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HSU Policies

UML 00-02 Special Consultant and Independent Contractor Hiring Guide

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Month/Year Posted: 
09-2000
Policy Number: 
UML 00-02

Supersedes UML 95-7

Special Consultant and Independent Contractor Hiring Guide

There are numerous Federal and State statutes that address, for tax purposes, the difference between an employee (including Special Consultants), and an Independent Contractor. Humboldt State University must adhere to a policy that correctly classifies and compensates these individuals.

This guide will help you determine whether an employer-employee relationship exists or whether an individual meets the independent contractor qualifications. It also directs you to the appropriate hiring procedure for various employee and contractor categories.

  1. An employer-employee relationship exists:
    1. When the individual is subject to the direction and control of the employer. Typical indications of employer control are:
      1. when the employer:
        • assigns, reviews and supervises the individual's work
        • specifies work location and hours of work
        • sets order or sequence of services
        • provides training, instructions or procedures on how to perform the work
        • furnishes materials, equipment, tools or a place to work
        • hires, supervises or pays assistants
        • pays for business and travel expenses
        • has the right to terminate the individual at will
      2. when the individual:
        • is paid by the hour, day, week or month
        • cannot renegotiate the amount he/she is paid for services at any time he/she chooses
        • can quit at any time without being legally obligated for failure to complete the job
    2. When a continuing relationship between the individual and the employer exists; that is, the arrangement consists of continuing or recurring work, even if the services are rendered on a part-time basis, are seasonal in nature, or if the person actually works for only a short time.
  2. Independent Contractors are service providers who:
    • are in business for themselves — offer services to general public
    • are hired to complete a certain job and are liable for damages for non-completion
    • are responsible for their own time, expenses, equipment, methods, assistants, workplace, etc.
    • are paid by the job, not by the hour, day, week or month
    • have no continuing relationship — ends when the job is finished
  3. Hiring procedures:
    1. Employees
      1. For individuals hired to perform ongoing duties of a permanent or temporary nature, either full-time, part-time or hourly, that are covered by an existing CSU position classification:
        • Complete the recruitment process according to the Policy for Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity in Recruitment and Appointment.
        • Complete either the Report of Appointment for Support Staff or the appropriate faculty appointment document.
      2. For individuals hired to perform duties covered by an existing CSU position classification, either full-time, part-time or hourly, for a temporary period up to 90 days in Bargaining Units 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9 or 60 days in Bargaining Unit 4.
        • Complete the Report of Appointment for Support Staff.
      3. For individuals hired, as a Special Consultant, to perform a special one-time assignment of a temporary nature, based on a particular knowledge, ability or expertise (where the individual does not meet the criteria for an independent contractor):

        Complete the Special Consultant Request Form (#103).

        • Typical assignments include:

          Perform administrative studies
          Design and/or implement a desired program or plan
          Conduct a special analysis or investigation
          Present sporadic lectures, workshops or briefings

    2. Independent Contractors
      1. For individuals hired to perform services as an Independent Contractor:
        • Complete the Guest Lecturer/Service Provider Agreement/Payment Request Form (#64) and the Vendor Data Record (form #204). If the total cost or length of time to complete the service or project exceeds the amount specified in the instructions, contact Contracts, Procurement & Risk Management for assistance in requesting a service order or standard contract agreement.
      2. For businesses or associations hired to perform services as an Independent Contractor:
        • If the service is for equipment maintenance, rental of items or facilities, repairs, or similar services, follow standard purchasing procedures.
  4. Special instructions for all categories except Independent Contractor:
    1. Individuals must complete the appropriate new hire employment documents if they are not already on the HSU payroll.
    2. Individuals on the payroll and in multiple assignments or appointments:
      • Cannot exceed a 1.25 time base (see Executive Memorandum, P99-1, HSU Additional Employment Policy)
      • If classified as nonexempt under the FLSA, are eligible for overtime payment if they exceed a 1.0 time base.

Special Consultant Request Form

SPECIAL CONSULTANT REQUEST INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Use this form to hire an individual as a Special Consultant, class code 4660, if:
    1. The individual will perform a special one-time assignment of a temporary nature, based on a particular knowledge, ability or expertise, that is not covered by a more specific CSU Classification & Qualification Standard.
    2. An employer-employee relationship exists if:
      • HSU assigns, reviews and supervises the individual's work; specifies work location, hours of work, order or sequence of services
      • HSU provides materials, equipment, tools, assistants, etc.
      • Worker can quit or be terminated at any time without being legally obligated for failure to complete the job
      • Worker is paid by the hour, day, week, month and cannot renegotiate the amount paid for services at any time s/he chooses
  2. Complete all sections of the form in detail (computer-generated form may be substituted).
    1. Describe the assignment to be completed (what, why, when, where) -- use additional sheets if necessary.
    2. Indicate how the estimated total payment was calculated.
    3. Obtain the appropriate departmental signatures.
  3. Submit the form to the Human Resources Department.
  4. If the request is consistent with Federal, State and University guidelines, the Human Resources Department will forward it to the appropriate vice president for approval.
  5. When approved:
    1. Human Resources will distribute copies to Payroll and the hiring department.
    2. The special consultant must complete the appropriate employment documents, if not already on HSU employee.
    3. The hiring department must submit a Special Consultant Time Voucher (Form PR-43) to Payroll to generate payment.

Guest Lecturer/Service Provider form

GUEST LECTURER/SERVICE PROVIDER INSTRUCTIONS

PLEASE TYPE OR CLEARLY PRINT WHEN COMPLETING FORM

A Guest Lecturer/Service Provider form is to be used when an individual is providing service as an independent contractor rather than a University employee. A guest lecturer is an individual who speaks to a class because of his/her expertise, and is paid a flat rate, and is not the instructor of record. A service provider is an individual who comes to the campus to provide a specified service.

Individuals are independent contractors if they meet the following criteria:

  1. are in business for themselves -- offer their services to the general public;
  2. are hired to complete a certain job and are liable for damages for non-completion;
  3. are responsible for their own time, expenses, equipment, methods, assistants, workplace, etc.;
  4. are paid by the job, not by the hour, week or month;
  5. have no continuing relationship with the University -- the relationship ends when the job is finished.

If individuals do not meet the criteria outlined above to qualify as an independent contractor, they are to be hired through normal hiring procedures through the Humboldt State University Human Resources Office. See University Management Letter #00-2.

The Guest Lecturer/Service Provider form is to be used if the amount being paid an individual is less than $5,000, and the service will be completed within a limited time frame (less than 1 week). If the service to be provided exceeds the limits for use of this form, the Department should contact Contracts, Procurement and Risk Management at extension 3512, to discuss the procedures for issuance of a service order or contract prior to having services provided to the University.

If payment is to be given to the service provider upon completion of the services, a completed Guest Lecturer/Service Provider form and Vendor Data Record form are to be submitted five days prior to the payment date. If payment is to be mailed to the service provider, the form and the Vendor Data Record are to be submitted immediately after completion of the service, and the special lecturer/provider will receive payment from Humboldt State University in approximately 20 days.

If there are any questions regarding independent contractors, completion of this form or the Vendor Data Record form, please contact the Contracts, Procurement & Risk Management at extension 3512.

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