Hiring Personnel Information
If you plan on hiring someone on your grant, there are several steps which are required before an employee can be placed on payroll.
Personnel Vacancy Notice
Before you select an employee, you must advertise the position. This must be done through the RF website under “E-Services/Personnel Vacancy Notice”.
New Hire Package
Once you have selected a candidate for employment, a new hire package must be fully completed and submitted to the ORSP office. The new hire package is available in the ORSP office. Both the PI and the new hire should complete the package together. Incomplete packages will be returned back to the PI.
E-Verify is an Internet based system mandated and operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.
All new hires must be E-verified no later than three days after the start date. No exceptions.
ID's must be submitted with the completed I-9 form in the new hire package. Employees paperwork must be in order and must be hand delivered by the employee within 72 hours of their employment. Any new hire packages submitted later than three days after the start date will be rejected and sent back to the PI.
The employees whose work authorization cannot be instantly verified are given the opportunity to work with SSA or DHS, as appropriate, to confirm their work authorization.
The Office of Research & Sponsored Programs will E-Verify employees from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 P.M. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, Monday through Friday.
Once the New Hire package is completed and reviewed by ORSP, it is sent to the Research Foundation for final processing. After the RF has processed and approved the new hire package, the employee is entered into the RF system and an email is sent to both the employee and the PI. The employee receives an email from the RF welcoming them and informing them of their employee ID Number. The PI receives an email which informs them that the package has been processed and they must now create an Electronic Personnel Action Form (E-PAF) on the RF website. Once the E-PAF has been submitted by the PI, Client Services and the Grants Office reviews and approves the E-PAF, and timesheets can now be submitted.
Employee Payroll and PI Responsibility
Once the PI has created the E-PAF, the employee can log on to the RF website with their employee ID (www.rfcuny.org) and begin submitting their timesheets through the “Time and Leave” screen under E-Services. Timesheets can be submitted as far back as 4 pay periods. Any timesheets that need to be submitted prior to the 4 pay periods, must be done on paper timesheets. Once the timesheets have been submitted by the employee, the PI must approve them before it can be processed.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND EMPLOYEES TO ORSP LOOKING AND/OR INQUIRING ABOUT THEIR PAYCHECK. ORSP does not issue paychecks the RF does. Any employee who contacts our office regarding their payroll will be sent back to speak to their PI.
A ‘rehire' is defined as any employee of the Research Foundation who is reappointed after a break in service lasting 120 or more days. If the employee has had a break in service of more than 120 days, a rehire package is required to be completed. This package must be completed and submitted to ORSP and it is then sent to the RF. Please make sure to send the paperwork before the employee begins working. The employee may need to be E-Verified. The Rehire package can either be downloaded from the RF website or it can be picked up at ORSP. Once the rehire package is sent to the RF, the PI can create an E-PAF and submit it to the RF for approval. Once the E-PAF is approved, the employee or PI can submit the timesheets.
Stipends vs Payroll
Student stipends and Employee payroll are two very different terms. According to the IRS, the definition of a stipend is as follows:
“ A stipend is defined as a fixed sum of money paid periodically for services or to defray expenses. The fact that remuneration is termed a "fee" or "stipend" rather than salary or wages is immaterial. Wages are generally subject to employment taxes and should be reported on Form W-2 , Wage and Tax Statement. Refer to Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, section 5, Wages and Other Compensation, for rules on accountable and nonaccountable plans for employee business expenses.The income from stipends is reportable. Is the stipend or fee paid to an employee or an independent contractor reportable? The answer to this question determines the way that the stipend is reported. See also the section entitled Employee vs. Independent Contractor.”
A simpler definition is an employee-employer relationship exists, it should be constituted as payroll. An employee is classified as anyone who will perform services for you, thereby you have the right to control what will be done and how.
Consultants vs Payroll
IRS guidelines are based on common-law rules, rather than statute, and are thus open to interpretation. The general rule is that if an individual is subject to the control or direction of another merely as to the result to be accomplished by the work and not as to the means and methods for accomplishing the results, s/he is an independent contractor, rather than an employee. However, if the individual has a Social Security Number rather than a Tax ID, they are generally considered an employee. If the person also does not have a list of clients, they are classified as an employee. The IRS defines and independent contractor as follows:
“People such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, accountants, contractors, subcontractors, public stenographers, or auctioneers who are in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. However, whether these people are independent contractors or employees depends on the facts in each case. The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax. If you are an independent contractor, you are self-employed. To find out what your tax obligations are, visit the Self-Employed Tax Center.
You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.
If an employer-employee relationship exists (regardless of what the relationship is called), you are not an independent contractor and your earnings are generally not subject to Medicare and Social Security Taxes for Self-Employed.”
If the ICA submitted for an Independent Contract is rejected by the RF, a new hire package must be completed instead. For more information please contact ORSP.