The University of Colorado and the UCCS are uncertain about the effect of the new law on student employment. "It will have a change definitely on how we calculate time worked," said Lisa Landis, assistant vice president, Employee Services for the CU system. "We are getting very little guidance from federal regulations." A full time employee will work at least 30 hours a week, irrespective of the month.
"We're trying to get clarity around how the 75 percent fulltime equivalency will apply to student employees, said Susan Szpyrka, vice chancellor for Administration and Finance. "It isn't saying that someone can't work 35 hours in one week or 39 hours in one week. It's saying that we're still trying to figure it out," said Szyprka. "I've been asking for advice on this now since probably July."
AdvertisementWill it be a 30-hour limit will be enforced as a weekly maximum or as a 1,560-hour yearly total is the question. "I cannot tell you we are or are not going to restrict people to 30 hours a week because we have made no decision on that," Szpyrka said. Szpyrak pointed out that if students wanted to continue working 40 hours a week, they would maybe do so partly on campus but along with another off-campus employer.
"I do know that there are students who have that demand and that need. And they'll still probably be able to do that, but they may find that they're working a job on campus and a job off campus." The possibility of limited weekly hours of working, for some student employees is a concern for future financials. Kristen Robards, a junior math major working at the Copy Center, was worried about making ends meet.
"The limitation is very unfair, especially for students who are financially independent like me," said Robards. "For them to limit that I don't think is morally right." Szpyrka feels, based on information from CU Employee Services, the university would not implement any changes until the UCCS' open enrollment period started in May.
"I can't tell you when the changes will be," said Szyprka. "I will tell you that we will have the information out as quickly as we can." "Anything that may impact a student, we want them to know about it before the end of the May term," she added. She said the university would have a high level of control throughout the process. "UCCS will be able to manage most of the implementation of the policy and even determine what our processes will be." Regarding health benefits for those working on campus, Szyprka stated, "Student employees have never had benefits. It's kind of been a great thing for students to find employment."
"It helps the university in hiring students, and most students don't need health insurance." She went on to explain most, not all, undergrad students are covered under their parents' plan until they are 26. Szpyrka stated, "It is never good when a student does not have health insurance." She felt that many students can remain on their parents plan until age 26.
For students who do not have health insurance, UCCS offers a student health insurance plan that any student can opt for, whether they are a student employee or not. Szyprka also said that all students at UCCS have access to the Student Health Center for "non-emergency care."
She went on to explain that "were benefit packages funded for student employees, the number of student employment hours available would have to be reduced in order to fund the benefits."
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Nick Beadleston, December 2013
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