Humboldt State University

Frequently Asked Questions


What are your office hours?
Our office hours are 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. We are located on the 4th floor of the SBS in room 427. Our front office line is 707-826-4189.

Which appointment document do I need?
If you are a new employee and are being appointed to one project, you only need to complete the appointment document with your hiring packet. If you are being appointed to more than one project for the first time, you will need to complete both the appointment document and multiple project form.

I’m changing my rate of pay, category, or position. What forms do I need to update?
If any of the above are changing, you need to submit a new appointment document (if only working on one project) to reflect the appropriate changes. If the changes are being applied to multiple projects, both the appointment document and multiple projects form will need to be updated in order to apply the change to all projects.

I am getting appointed to an additional project, do I need to complete an appointment document again?
No. If you are being added to another project with the same rate of pay, category, and position as your current projects, you only need to submit any additional projects on a multiple project form.

What documents do new employees need?
All new employees will have to complete an Appointment Packet with our office. All forms needed can be found here. We will also need to make copies of your I-9 support documentation. All accepted documentation can be found here. If you are coming to our office to fill out your paperwork, please come prepared with the project name, project number, rate of pay, position, and category. All new appointments will require a P.I. signature before being processed.

I use to work for SPF and am getting re-hired. What documents do I need?
If you have been paid through SPF in the past 12 months, you will just need to complete a new appointment document. If you fall outside the 12 month window, a new appointment packet will be required to re-instate your employment status. Our front office is able to verify the last pay period worked to better assist employees determine which paperwork is required.

I moved to another address, do I need to update anything with SPF?
Yes. Please submit a new W-4 with our office so we can continue to send you paychecks, pay vouchers, and important tax information such as your W-2's.

I am a state-side employee, how do I determine my rate of pay?
All stateside employees (e.g. Faculty, Lecturers, HSU Staff, etc...) must have their SPF rate of pay match their current state-side rate of pay.

"Additional Employment" refers to any CSU employment that is in addition to the employee’s primary appointment. In the case of SPF funded projects, the rate of pay for the additional employment must be the same as the CSU base rate of pay for the primary assignment. The CSU Memo regarding Additional Employment can be found here:

I received a pay increase on the state-side, how do I apply those changes with SPF?
Any pay increase will require a new Appointment Document with Multiple Project Appointment Form (if appointed to more than one project) in order to adjust your rate to match your new state-side rate. As a faculty member your rate can increase on the state-side, but there is not an automatic update system to reflect that change with SPF. We are a separate employer from the University and thus rely on P.I’s to inform us (via a revised appointment document) when their rates change. We do not readily have access to that information, but we do confirm rate increases with Payroll at the time we receive the appointment document as part of the processing.

When are timesheets due?
There are two pay periods per month which span the 1st-15th and 16th through the end of the month. Timesheets are typically due the last day of the pay period by 5:00pm to the Payroll Office on the 3rd floor of the Student Business Services (SBS) Building. Our payroll schedule can be found here.

Where can I pick up my paycheck?
If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, paychecks are automatically sent to the address you provided on your most recent W-4 with SPF. You also have the option to pick up your paycheck at the Cashier’s office on the 2nd floor of the SBS by checking the “pick-up” box on your timesheet.

I can’t get ahold of my PI to sign my timesheet, what do I do?
If the timesheet due date is approaching and you are unable to get ahold of your P.I., call our front office at (707) 826-4189 and we can assist in obtaining the signature to ensure you get paid on time.


I was just hired as a "Category A" fully benefitted employee. What do I need to do to set up my benefits?
To be eligible for health benefits employees must be appointed to a .75 or more timebase, for at least 3 months (Category A - Employees). For medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and their dependents, please contact Anderson, Robinson & Starkey Insurance Group in Arcata, 707-822-7251, to schedule an appointment for enrollment. For more information Click Here.

I submitted a Request for Payment (RFP), how long does it take to get a check?
It takes approximately 2-4 weeks for all Request for Payments to be processed, submitted, and mailed. If you have not received a check and it has been net 30 business days since you submitted it, please call our office at 707-826-4189 and we can assist in locating your payment.

What is Time and Effort?
Time and Effort Certification is a receipt which is used to document the amount of effort actually spent on a project. A signed Effort Certification Statement by the employee on the sponsored project attests to the accuracy and completeness of the report. Effort shall be reflected as categories of activities expressed as a percentage distribution of total activities (including Campus Teaching activities) rather than the dollar amount compensated.


As an SPF employee, do I qualify to get sick leave?
In accordance with California State Law AB 1522, sick leave with pay will now be granted to all Categories of HSU SPF Employees. Sick leave varies based on your appointed Category as described below:

“Category A or B” employees will continue to accrue sick leave at a rate proportional to their appointed time base. This new law will not affect how Category A & B employees accrue their sick leave as currently outlined in the SPF Personnel Manual.

“Categories C, D, and E” will now be granted sick leave in accordance with California state law AB 1522.


Who do I need to conduct 'Background Checks' on for SPF hiring?
SPF will conduct background checks of all paid individuals and volunteers who voluntarily transfer or are hired into sensitive positions as defined here.

These positions include individuals who have direct repetitive contact with minors participating in our programs or employees who are in sensitive positions as defined below. HSU SPF will carry out this requirement in a fair, consistent and non-discriminatory manner, complying with applicable state and federal laws and guidelines, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.


If I'm hiring a "sensitive position," that may need a background check, what do I need to do before I recruit?
Advertisements, notices and postings for sensitive positions that require background check should state: “A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered this position within HSU SPF. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current HSU SPF employees who apply for this position.”

In the event the position is not posted then the employee would be notified by the Principle Investigator/hiring authority that their appointment is contingent on successful completion of the required background checks. To request a background check, please submit a Pre-Appointment Request Form to SBS 427 prior to extending an offer of employment.


For travel reimbursements, if I use my person vehicle can I submit my gas receipts or do I have to claim mileage reimbursement?
If you travel with your personal vehicle, you must be reimbursed for mileage. Effective 1/1/2017 the mileage reimbursement rate changed to .535 cents per mile.


As a SPF employee, what steps do I need to take prior to going on a Maternity, Paternity, or Disability leave? How and who do I contact to initiate those processes?
We've created this 'Guidance for SPF Employees Applying for Maternity, Paternity,
& Non-Work Related Disability Leaves of Absence
' which outlines the process, as well as provides the appropriate contacts for each type of requested leave.