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Employing Students Outside of UO

There are several things to consider when hiring students to do work for you outside of UO:

  • Is the student going to be paid less than market rate?
  • Is the student making this offer to you specifically?
  • Do you make decisions about the student's work or grades? Is the work truly voluntary?
  • Does the work overlap with work that they do for you at UO?

Example: One of the RAs that you supervise has offered to babysit for you. You gratefully accept the offer.

Is this a problem? Yes. Because you supervise the student (and they have an interest in your decisions concerning their employment), this situation is probably considered a gift subject to the state’s $50 dollar per year limit. It is probably also a conflict of interest and use of official position, so best to find another babysitter who does not report to you.

What if the student posted on Craigslist that they are looking for babysitting gigs? May you hire the student then?

The same analysis applies.

And what if I am the one posting to Craigslist seeking a babysitter?

You guessed it, the same analysis. At this point you’re probably thinking “but how can I tell if the student is offering it just to me?” Well, ask the student!  And remember, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

What if instead of babysitting, you employ a student to mow your lawn? Or manage social media for your side business?

The same analysis applies, and there’s an additional thing you need to think about, which is: where is the student getting the equipment? If it’s your equipment and it passes the above analysis, you’re probably in the clear. But if it’s not your equipment, then you need to ensure that it’s the student’s equipment and not the school’s.  If it’s the school’s, then it would consitute the personal use of UO resources and a prohibited use of official position!