Hours, Scheduling, & Breaks
How many hours can students work each week? Can student employees work overtime?
During the Fall and Spring semesters, students may work up to a maximum total of 20 hours per week, across all hourly positions held. During summer, winter, and spring breaks, students can work up to a total of 40 hours per week. If a student takes classes during an official break period, then the 20 hours/week rule applies.
Students may work up to 40 hours per week during New Student Orientation, Reunion & Commencement, and Finals weeks.
Student employees are prohibited from working overtime.
What rights do student employees have in terms of scheduling, rest periods, and meal breaks in their hourly positions?
Employers must communicate their scheduling and availability expectations on their job postings at the time of application.
Employers cannot require employees to work more than 6 days in any calendar week (Connecticut General Statutes, Section 53-303e). A student employee’s refusal to work more than six days in any calendar week shall not constitute grounds for their dismissal, although student employees may voluntarily opt into that schedule with written agreement from both the employer and employee.
Student employees at Wesleyan can be scheduled to work up to a maximum of 8 hours a day. As per Department of Labor regulations, if the student employee works for 7.5 or more consecutive hours, they must be provided with an unpaid 30-minute meal break (Department of Labor). This 30-minute meal break must be after the first 2 hours worked, and before the last 2 hours worked.
Students are entitled to paid rest periods between 5- to 20 minutes, such as for bathroom breaks (Department of Labor). Employers should communicate how they would like to be notified of these rest periods appropriately.
Should student employees be compensated for shifts scheduled, even if there is no work assigned to be completed during this scheduled shift?
Student employees must be compensated for times they are considered on duty or scheduled to be on the employer’s premises or a prescribed workplace, including remote work (Fair Labor Standards Act). Time on duty is considered hours worked, even if the supervisor has not organized assignments for the student employees at that time.
Can students work during official break periods?
Students cannot work on-campus when the University is closed for holidays. Students can opt into working shifts during Fall/Spring breaks, but they cannot be required to work during these official break periods. Employers should assume that their regular student-employee schedules are not in effect during official break periods and designated holidays. Additionally, supervisors are expected to accommodate students who request time off for religious holiday observance.
Supervisors are responsible for staffing any shifts that fall on official break periods. They may inquire if their student employees would like to cover shifts during these breaks; the best practice is to do so at least two weeks in advance. If not enough student employees are available, the employer can cover the shifts themself. Alternatively, the employer can post the job to Handshake again and collect applications for that timeframe, being careful to specify in the job posting that the position is for that official break period.
Employers seeking student employees for the winter and summer breaks must post a new job on Handshake and be clear about the start and end dates in the posting.
Can students request a different work schedule, including during midterms and final examinations?
Student employees are students first! Challenges like sick days and overwhelming course loads may arise. Students are afforded the opportunity to request days off or different work schedules, though employers may not be able to grant this request.
To request a different work schedule or time off during midterms and finals examinations, our best practice recommendation is for students to communicate with their supervisors at least two weeks in advance.
Supervisors should communicate at the start of the student’s employment whether they are responsible for finding their own replacement if they call off a shift less than 48 hours beforehand. Additionally, supervisors must be clear about their expectations around scheduling and availability at the time that they post a job application. This ensures that student applicants understand how much flexibility (or lack thereof) there is around scheduling, at the time of application.
Class Deans are available to support students who may require accommodations due to extenuating circumstances. Additionally, the Campus Employment Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) is available to mediate scheduling conflicts, should the student and/or employer request further support.
Can students work during regularly scheduled class times?
Students are not allowed to work during their officially scheduled class times. Workforce Time (WFT) will prohibit students from recording their work attendance during scheduled class times.
If a student picks up a work shift because their class time was canceled or changed, or if WFT is otherwise incorrectly perceiving that a student is in class during a work shift, the student must email email@example.com. Additionally, the student must provide written proof from their professor that the class has been canceled, or that they are no longer taking a course at that time.
Can students work remotely?
Students may conduct work remotely but must be residing in the United States while working. Job postings on Handshake must include whether the student employee’s schedule includes remote or hybrid work locations. For more information about telecommuting, see the Human Resources page on Alternative Work Arrangements.