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Employment: Contractor/Consulting Requirements

SECTION: HR - Employment NEXT REVIEW DATE: July 2017
APPROVED: July 2014 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: July 2016

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Wheeling Jesuit University intends to hire individuals as full-time and part-time employees for its regular work force and to meet its short-term labor needs by hiring temporary employees. However, on occasion, in order to meet specific University objectives where such expertise is unavailable on campus, it may be necessary to consult with experts in a particular field or to engage individuals for specific periods and/or specific assignments to provide short-term expertise. This policy details the specifications for hiring and compensating consultants and independent contractors.


2.1 Policy Statement

2.1.1 An independent contractor is not intended to be a substitute for a regular or a temporary employee. Consequently, a University employee is not eligible to work as an independent contractor during the same year in which he/she works as a University employee (Note: A University employee may, however, be eligible to perform work outside his/her normal duties through the application of the Internal Job Interest form in response to specific postings).

2.1.2 All requests to use a consultant or contractor on campus must be pre-approved through the Human Resource Department (exception: If payment for an independent contractor or consulting service is to be made through a grant or program funded outside the University, the agreement or contract must be pre-approved and processed through the Office of Sponsored Programs).

2.1.3 Before an individual can provide services as an independent contractor or consultant, the questionnaire process and Appendix A must be reviewed and completed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has developed twenty common factors to be applied by employers in the classification of workers and the University bears the full responsibility for compliance. This guideline is intended to assist administrators in meeting their business needs, to provide information necessary to be in compliance with the law, and to avoid putting the University at risk for incurring any financial penalties associated with non-compliance. These can be summarized in three common law rules that fall into three categories:

  • Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job;
  • Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker's job controlled by the payer (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.); and
  • Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

2.1.4 All requests to use a consultant or contractor on campus must be accompanied by an approved Consulting Agreement Request, a completed Purchase Requisition, a resume/ CV/ brochure on the consultant or contractor, and a detailed scope of work including desired outcomes, deliverables, and expected dates of completion.

2.1.5 Prior to the performance of any consulting or contract work, the Human Resource Department must determine the status of the individual to be paid either as an "employee" or a "consultant / independent contractor." Individuals determined to be "employees" for a given service will be paid through Payroll Services, subject to proper tax withholding. Individuals determined to be "independent contractors" for a given service will be paid through Accounts Payable, not subject to tax withholdings, and will be issued an IRS form 1099.

2.1.6 Employees do not have the option of choosing independent contractor status, nor will a signed contract or agreement convey independent contractor status, if the common factors indicate otherwise.

2.1.7 This policy applies to individuals doing business in their own name or an assumed business name. The questionnaire is not required for doing business with an established business entity with multiple employees.

2.2 Procedure

2.2.1 Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Administrators (Directors, Managers, and Supervisors):
    • Ensure that the questionnaire is completed and certified by Human Resources prior to continuing the process.
    • Initiate and complete the process noted in 2.1.4 above.
    • Approve all invoices upon receipt from independent contractor by signing, dating and including the purchase document number.
  • Human Resources:
    • Ensure all information required in 2.1.4 above is obtained prior to issuance of any agreement.
    • Review and resolve inconsistencies in paperwork.
    • Ensure requirements for independent contractors and consultants are maintained and current information is made available to directors, managers, and supervisors.
    • Review all questionnaires submitted for independent contractor status and make a final determination.
    • Notify the department if individual does not meet the test for independent contractor status (the individual must then be hired as a temporary employee, consistent with existing employee policies, and paid accordingly).
    • Issue the necessary Agreement.
  • Business Office:
    • On receipt of approved invoice issues check directly to independent contractor through accounts payable.
    • Ensures that the independent contractor is paid only with purchase documents and after H.R. certification is complete; generate IRS form 1099 for tax reporting purposes.

2.2.2 Contractor / Consultant Requirements

  • The contractor / consultant will be required to acknowledge the completed questionnaire and provide necessary documentation as requested therein.

2.2.3 If the contractor / consultant is an individual who comes in contact with University students, or may come in contact with minors on University grounds or on University business off-campus, the contractor / consultant will be required to undergo a background check [Waiver: The foregoing requirement may be waived in exigent circumstances or where the risk to University personnel, students, and property is de Minimis (ex: contractor is not employed on-site or minimal on-site visits are conducted in the presence of and accompanied by University personnel)].

The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice and with the approval of the President or designee.


Pre-Employment Documentation Policy
Appendix A

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