Student Employment Handbook

student employment

Rev. 7/2022


Welcome to the University of New Mexico Student Employment Program. Your participation, both as student and employee, should be a rewarding and pleasant experience. As an employee, you will be called upon to perform a variety of tasks, some of which you will learn as you work. This Student Employee Guide is intended to help you become familiar with the employment policies and practices of the University, its colleges, and departments.

We hope the information in this booklet is helpful to you and that your experiences as a student employee at UNM meet your needs and expectations. We want you to enjoy your work and to derive lasting benefits from it. We believe that the more you learn about the University, your job, and its benefits, the greater your satisfaction will be.

The Student Employment Office exists to assist you financially by offering valuable work experiences that will enhance your life now and in the future.

Brian Malone, Director
Student Financial Aid

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It is the policy of the University of New Mexico that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in any form under any program or activity of the University, its branches, or agencies, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental handicap, ancestry or medical condition.

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Reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment, or the way a job is normally performed that enables a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that job. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include making facilities accessible to people with disabilities, acquiring or modifying equipment or devices or modifying job procedures. It is the student’s responsibility to inform his or her supervisor of the need for an accommodation. The Director of UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity is UNM’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator can help employees and supervisors with requests for accommodations.

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Cashier's Office277-5363
Office of Equal Opportunity277-5251
Student Employment Office277-3511
Student Financial Aid277-8900

Safety and Risk Services

-to Report Safety Issues or Work Injury


Internal Audit

-to Report Fraud or Misconduct

Anonymous UNM Hotline1-888-899-6092

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES - All available positions have to be posted on the UNMJobs website for a minimum of five (5) calendar days.


Work-Study is a need-based financial aid program subsidized by the State and Federal governments. Students need to apply for financial aid to determine eligibility for work-study. If they qualify, their earnings are limited to the Work-study amount indicated on their award notification. The application priority date for financial aid, including work-study, is January 5, annually.

Students may use their Fall/Spring award during the Fall/Spring semester as long as they are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program at UNM during both semesters. If students want work-study for the summer, they must complete and submit a Summer Financial Aid Request form available at after they enroll at least half time for the summer session.

Please note: Fall/Spring work study awards do not roll over to the summer session .


Students need not qualify for financial aid to be employed through the Student Employment Program. To be eligible to work during the summer session regardless of summer enrollment, student employees must complete at least half-time enrollment in the spring at UNM (in a degree-seeking program) and be pre-registered in at least half-time hours for the fall at UNM (in a degree-seeking program). Students and departments will be charged FICA and Medicare taxes for any period of non-enrollment during the summer.

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Once the student has been awarded work-study through Financial Aid, the student may apply for any of the work-study jobs listed on the UNMJobs website. Students may need to complete an interview and hiring process with the department of their choice. The hiring coordinator will submit a Hiring Request for the student to the Student Employment Office. The Student Employment Office will send a tentative Offer Letter to the student, who must accept or decline the offer. If accepted, the student may have to go to the Student Employment Office to complete hiring paperwork. All employees need to have their employment eligibility verified through the completion of the I-9 form. Once the hiring request has been approved by the Student Employment Office, students will receive a final Authorization to Begin Working letter with their official start date. All necessary hiring forms are available through the Student Employment Office website.

****If you are on public assistance or subsidized housing, you are required to have a Federal work-study award to maintain your eligibility for these programs. If you receive a State work-study award, please notify the Student Employment Office at 505-277-3511 so your award can be switched to Federal Work-Study before you begin applying for jobs.


For part-time jobs on campus not administered by the Work-Study Program, students must go through the same hiring process they would for a work-study job as outlined above. Students may apply to any Student Employment jobs listed on the UNMJobs website.

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Students employed through the Student Employment or Work-study Program are hired on a probationary status during the first two months of each new assignment. During this period, students have the chance to determine whether the job is acceptable for them. At any time, employees have the option of changing jobs if they find another opportunity that is more compatible with their schedule or their purpose for working. However, if the probationary period has passed, it is customary to provide a two week notice. During the probationary period, supervisors will assess the student’s performance as well. The student may be released from employment during or at the conclusion of the probationary period, with or without cause. The decision to release a probationary employee is not subject to appeal.

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Within the pay scale there are four grades -- “Grade I,” “Grade II,” “Grade III,” and “Grade IV”. Students are to be paid based on the required knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete their job.

Grade I: Entry level position, routine duties which may involve a modest degree of responsibility and judgment. Some specific knowledge or skills.

Grade II: Intermediate level position, some responsibility and skills, perform varied and moderately complex duties involving a moderate to substantial degree of responsibility and judgment. May direct or coordinate activities of other student employees. Usually requires previous training or equivalent experience.

Grade III: Advanced level position, perform varied and complex duties involving a high degree of responsibility and judgment. May supervise or regularly lead activities of other student employees. Usually requires considerable training or equivalent experience in a specialized or technical field.

Grade IV: Technical/Specialist level, extremely high skill level, independent work.

The pay scale is available on our website at Pay Scale .

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Student employees may transfer from one department to another within the University in order to facilitate their interests, develop existing skills, or acquire new skills. Students are expected to follow all procedures for terminating from one department and being hired by another. New hiring department and students should follow the Hiring Process as outlined above.

Students may transfer from any other UNM position to a student position, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria. Students may not work simultaneously on the student and staff payrolls.

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Employees may be requested to transfer within the department to a position that will better utilize their skills or to improve the function of the department. It is recommended that students be given a one-week notice of this intent. If possible, the student should be informed of the possibility of a transfer at the time of hire.  Departments should complete the EPAN for Students process to complete Interdepartmental Transfers.

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Remote/Work or telecommuting is an alternative work arrangement that allows a student employee to perform all or part of their work away from a UNM worksite within the state of New Mexico. With appropriate approvals, UNM Student Employment considers remote work/ telecommuting to be a viable, flexible work option when both the student employee and the job are suited to such an arrangement. Remote work/telecommuting may be appropriate for some student employees and jobs, but not for others. It is not an entitlement, and in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with the University.

The Student Employment Remote Work/Telecommuting Guidelines describe the terms for remote work/telecommuting to assist student supervisors in assessing whether an alternative work arrangement is suitable for their department(s) or particular student employees in their department(s). Supervisors are encouraged to review these guidelines and communicate expectations for remote work/telecommuting that will provide equitable use across departments while maintaining business continuity. The specific conditions will be defined in the Student Employment Remote Work/Telecommuting Request that is developed by the student employee and the supervisor.


Student employees may be terminated under a variety of circumstances. There are three broad categories under which a student employee’s termination may fall: termination by the Student Employment Office, voluntary termination, or involuntary termination.


This is an administrative termination that may affect all Work-Study and non-work-study student employees. The Student Employment Office terminates your employment for one of five reasons:

  • The work-study employee has earned their total work-study allocation for the academic year;
  • The work-study employee is not maintaining satisfactory academic progress (see Academic Requirements);
  • The Student Employee or work-study employee has withdrawn from the University.
  • **** Work-study students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) anytime during the semester become ineligible on the date of withdrawal. Departments will be charged 100% of the student earnings during any period of ineligibility. Please note that the Student Employment Office is notified of unofficial withdrawals in January/February for Fall semester withdrawals, May/June for Spring semester withdrawals, and August/September for summer semester withdrawals. *****
  • The Student Employee or Work-Study employee exceeds the 28 hour per week limit during the semester.
  • All work-study job assignments are terminated each year on the last day of the spring semester. All student employees (including work-study employees) must meet all eligibility requirements to continue working after the last day of each spring semester. Hiring departments have to submit Job Extension ePAN to the Student Employment Office before the end of the spring semester.

The employing department is responsible for determining which students are administratively terminated by monitoring the appropriate Active Employees report in HRReports. In addition, the employing department is responsible for notifying students of an administrative termination.

Both the employing department and the student are responsible for monitoring the work-study earnings associated with student’s work-study allocation. Furthermore, it is imperative that the department and the student stay in constant communication to ensure the student maintains his or her eligibility for employment . This includes enrollment hours, students must maintain half-time enrollment during the entire semester in order to qualify for employment.


A student employee (including work-study employee) may initiate a resignation from their position. Resignations should be submitted in writing, no less than two weeks prior to the indicated date of termination. Departments, in turn, may not terminate a student less than two weeks after the date of written notification.

However, students are considered to have resigned if they:

  • Walk off the job;
  • Are absent for three consecutive days scheduled for work without prior approval, except when an emergency situation precludes giving notice; OR
  • Fail to return to work within six working days following the end of a personal leave of absence.

Note: Two-week notification of termination by the employing department is not mandatory in any of the above instances.


Student employees may be involuntarily dismissed from their position if they:

  • Fail to perform in a satisfactory manner;
  • Commit a major offense including, but no limited to theft, gross misconduct or gross insubordination.

Note: Students may be immediately dismissed with no prior notice for committing any of these actions.

If involuntarily terminated, student employees have the option of pursuing the issue as outlined in the student employment grievance procedure.




For work-study and student employees who have completed the probationary period, supervisors are strongly encouraged to use progressive discipline. Progressive discipline actions include: oral warning, written warning, and dismissal.


Employers are required to give a two week warning notice prior to involuntary termination. The written warning is suggested to give employees an opportunity to be aware of and correct specific job deficiencies. A copy of the warning notice should also be sent to the Student Employment Office for the employee’s file. Failure to correct the deficiencies outlined in the warning notice will result in termination of employment.


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This policy applies to all students employed through the Student Employment Office under College Work-study or the Student Employment Program who have successfully completed their probationary period. Students employed as graduate, teaching, research, special and project assistants are subject to the employment policies procedures contained in the Faculty Handbook. Students whose employment is associated with an academic program must follow the student grievance procedure through the EVP of Academic Affairs

Student employees may utilize the termination grievance procedure only to dispute an involuntary dismissal. It may not be used if a student employee resigns (as set forth under Voluntary Termination) nor does it apply to any other work dispute or grievance.

  • The employee shall submit written notice initiating the termination grievance procedure within ten working days of the termination. The notice should be directed to the concerned department chairperson or director with a copy submitted to the Student Employment Office;
  • The concerned department chairperson or director shall hold an informal meeting with the employee and render a written decision. Step two shall occur within ten working days following the filing in writing of such a complaint with the department chairperson;
  • The employee may file an appeal to a termination grievance board within ten working days of notification of the decision reached in step two. The termination grievance board shall hold a formal hearing as soon as practical after the filing of the appeal.

The termination grievance board shall be composed as follows:

  • The president of ASUNM or his/her designee shall serve in the case of an appeal by an undergraduate student.
  • The president of GPSA or his/her designee shall serve in the case of an appeal by a graduate student.
  • The Dean of Students or his/her designee.
  • The two appointed members will select the third member from Enrollment Management.

Procedures for the termination grievance hearing are as follows:

  • The hearing shall be private.
  • The student appealing his or her termination is responsible for presenting his or her case; advisors (including attorney advisors) are therefore not permitted to present arguments or evidence or otherwise participate directly in the hearing. The department may appoint a representative to present the department's case. The representative may have an advisor but, like the student, the advisor cannot participate directly in the hearing.
  • The Grievance Board members may question both parties in the hearing.
  • Both the student appealing his/her termination and the department representative have the right, within reasonable limits set by the presiding official, to question all witnesses who testify.
  • Both the student appealing his/her termination and the department representative have the right to submit any evidence they want the grievance board to consider at least five (5) business days before the hearing. Both parties also have the right to identify witnesses for the grievance board to invite. The grievance board may, at its discretion, request those or other witnesses to attend the hearing and provide testimony. The grievance board does not have the power to subpoena witnesses. Any evidence provided to the grievance board by either party will be made available for review by the other party at least three (3) business days before the hearing."
  • The Grievance Board may proceed independently to secure evidence for the hearing. The party charged shall have an opportunity to review any such evidence at least three (3) business days before the hearing.
  • The hearing will be recorded and the Grievance Board will keep a copy of the recording. The recording is the property of the University. No typed record will be made.
  • The hearing proceeding is not subject to judicial rules of evidence.

The decision of the termination grievance board is final except that the President and the Board of Regents have the discretionary authority to review the decision. The President and the Board of Regents normally review such decisions only in extraordinary cases, such as where proper procedures have apparently not been followed, where the decision appears to be unsupported by the facts, or where the decision appears to violate University policy.


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Students who are scheduled to graduate will be administratively terminated on the last class day of the semester they are scheduled to graduate. Students are responsible for updating their graduation dates with their advisors. Graduate students should check with their academic department. The deadlines for updating graduation dates for student employees and work-study students are March 1st (spring), May 1st (summer) and October 1st (fall).

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Work-study students are required to maintain satisfactory academic half-time enrollment during the entire semester in order to qualify for work-study or student employment positions. Students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) anytime during the semester become ineligible on the date of withdrawal. Departments will be charged 100% of the student earnings during any period of ineligibility. Eligibility follows the process as listed in the UNM Catalog and the Student Financial Aid Guide.

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Students classified as non-degree are not eligible for student employment unless the student is taking prerequisites for a graduate program or is enrolled in a teacher certification program. Approval must be given by the Student Employment Office each semester. Any student approved for employment in non-degree status should complete all courses indicated on the non-degree form in order to be approved for the following semester. If a student changes his/her schedule without notifying the Student Employment Office, the student will be administratively terminated (without notice) and is ineligible for future employment under non-degree status. Students, if approved, may qualify for a non-degree waiver for a maximum of one year, which includes two sixteen-week semesters (fall, spring) and one summer session. Non-degree students must attend classes during sessions worked.

Note: Non-degree students enrolled in graduate level courses or courses for graduate credit are not eligible for student employment. Non-degree students taking courses to raise their GPA for admission to a graduate program do not qualify for this exception..

Academic Advisors: Students should have a bachelor's degree in order to be eligible for a non-degree waiver. Courses taken by the student must be undergraduate prerequisites for a graduate program. If the student is eligible to take graduate courses without any prerequisites, then the student cannot qualify for student employment under this exception.


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-Students may work a maximum of 8 hours per day.

-Domestic students are allowed to work a maximum of 28 hours per week.

-International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during school sessions. They are allowed to work up to 28 hours per week during winter breaks and summer sessions.

A violation of any of the above policies may result in the termination of the assignment.


Students must take at least a 30 minute meal break for every six hours of continuous work. Student employees are due a fifteen-minute rest period within every four hours of scheduled continuous work. Employees and their supervisor should agree, in advance, on the timing of rest periods.


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All departments are required to keep a detailed time sheet documenting the hours worked by each student employee for audit purposes. Students will need to check their posted hours and sign the time sheet for payment of the hours worked. The work week begins on Saturday and ends Friday. .

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It is strongly recommended that students have their paychecks deposited directly into their checking or savings accounts by the Payroll Department. Students may set up direct deposit electronically through Lobo Web:

-Log into

-Select the Student Employee Tab.

-Select Direct Deposit.

*You will need your bank's routing number and your account number. If you receive an error while entering the routing number, please contact the Payroll Office at 277-2353 for assistance. We recommend that you set up your direct deposit at least one week prior to any pay date.


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All pay periods are two full weeks in duration. There are twenty-six pay periods in a calendar year and employees are normally paid every other Friday. The schedule for pay dates is available on the Student Employment and Payroll websites.

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If students are required to work on a holiday, they will receive straight time pay for the hours worked. Some departments on campus may require holiday work.

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All wages paid to student employees, including Work-study, are subject to income taxes. Students must complete the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (W-4) before being placed on the payroll. Payroll processing will be delayed until this form has been completed and submitted to the Payroll Office. If employees claim “exempt,” yearly renewal in January is required.

You can change your tax status on LoboWeb

-Log into my UNM
-Go to your Student Employee Tab
-Go to LoboWeb
-Click Tax Forms
-Click Federal Tax Exemptions or Allowances (W4)
-Click Update
-Enter your filing status and number of allowances


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A statement of wages earned is issued by the University of New Mexico at the end of the calendar year and is sent to students by the Payroll Office in January. Students should check LoboWeb to make sure that their current permanent mailing address is on file. Instructions for viewing and changing your address through LoboWeb can be found above .

-Log into my UNM
-Go to your Student Employee Tab
-Go to LoboWeb
-Click Tax Forms
-Click W-2 Wage and Tax Statement
-Select Tax Year
-Click Display


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During Fall and Spring sessions, student employees are exempt from paying FICA taxes if enrolled at least half-time or more. Students and hiring departments are required to pay FICA taxes for periods of non-enrollment or if their enrollment falls below half-time. Students who drop below half-time will be terminated and their hiring departments will be charged FICA for the pay periods that the student became under-enrolled. FICA charges are not subsidized by Work-study. The department will be charged 100% of FICA taxes during the Summer session for students who are not enrolled in at least half-time hours.

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The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires all new employees to provide proof of identity and employment verification. Further information may be obtained from the Student Employment Office. If there is any break of service of 1 year or more, students are required to complete or update their I-9 in person at the Student Employment Office. Students are not eligible to begin working until I-9 documentation is completed at the Student Employment Office. I-9 documentation completed by departments is not valid.


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F-1 and J-1 VISAS

Students having F-1 or J-1 visas are eligible to work on the Student Employment Payroll only if proper documentation indicating the student is eligible to work in the United States is presented at the Student Employment Office when completing hiring paperwork.

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The University-Wide Mandatory Training listed below is REQUIRED for all student employees. 


  • SRS 0117 Basic Annual Safety Training - 2017
  • EOD 1017 Intersections: Preventing Discrimination and Harassment - 2017
  • EOD 481-17 Active Shooter on Campus: Run, Hide, Fight - 2017

Student employees must complete these trainings by December 1 st each year. Training is available in Learning Central (

Suspected Impairment at Work

This policy describes the procedures to follow when dealing with a student employee who appears to be impaired while at work and available resources for the student employee. Impairment may be due to the use of alcohol or other substances/drugs (legal or illegal).   Impairment could also be due to medical and/or psychological conditions.  See “Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2310: Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities” The University encourages student employees to seek appropriate help following an incident of suspected impairment. The University provides resources, including the Student Health and Counseling Office and the LoboRespect Advocacy Center to resolve potential problems before such an occurrences take place. See Impaired Performance Incident Checklist – Student.  Safety is the primary objective of this policy. A student employee who is impaired may not remain at his or her work site because of the increased risk for accidents and dangerous or inappropriate behavior. For the safety of the impaired student employee and others at the University, it is important that the impaired student employee leave the work site immediately in a safe and orderly manner. 

Procedures Based on Perceived Level of Impairment

If the student employee appears violent, verbally abusive, or otherwise threatening, the manager/supervisor should call 911 immediately and request University police.  In this case, the supervisor should make reasonable efforts to protect himself/herself and others.

If the student employee appears to be having a medical emergency or requests medical assistance, the supervisor should call 911 immediately and request an ambulance to transport the student employee to the emergency room. The supervisor should have someone stay with the employee until medical/emergency personnel arrive.  If the student employee has been transported by either of these methods, the supervisor should contact the student employee the next day to discuss next steps and should mail the student employee a copy of the Impaired Performance Incident Checklist- Student.  

Determining and Reporting Impairment

A supervisor may determine reasonable suspicion that a student employee is impaired by observing the student behavior, appearance, and/or odor. See the Impaired Performance Incident Checklist-Student for steps to take when a student employee is determined to be impaired. Whenever possible, a supervisor should have another individual present when he or she talks to the student in order to confirm the observations. Ideally, this second person should be a supervisor or manager. The individual selected must understand that all aspects of the incident are confidential. If no one is available, it is important for the supervisor to take action based on his or her observations.  The objective indicators made by the supervisor should be clearly documented on the Impairment Checklist – Student. The employee should be given a copy of the Impaired Performance Incident Checklist before leaving the workplace in non-emergency cases.

An employee may report suspected impairment of a co-worker to the supervisor. If the employee suspects impairment of his or her supervisor, the employee should advise the next level manager. An employee reporting suspected impairment is protected from retaliation in accordance with UAP 2200 (“Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Whistleblower Protection from Retaliation”).

Non-Emergency Situations

If police or emergency personnel area not warranted, the supervisor should refer to the Impaired Performance Incident Checklist and should tell the student employee that he or she believes the employee is impaired.  The supervisor should also tell the student he or she:

  • Must leave the work site for his or her safety and the safety of others.
  • May choose to provide the supervisor a name and phone number of an individual who could provide him or her a ride, or may choose to take a taxi ride home paid for by the student. (The supervisor should inform a student employee who refuses to accept alternative transportation that the supervisor is required to call the police if the student employee chooses to drive any vehicle.)
  • Will need to meet with the supervisor upon his or her release to return to work to discuss the situation further.
  • May call Dean of Students (DOS) for assistance
  • May call SHAC/LoboRespect for assistance.
  • Will have to acknowledge receipt of the Impaired Performance Incident Checklist - Student by signing the document.
  • The supervisor should call Student Employment office for further guidance and may submit a Report a Student of Concern.

Follow-up Action

The student employee is encouraged to contact SHAC and/or LoboRespect as soon as possible to discuss ways to help the student. The supervisor may contact Campus Assessment Response Education office (CARE) on any related student behavioral issues.

The supervisor or designee should meet with the student employee upon his/her return to work to discuss the possible consequences and expectations. The supervisor will inform the student employee that during the review of his/her case, the University expects the impaired behavior will cease in the workplace and that the student employee will seek assistance to prevent a recurrence. The SHAC or LoboRespect programs do not alter or supersede the University’s employment policies or disciplinary processes. 

Disciplinary Action

Depending on the circumstances and the causation of the suspected impairment, the student employee may or may not be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable University policies. 




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If you cannot find the answer to your questions here please don't hesitate to contact us at 277-3511.