Student Employee Pay Process Affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

While during a pandemic, we can expect some student employees may be exposed to or contract the virus, triggering a required quarantine or isolation of at least 14 days.  The purpose of this proposal is to set a University-wide response to student employees’ compensation during a required quarantine or isolation period. 

University Student Employee Values

  1. The University values individual, as well as community, health and encourages everyone to make sound decisions that preserve their own and our community’s health. This will require individuals to make the active decision to notify supervisors in a timely manner and to not report to campus at times. 
  2. The University needs to maintain services to students, employees, and visitors. A vacancy can require compensating someone else to do the needed work.
  3. The University empowers budget managers to make sounds fiscal decisions with regards to staffing.

Thanksgiving Break and After Information 

After the Thanksgiving break, nearly all instruction has transitioned to online delivery for the remainder of the fall term.  This means that many students will not be coming back to campus for fall term.  That noted, current plans are for most other campus operations to remain open so that students and other members of the university community can continue receiving services

Supervisors we hope that you will allow student employees the opportunity to continue working on campus if they stay in the Mankato area. 

Can their work be done remotely within the state of Minnesota?

Supervisors, if your student employees do not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break and the work that they do can be done remotely within the state of Minnesota, we hope that you will allow them to continue working. 

If your student employees do not come back to the area after the Thanksgiving break and the work that needs to be done can not be done remotely, those student employees will not be paid.  This situation would not qualify as being eligible for COVID-19 pay which is currently reserved only for students who are unable to work due to being quarantined after contracting the virus, being quarantined after being exposed to the virus, or not being able to work because of an executive order from the governor.

Remote work can only be in within the state of Minnesota

We recently received guidance from the Office of General Counsel at the system office that we should not hire student employees to work remotely from anywhere other than within the state of Minnesota. The basis for this guidance is due to the fact that our student payroll system is not set up to comply with the tax laws in other states or countries.  We realize that there may be special situations that cause hardships and warrant further discussion.  If you have questions about this guidance, please contact Steve W. Smith, Asst. VP for Budget & Business Services for further discussion.


Proposed Approach to Student Employees’ Compensation During the Pandemic

  1. A student employee who believes they may have COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed as having COVID-19, should contact their primary health care provider. As with any illness, stay at home and report your absence using the standard process for your unit.  
  2. Student employees will be compensated for work performed at the direction of a supervisor, whether that work is on-campus or off-campus.
  3. If a student employee is exposed to a person with COVID-19 while at work, then the Supervisor will compensate that student employee for regularly scheduled work during their quarantine period.
  4. If a student employee contracts COVID-19 while at work, then the Supervisor will compensate that student employee for regularly scheduled work hours during their self-isolation.   
  5. If a student employee is exposed to a person with COVID-19 or contracts COVID-19 while not at work, then the Supervisor will compensate that student employee for regularly scheduled work hours during the quarantine or self-isolation period.
  6. No additional staffing dollars will be provided to budget managers for compensating student-employees not able to perform work due to COVID-19 exposure or illness.       

Adding COVID19 Hours for Student Employees

Through the Student Payroll Supervisor application, supervisors can record scheduled hours to be paid, but not worked if a student employee needs to isolate or has been diagnosed with COVID19.  The supervisor would select “unable to work-sick with COVID-19” option.  This option is available for Student Help positions.

 If a Federal or State Work Study funded student has been diagnosed or needs to isolate, the COVID19 pay will need to be paid from institutional funds.  The department will need to submit a student help work authorization form to Student Payroll so supervisors can record scheduled hours to be paid, but not worked under the student help position.


If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Miller in Student Payroll at 507-389-2265 or cheryl.miller-1@mnsu.edu.