled in a timely and confidential manner.

How a Student Can File a Complaint or Formal Grievance

Student employees who feel aggrieved because of discrimination or harassment have several ways to make their concerns known. Students who feel comfortable doing so should directly inform the person engaging in the discriminatory or harassing conduct or communication, telling that person the conduct or communication is offensive and request that it stop.

If a student who feels aggrieved does not wish to communicate directly with the person whose conduct or communication is offensive or if direct communication by the student with that person does not work, the student may contact either the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity or Student Employment Services. Formal grievances of discrimination or harassment may be filed with the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity and will be processed under the University's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Protocol grievance procedure.

If you have further questions, visit the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity website to review the complete Sexual Misconduct policy.  

1. Call 911 and seek medical attention immediately in the event of an emergency.

McLaren – Central Michigan is the CMU designated emergency facility in Mount Pleasant

2. For non-emergency injuries/illnesses the employee should be directed to the following primary medical providers designated by CMU Human Resources/Workers’ Compensation for treatment:

  • 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday – Sunday, employees should be directed to the McLaren - Central Occupational Medicine Program (COMP), 1523 S. Mission St., Mount Pleasant, phone 989.773.2339.
  • 8p.m.–8a.m.,employees should be directed to McLaren-Central Michigan Fast Track or Emergency Department.
  • Student employees have the option to receive treatment at University Health Services.

If the injured employee/student employee chooses to seek treatment elsewhere, the employee may be responsible for any expenses incurred.

3. Employees should notify their supervisors immediately after a work-related injury/illness occurs.

4. Call the CMU Workers’ Compensation office at 989.774.7177 as soon as possible (within 24 hours) to report the incident, even if minor in nature. A 24-hour voice mail system is available when the office is closed. Reports can be phoned in by the injured employee/student employee’s supervisor or by the injured person themselves. Failure to report a work-related incident promptly may result in a loss of rights to workers’ compensation benefits.

There is no form to fill out. The Workers’ Compensation Office does that for you.

5. Give a detailed account of the incident including name, date, time, location, exact body part/injury, a complete description of what happened, medical treatment sought if any, and your campus phone number.

6. The CMU Workers’ Compensation Office will complete an Employee Accidental Personal Injury Report and authorize any treatment that is required. A copy of the incident form will be sent to the supervisor and reviewed with the injured employee. All parties should sign the form including the witnesses and return the form to the Workers’ Compensation office. The supervisor and injured employee are encouraged to keep a copy for their records.

Work Schedules

Academic Year

During the Academic Year, a student may work no more than 40 hours in a pay period; in the Summer a student may work no more than 80 hours in a pay period. (International students may work only 20 hours per week during the Academic Year.)  We encourage departments to use caution before scheduling students to work. Students are here primarily to complete their degree program and often work to help cover the associated expenses. The need for some students to be employed should not compromise their progress toward the fulfillment of his/her degree requirements. Students normally should not be assigned to regular staff positions or assigned to work overtime, particularly where these issues are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.


Student employees scheduled to work on a holiday will be paid at their regular rate of pay.  Students not scheduled to work on a holiday will not be paid for the holiday.

Meal Breaks

Student employees who are working for more than six hours at a time should be provided a minimum of one-half hour unpaid meal break around the normal meal period.

Rest Breaks

Student employees shall normally be entitled to a rest period of not more than fifteen minutes for each consecutive 4 hours worked. Rest periods should be taken at a time and in a manner that does not interfere with the efficiency of the work unit. The rest period is intended to be a break preceded and followed by an extended work period. It may not be used to cover the employee's late arrival at work or early departure, nor may it be regarded as cumulative if not taken.

Working Remotely

If a need arises for a student employee to work remotely, including working from home, contact Student Employment Services.


Department Budgets

College Work-Study (CWS)

The Federal government provides annual funding to be used toward the College Work-Study program. Student wages are paid in part from government monies and from a required match of University monies.

Each fiscal year, departments are allocated College Work-Study money to be used exclusively for Work-Study positions. The department's expenditures cannot exceed the budget amount without permission from the Vice President or Dean of the unit.  Funds may only be used to pay Work-Study wages and any unused funds cannot be carried forward to the next fiscal year.

General Student Assistance (GSA)

GSA is an employment program funded from departmental budgets; funding levels may vary as the department needs change.  GSA is open to all CMU students regardless of financial need; the only requirement is half-time enrollment during the Fall and Spring semesters. (Although GSA positions are also open to high school students, the first consideration should be given to CMU students).


Employment Eligibility of Students

CMU students are eligible for on-campus employment in a GSA and/or a CWS position if they meet the following criteria.  High school students are eligible for GSA employment only.


CMU Students

High School Students

CMU Students

High School Students

Maintain half-time enrollment at CMU: Six credit hours as an undergraduate; five as a graduate student

At least 16 or17 years of age

Is a continuing student

At least 16 or 17 years of age

International students must maintain full-time enrollment at CMU:  Twelve credit hours as an undergraduate, nine as a graduate student

Have a completed work permit if under age 18 (renewed annually) on file with Student Employment Services

Or accepted in a degree program at CMU to begin in the Summer or upcoming Fall semester**

Still in high school or in the summer immediately following high school graduation with plans to attend CMU. 

Maintain satisfactory academic progress (Work-Study employees only)*

Have a completed work permit if under age 18 (renewed annually) on file with Student Employment Services

*This federal regulation states that students must show progress toward the completion of degree requirements to retain eligibility for all forms of federal financial aid.

**Incoming students are not eligible for Work-Study funding in the summer leading up to their first fall semester.

High School Students - Additional Requirements

Youths 18 or older may perform any job.

Youths 16 and 17 years old may perform any non-hazardous job up to twenty-four (24) hours per week when school is in session and no more than forty-eight (48) hours per week during break periods per minimum wage and overtime requirements. CMU does not allow student employees (including high school students) to work more than 40 hours in a pay period during the Academic Year.

Other restrictions for youths 16 and 17 years old include:

  • Must not drive a motor vehicle as part of the job.
  • If riding in a truck, must be in the cab, not in the rear of the truck.
  • Cannot operate power-driven machines (i.e. hoisting apparatus, bakery machines, metal forming, elevators, punching, and shearing machines.)
  • Cannot work with lead paint, lead solder, varnish, or hazardous cleaners and solvents.

Employment Programs

College Work-Study (CWS)

Federal Work-Study is awarded to CMU students based on financial need. To qualify, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (renewal application required annually) and demonstrate financial need. Also, students must maintain at least half-time enrollment (6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 5 credit hours for graduate students) during the Fall and Spring semester, and maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of the first undergraduate or graduate degree at CMU.

General Student Assistance (GSA)

GSA is an employment program funded from departmental budgets; funding levels may vary as the department needs change.  GSA is open to all CMU students regardless of financial need; the only requirement is half-time enrollment during the Fall and Spring semesters. GSA positions are also open to high school students.

Hiring Procedures

After a candidate has been selected for the vacant position, a notification must be given to Student Employment Services. This is done by electronically submitting the Student Hire Form for each prospective student employee through the online hiring system, "Personnel Transactions," available on CentralLink: My Account. A log-in is required.

NOTE: An additional hire form must be submitted if a department decides to hire a student for the summer months.

Student Employment Services determines if the student meets the University criteria for student employment eligibility and if the student is eligible for the specific work program the department requests. Student employees must maintain at least half-time enrollment to qualify as student employees and be exempt from social security taxes (FICA).

NOTE: Students need not be enrolled during summer to be considered student employees, however students not enrolled a minimum of half time will have FICA removed.

Student Employment Services returns a copy of the Hire Form to the hiring department with the award section completed. Student Employment Services contacts the hiring department if a student is not eligible for student employment.

The following information must be supplied on the student Hire Form to accurately pay each student:

  • Cost Center - refers to the account number that should receive the wage expenses. Generally, GSA and wages are charged to the main department account number and Work-Study wages are charged to the department Work-Study account number
  • Rate of Pay - determined by the department based on the pay level of the job
  • Begin Date - the first day of employment
  • End Date - the last day of employment.

First-time university student employees must complete tax forms and an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form in the Student Employment Services office, UC121. The most commonly seen forms of identification a student must bring are a picture ID (CentralCard, State ID, or Driver's License), Social Security Card, a certified copy of a Birth Certificate, or a US Passport to complete the tax and I-9 paperwork. Upon completion of the tax forms and I-9 form, the student is given a signed Hire Authorization Card (aka, the red card) to return to the supervisor. After the supervisor receives the Hire Authorization Card the student is now eligible to begin work. Supervisors must ensure that this requirement is met. Any student employee who does not have the proper forms filled out will not be permitted to work until this is completed. Student Employment Services notifies supervisors of any students that have not met the requirements.

Job Descriptions

Any new student position (not a new hire in an existing position) in a department requires the completion of a New Position Description Form by the hiring department.  Student Employment Services will evaluate all job descriptions and assign a pay level based on job duties and minimum skill level.  Supervisors should not promise a specific wage rate until notified of the position's pay level.

Performance Evaluations

The performance review is a communication tool designed to motivate employees to achieve higher levels of performance. It provides the necessary supervisory feedback to identify areas of improvement as well as reinforces those activities that meet or exceed department standards.

Supervisors are encouraged to evaluate the performance of their student employees on an annual basis. This tool provides a basis to determine if a wage adjustment is appropriate.  A sample Performance Evaluation form is included on the Student Employment website. Supervisors may develop an evaluation form that is more relevant to jobs performed in a specific department; a copy of these forms must be sent to Student Employment Services for review before being used.

A copy of all evaluations must be sent to Student Employment Services to be retained as part of the student's permanent employment record.


Student Employee Classification System
The University has adopted a classification system for student employees based on job duties and minimum skill level.  StudentEmployment Services reviews all job descriptions and assigns a pay level as follows:

Pay LevelDescription
S-1 Entry level
Routine tasks, direct supervision required, minimal or developing skills.

Examples include but are not limited to: Junior Clerical, Student Cook, Painter, Student Assistant, Stockroom Worker.

S-2 Expanded responsibilitiesLess direct supervision, developed skills.

Examples include but are not limited to: Senior Clerical, Research Assistant, Technical Assistant, Supply Technician, Crew Leader.

S-3 SpecializedWell-developed skills, little to no direct supervision.

Examples include but are not limited to: Activity Coordinator, Building Supervisor, Facility Manager, Computer Technician, Lifeguard, Sports Camp Coach.

Vacant Positions

Departments may seek job candidates by listing a job vacancy with Student Employment Services or through direct contact with the candidate. As eligible students express interest in a position, they will be referred to the hiring department. Each department will interview and make hiring decisions for their unit. To post jobs, departments use the Job Posting Form on the Student Employment Services website.

Notify Student Employment Services by phone or email when a vacancy has been filled. 


Determining Wage Rate

The student wage structure used by the University is based on a student's experience and skill.  A comparative evaluation is made of the duties and minimum skill levels for each position. Student Employment Services assigns the position to the appropriate pay level, based on the description of each level.  Each pay level has a pay range within which all employees at that level are compensated. The current wage scale is included on the Student Employment Services website.

Departments have the flexibility to set their own starting wages as long as they do not extend outside the wage scale.


FICA Withholding

CMU student employees normally do not have Social Security taxes (FICA) withheld from their pay. During the Academic Year, student employees are exempt from FICA withholding if they are enrolled half-time (six credit hours for undergraduate students, five credit hours for graduate students).

To be exempt from FICA withholding during the Summer, citizen students must be enrolled at least half-time. International students will not have FICA withheld no matter what their enrollment status.

High school students will have FICA withheld regardless of enrollment status or the number of hours worked.


How Much Can a Student Earn?

College Work-Study (CWS)

CWS student employees are assigned a specific amount to earn based on their Financial Aid award.  If possible, the hiring department should assign a specific number of hours that will allow the student to earn their full Work-Study award.

General Student Assistance (GSA)

GSA employees are assigned a maximum amount to earn based on available funds in the hiring department.


Students will not be paid for time they do not work.



Student employees must be paid at one and one-half times their hourly rate for every hour worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a week.


Pay Practices for University Closures or Delaying Operations Due to Weather or Other Adverse Conditions

Due to Federal Work-Study fund restrictions, student employees may only be compensated for hours actually worked.  Therefore, students are not compensated for scheduled hours that are not worked due to university closures or delays.  For consistency, this restriction is also applied to students paid from GSA funds.  Departments have the option of rescheduling student employees to make up for hours missed due to the university closure but must ensure that student employees do not exceed the 40 hour per pay period limit required by the Affordable Care Act.  Please note that international students are limited to 20 hours per week.


Payroll Procedures

All student employees including graduate teaching assistants are paid on a bi-weekly basis. No student will be placed on the payroll without proper clearance from and paperwork filed with Student Employment Services.

Student employees are paid an hourly wage rate and are paid only for hours worked.

Wage Increases

Departments may process in-grade adjustments using the online Change Form, "Personnel Transactions," found on CentralLink: My Account. Wage increases of more than $13 dollars per hour require approval from Student Employment Services and HR/Compensation as well as the senior management for the area requesting the change.  Student Employment Services does not make automatic adjustments based on longevity or applied across the board.

Senior management for these processes is defined as "managers or directors who report directly to a Vice President or President and Senior Officers."


Wage Scale

The Current Wage Scale is monitored and updated on the SES website.