Employee Types

The primary relationship between an employee and SMU determines the individual’s employee type. 

The correct classification is necessary to ensure compliance and accurate reporting in the areas of:
  • FICA tax withholding
  • Unemployment wages
  • Benefit charges applied to the GL
  • Grants and contracts 

To determine what type of employee you are hiring, ask yourself the following questions: Why is the person here at SMU? What is the person’s primary relationship with SMU?

  • Is she here to attend as a student, and is working part-time in addition to her studies? This is a student worker employee.
  • Is she here to work and is also taking a class? This is a staff employee.
  • Is she a graduate student, enrolled in for-credit classes herself, but is teaching a class this semester? This is a student worker employee.

Further clarification about SMU employee types:

Type of Employee  Biweekly Payroll  Monthly Payroll 
Staff  "Non-exempt": covered by overtime
provisions under FLSA

Generally paid an hourly rate times
the number of hours reported per
pay period

Regular or temporary employees;
full-time or part-time

 "Exempt" from overtime
 provisions under FLSA

 Paid a salary (flat dollar
 amount) each pay period


 Regular employees only;
 full-time or part-time

Faculty  N/A  Paid a monthly salary or
 contract amount each pay
 period

 May be regular or adjunct

Student Worker  Non-exempt: covered by overtime
provisions under FLSA

Generally paid an hourly rate times
the number of hours worked per
pay period

- OR -

Teaching assistants or research
assistants paid a biweekly salary
(flat dollar amount)
 










 Teaching assistants or research
 assistants paid a monthly
 salary (flat dollar amount), 
 typically when wages are charged
 to a grant