Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, most Tyler Junior College faculty and students have been unable to return to campus since March 6. This has facilitated a concern among student workers regarding their compensation for missed workdays amid the pandemic.
Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations Rebecca Sanders provided insight regarding TJC’s plan to pay those who are federal and state work-study students in the midst of their absence from campus.
“Students will be paid for all hours worked before spring break and for all scheduled hours for the two weeks following spring break,” Sanders said. “The supervisor must report the hours they were scheduled to work.”
Unlike other student employees, work-study students are employed under federal guidelines based on financial need. The U.S. Department of Education has provided guidelines for work-study compensation during the COVID-19 disruption period.
According to an email from Human Resources Executive Director Kevin Fowler, student workers and work-study student employees will be paid for their scheduled hours between March 16 and March 31 in accordance with the Department of Education’s guidance. These employees will receive their pay for March on April 15. No student employee or work-study employee will receive pay for spring break.
If a student worker chooses not to work during this period or is unable to be reached, he or she forfeits his or her pay for this period, unless the provisions of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act apply, according to Fowler’s email. The FFCRA, created and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, mandates employers pay their employees for sick leave and/or family leave due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Morgan Gray, a sophomore at TJC, works as an intern in the Presidential Honors Program office.
“I do feel it is important for student workers to be compensated because some rely on this source of income for basic needs and to pay bills, such as myself,” Gray said. “For me, it says TJC really cares about their students. It shows me that they understand that no matter what, we still have to take care of ourselves, shutdown or not.”
For any questions, student workers should contact their supervisors.