FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What services does the Student Employment Office (SEO) provide?
SEO is available to assist students with finding part-time employment on campus under student Employment and the Work-Study program.  The SEO provides detailed guidelines to aid students in their search for a job by providing employment related services and information, processes the paperwork necessary to allow students to begin working, and mediates problems that arise during employment at the University.

Who is eligible for student employment?
All Our Lady of the Lake University undergraduate students and all International students currently enrolled for twelve credit hours, or graduates with minimally nine hours, who meet the requirements shown on the job vacancy listing for on-campus positions, are eligible for employment.  The University offers hourly employment through the Work-Study and Student-Employment programs.  Students awarded a financial aid award are employed through the Work-Study program.  Students who do not qualify for a work-study award, but are eligible to work on campus are hired through Student Employment.

What types of jobs are available?
The University offers a variety of hourly part-time jobs which require different degrees of skill or experience.  Positions are based on availability and may include general office assistants, accounting clerks, Help Desk I-Computer Lab, teacher's aides, tutors, library aides, research assistants, and postal assistants.

If I reject my Work-Study award, may I obtain employment under Student Employment?
No.  Students who reject their award for whatever reason, then decide to seek employment at a later date, must return to the Financial Aid Office to reinstate their Work-Study award.

If I am not enrolled in classes during the summer semester, can I still apply for employment during the summer?
Students need not be enrolled for summer classes to be eligible for summer employment through the Student Employment program.  Students must have attended the previous Spring semester and not graduated and be pre-registered for the upcoming fall semester, or enrolled for summer classes, to be eligible for employment during the summer. 

How many hours per week am I allowed to work?
Your award, departmental budget, the needs of the department, and the supervisor will determine the number of hours per week you will be able to work.  Generally, students may work 12 to 15 hours per week.

What is the official work schedule?
You and your supervisor will set up a work schedule.  Your schedule may be determined by the needs of the department, your class schedule and other commitments you may have.  Providing the hours you are available and willing to work will be helpful to the supervisor at the time of your interview.

Can a student have two jobs?
Not if you are employed through Work-Study or Student Employment.  These two programs are to give students an opportunity to work on campus.  Students awarded Work-Study must be hired through Work-Study.  Student Employment is for those students who do not qualify for Work-Study.  Job descriptions, pay scales, and benefits are identical for both programs.

I am graduating this semester, can I continue to work under Student Employment or Work-Study after graduation?
Students are no longer eligible to work on campus under Student Employment or Work-Study as of the date they graduate or withdraw from the university unless they are a graduate student enrolled for nine or more semester hours.


Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

Definition of a "Work Week"

How is a "work week" defined for those students who are paid biweekly?
For biweekly paid employees of Our Lady of the Lake University a "work week" starts on Saturday and ends 7 days later on a Friday. This "work week" follows the same Department of Labor standard of 7 consecutive 24 hour periods or 168 hours. A "work week" should not be confused with the term "pay period". A "pay period" can be defined as the consecutive time period for which a person's compensation for services is based. For a biweekly paid employee at Our Lady of the Lake University, a "pay period" is made up of 14 consecutive days, or 2 "work weeks", which starts on a Saturday. The 20-hour rule is applied to each "work week" in a "pay period" independent of each other. Therefore, even though a person is paid for two weeks at a time, the international student is limited to no more than 20 hours in each week. For example, if an international student works 15 hours in week one of a "pay period", he or she can only work 20 hours in week two of that "pay period". It is important to note that the 20 hour standard looks strictly at the "work week" and not the "pay period". Here are two examples:

  • Example 1: The time period is several weeks into a spring semester. DeAnna is an international student worker paid biweekly who has a test later in the week on Friday and wants to take off on Thursday instead of working her normal 5 hours on Thursday. She would like to make up those hours by coming in this Monday for an additional 2 hours and Tuesday for 3 hours. This is a good solution because the "work week" gives her until Friday of the upcoming week to add additional hours and make up the 5 hour work time she wants to miss to study for the test. This way, her biweekly timecard will still only show a total of 20 hours worked during the first 7 day "work week" for the "pay period" shown on the timecard.

  • Example 2: Yvonne is an international student paid biweekly working 4 hours a day Monday through Friday. She has a trip out of town to make a presentation at a conference that will last from Monday to Wednesday. She wants to make up the 12 hours she will miss when she is at the conference by coming in during the weekend after the conference and working on Saturday for 6 hours and Sunday for 6 hours in addition to her normal 20 hours during that "work week". This is not a good solution because the biweekly timecard will show that Yvonne worked only 8 hours during the first "work week" from Saturday to Friday and 32 during the second "work week" from Saturday to Friday. A better solution would be for Yvonne to work additional hours before she leaves on the trip, if her employing department is agreeable to this arrangement.

 

Finding On-Campus Employment

How Can I Find On-Campus Employment?

  1. View the listing of  Job Opportunities .
    Note the supervisor's name and extension number for the position/positions you are interested in and qualify for.

  2. Contact the department supervisor to set up an appointment for an interview. (Supervisors may be reached by calling the Lake number, 210-434-6711 and asking for the extension).  A completed  Application for Employment  or Online Employment application MUST BE presented to the supervisor at the time of the interview.

  3. Prior to attending your interview, drop by the Student Employment Office (SEO) to complete an application, pick up additional information, and receive the appropriate work agreement form. The SEO determines which work program you qualify for.  For summer employment, students must present their summer and/or the upcoming fall registration invoice, whichever is applicable.  Interview preparation tips and Student Class/Work Schedule forms are available in the SEO. NOTE :  The  application for student employment  may be printed and completed in advance, but must be submitted to the Student Employment Office before attending an interview.

  4. Attend the interview/s.

  5. Once you have been hired for a position, the supervisor must sign the agreement.

  6. Return to the Student Employment Office with all copies of the signed agreement form and complete the remaining paperwork.  Students MUST NOT begin working until all paperwork is complete and approved by the SEO .

  7. A Form I-9 must be completed at the SEO.  Be prepared to present documents that establish identity and employment eligibility.  A  list of acceptable documents  is available  here  and in the SEO.

 

Limitations on On-Campus Employment Hours

Can an international student on an F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant visa work more than 20 hours a week?
Federal regulations governing F-1 and J-1 student limit them to work no more than 20 total hours per week while school is in session. This includes any work undertaken pursuant to a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship. On-campus employment may exceed 20 hours per week during summer and other vacation periods for eligible students who plan to register for the following semester. HOWEVER, no student employee should ever work more than 20 hours per week without first obtaining approval from ISS and their supervisor. No graduate assistant should work more than 20 hours a week without requesting authorization from ISS and through their academic department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Can a student work 15 hours one week and 25 the next since this would average to 20 hours per week?
No. Federal regulations governing non-immigrant statuses are very clear on this point. The maximum amount of work allowed in a one week is 20 hours, except during the periods described in the response to the previous question. Therefore, you should not average hours across several weeks.

What if a student wants to volunteer or work more than 20 hours a week and just not clock into Stromberg?
Under Federal Regulations, volunteering is regarded as employment. Employing departments who allow employees to do this are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Immigration Regulations. Students must be paid for hours worked and therefore would lose their legal status. In addition, sanctions against an employer may be possible.

I am a biweekly paid international student and I am authorized to work in the summer 40 hours a week on-campus and then must switch to 20 hours a week because classes have started. Am I in trouble because the columns on the biweekly timecard will add up to more than 20 hours a week since the "pay period" will include some days that I worked "full time" and the rest when I worked "part time?"
No. You were eligible to accrue a higher level of hours during those days you worked over 20 hours a week. The official University academic calendar will serve as evidence of why you worked more hours on those days in the work week. This situation will commonly occur when the biweekly timecards contain time periods when students ARE legally eligible to work more than 20 hours a week. Example:

  • Example: Jennifer is an international student employee paid bi-weekly who was enrolled in the Spring semester and took only one class in Summer Session I. Jennifer is pre-registered for the Fall semester and is in a legal non-immigrant status. Jennifer arranges with her employer to work 8 hours a day during the summer (i.e. over 20 hours per week). Jennifer is legally employed during the summer. Once fall classes begin, Jennifer drops back to working 20 hours a week. Her timecard will show that she worked 40 hours a week before the start of Fall classes and that she dropped back to 20 hours a week once classes had begun.

 

Making Up Missed On-Campus Employment Hours

Must an employer allow a student to make up missed hours?
No. That is a decision that has to be approved by the employer. Even the choice of days to make up work must be something that is agreeable to the employer. In one of the examples given above, time was made up on a weekend, for example. This may not be possible in some employment situations.

Violating the Law

What happens to a student who works more than 20 hours a week when they are not legally able to do so?
According to federal regulations, the international student loses his/her non-immigrant status and is now considered to be acquiring unlawful presence in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security has little tolerance for employers who employ international students who lose their status due to unauthorized employment. In fact, there is a zero tolerance policy for international students who lose their status due to unauthorized employment. It is unlikely that such an international student would be able to remain legally in the U.S. to complete a degree in this situation.

If an employer requests that an international student work more than 20 hours a week but only wants to pay the student for 20 hours a week, to whom should the student report this?
This violates the Fair Labor Standards Act in addition to Immigration Regulations. Students should report this to the appropriate individual in the authority structure within their employing department. If the problem continues, the next individual in the hierarchy should be contacted, and so on. Students who are not confident in their ability to approach this problem can bring it to ISS or OGS.


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