Managing Personal Assistant Staff

  1. What Should the Student Employer Expect From Hired Personal Assistants?
  2. What Should the Personal Assistant Expect From You—Their Employer?
  3. Interview Topics
  4. Personal Assistant Management
  5. Hiring and Scheduling Personal Assistants
  6. ONLINE PAYROLL
  7. Personal Assistant Pool of Employees and Personal Schedule
  8. Personal Assistant Door Access to Nugent Hall/First Floor/Individual Resident Rooms
  9. Beckwith Policy on Sexual Harrassment
  10. University of Illinois Statement on Sexual Harassment
  11. Statement on Consenting Sexual Relationships

Welcome to the world for being an employer and managing other people to provide support for your activities of daily living.  The following information is important to review and understand in order to be the best employer possible as well as to gain the knowledge and skills needed to manage your staff while at Nugent Hall and beyond.

What Should the Student Employer Expect From Hired Personal Assistants?

Personal Assistants are expected to:

  • Arrive at the scheduled time ready to work;
  • Complete assigned tasks in the allotted time;
  • Use a time sheet to accurately record time worked;
  • Notify employer if he/she will be more than 15 minutes late;
  • Schedule time off as far in advance as possible;
  • Give at least two weeks notice, preferably more, prior to resigning;
  • Respect the personal property of the employer;
  • Keep all information pertaining to your personal life confidential—they should not discuss your personal life with others inside or outside of Nugent Hall; and
  • Use good communication skills to avoid misunderstandings.

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What Should the Personal Assistant Expect From You—Their Employer?

Student employers are expected to:

  • Provide a list of job duties to their PA, as specific as possible, so there is little opportunity for misunderstanding between you;
  • Complete the PA contract with each staff hired;
  • Be as independent as possible, learning personal limitations and abilities so that these can be communicated with your PA;
  • Direct and manage all tasks performed by your PA;
  • Teach each PA hired how you want personal tasks done;
  • Treat PA with respect while maintaining professional boundaries;
  • Deal honestly with PA concerning problems that arise due to miscommunication and/or personality conflicts;
  • Review and sign PA time sheets with PA staff members, only for hours worked, during the last shift of the current pay period;
  • Notify PAs if you will not need services because of a change in your schedule at least two hours prior to scheduled shift; and
  • Use good communication skills to avoid misunderstandings.

Anytime Personal Assistants and/or Student Employers have an issue they cannot solve they should contact Katherine Johnson or Paige Lindahl-Lewis for assistance.

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Interview Topics

  • Interview questions
  • Interview Do's and Don'ts

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Personal Assistant Management

Creating the perfect schedule—things to remember:

  • Only take 12-14 hours of academic classes
  • Include breakfast and travel time when scheduling the morning PA shifts;
  • Include a lunch and/or bathroom break
  • Don't give excessive shifts to just one PA;
  • Do hire a minimum of 6 PAs;
  • Once your staff are interviewed and hired create a master phone list and submit to all of your staff; and
  • Create a master schedule and provide it to all of your PAs.

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Hiring and Scheduling Personal Assistants

Newly hired Personal Assistants (PAs) are required to get set up on payroll as soon as they have been offered a position as a personal assistant.  It is imperative that the following steps are taken because they are not allowed to work until the necessary paperwork is completed and they are on payroll. If not on payroll, they will not receive a pay check for work completed and you will need to pay them personally, out-of-pocket. Katherine Johnson, Associate Director will provide the information below and ORANGE cards to PA staff hired through the Beckwith process. If you hire someone personally through the University Virtual Job Board, local classified ads, etc., you need to meet with Katherine to review the process and get ORANGE employment cards from Katherine.

  • Upon completion of the interviewing process, newly hired PA staff will receive an ORANGE employment card.  They MUST take that card with them to their DRES appointment to be set up on payroll. In order to be set up on payroll, they must call the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) 333-4600 and set up an appointment to meet with Mindy Rick at 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, Illinois, 61820.
    • If they have been on the U of I payroll, PLEASE inform Mindy immediately.
    • They need to bring the following:
      • Social Security Card;
      • Photo ID/Student ID; and
      • Checking account information.

      Encourage them to bring their check book.

    • They will have to complete an Employee Information Format (EIF) on NESSIE and should plan on spending about 30-45 minutes.
  • Once they have completed the EIF, Mindy will give them a GREEN employment card. They must submit this card to Katherine Johnson OR to you if you personally hired them. The GREEN card must be turned into to the Associate Director before staff  begin to work and the first payroll period. The GREEN employment card must be turned in so that time sheets can be processed.

Hiring Your Own Staff

In addition to the above process, it is important to do the following:

  • An Illinois State Police Criminal Background check must be completed for all PA staff, including any PA staff you personally hire. You need to provide the name and birthdate of any staff you personally hire to Katherine Johnson, as soon as you offer a position to someone. There is NO EXCEPTION to this and it must be done immediately .  This information must be written on the Green card when submitted to the ASsociate Director.
  • PAs hired privately by students can only work for that student, unless or until the PA completes the BRSS application and training process.

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ONLINE PAYROLL

It is your responsibility to check ALL your staffs' online hours, to make sure they are completed correctly, including full dates, times worked. It is possible that you will have numerous PAs to review and sign each pay period, depending on how many staff have assisted you during a given payroll period. Each of your staff is required to have his/her own individual dates and times online for you for you. They can be accessed you will have to type in < https://apps.disability.illinois.edu/secure/timesheet/index.php/main> . Correctly completing online hours and approving them for processing in a timely manner are you and your PA staff's joint responsibilities. Online hours are due every two weeks by 8:00 am on Monday mornings.

It is imperative that you keep track of your staff and their hours worked so that online hours are continually turned in for processing. If a member of your staff consistently turns in hours late or keeps numerous pay periods for processing all at once, he/she could be terminated by the Beckwith adiminstrative staff.  Pa hours are to be turned in on a bi-weekly basis.  Failure to adhere to this policy will result in disicplinary action.  Payrolls will be closed to online input after administrative approval is completed and/or at 8am on the specific

due dates.

PA staff are paid for any part of the first hour that they work for you. It is imperative that you try to have your PA work for the full hour. Do not hire someone for only  a 15-minute bathroom break.  Work on creating a list of tasks you might need assistance with (e.g., picking up your room, organizing drawers or books).   PA staff are allowed to work for two residents during the same hour. If so, then you and the other resident may pay the PA for a 30 minute shift.  AT NO TIME SHOULD A PA WORK FOR TWO DIFFERENT RESIDENTS DURING THE SAME HOUR AND CHARGE EACH FOR AN HOUR OF WORK!

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Personal Assistant Pool of Employees and Personal Schedule

  • PAs hired to work with individual students are placed on a list of hired PAs.  The names and phone numbers of these individuals are disseminated to the BRSS residents who are responsible for interviewing, hiring, and scheduling their own PAs.  This process insures that residents are given the opportunity to schedule those employees they feel will best fulfill their needs.
  • New residents are given suggestions and assistance if necessary, on how to interview PAs and as to what is important to look for in their PAs.
  • When hiring, students will have prepared a Personal Assistant Services Contract for each PA.  The contract stipulates the responsibilities of the PA and the student. Both parties sign the contract, which is used as an evaluation tool during the semester.
  • The BRSS residents are to inform the Associate Director and Disability Specialist of their PA schedule during the semester and when their schedule is complete.
  • Communication between you and your staff is extremely important.  Your staff are expected to give you a minimum of 2 hours advance notice that they cannot make it in for a schedule PA shift.  In the same regard, you must give your staff the same courtesy.  If your plans change or something comes up, it is imperative that you contact your staff to see if they can accommodate your change in schedule.  If not, you will need to find back-up staff to fill in.
  • Remember that your PA staff count on you for the hours they work for you and to have a pay check!  The majority of them are college students trying to earn their way through college.  They count on the conistent hours of your schedule for their paycheck.  As an employer, you need to be considerate of the needs of your staff.

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Personal Assistant Door Access to Nugent Hall/First Floor/Individual Resident Rooms

  1. Student staff must submit a GREEN employment card to BRSS Administration.  The UIN # listed on the card will then be submitted to the Illini Union i-card store for acceptance in BRSS employment.
  2. Student staff will then proceed to the illini Union i-card store to update their student i-card.  Extra-Help employees will obtain a letter from the BRSS Director to submit to the Illini Union i-card store to receive an i-card.
  3. Once staff have received the prox reader card they will inform BRSS Administration of the 5 digit number from the upper left corner on the back of the card.
  4. BRSS Administrative staff will submit staff information to housing to be permitted to enter Nugent Hall building and the BRSS first floor.
  5. Individual residents will submit an Individual Room PROX Reader Consent form with each of their employees, with the employee's name and UIN#, to the Associate Director for processing at the beginning of each semester and with any changes during the semester.
  6. When filling out the prox form please follow these instructions:
  • Alphabetize the list using last name of staff.
  • Please delete staff by removing the X from the add column and put it in the delete column. (do not just remove the employee)
  • When adding new staff highlight their information.
  • Print your name on the signature line at the bottom of the form and date it with the current date.

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Beckwith Policy on Sexual Harrassment

The Beckwith Residential Support Services' policy on sexual harassment is 'zero-tolerance.' The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services and the Beckwith Administrative Staff do not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind, neither toward Beckwith residents nor toward Beckwith employees. Please see the University of Illinois Statement on Sexual Harassment. Reports of sexual harassment will result in investigation by the Beckwith Administrative Staff, and if found to be true, will lead to disciplinary procedures (please see 'Beckwith Discipline Procedures'). Repeat offenses may lead to termination of employment at Beckwith if the offender is a Beckwith employee, or in termination of the Beckwith Residential Support Service Contract which would require the resident to move off of the first floor of Nugent Hall, if the offender is a Beckwith resident.

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University of Illinois Statement on Sexual Harassment

Definition: Sexual harassment is defined by law and includes any unwanted sexual gesture, physical contact, or statement that a reasonable person would find offensive, humiliating, or an interference with his or her required tasks or career opportunities at the University.

Policy: The University of Illinois will not tolerate sexual harassment of students or employees and will take action to provide remedies when such harassment is discovered. The University environment must be free of sexual harassment in work and study.

  1. In order to ensure that the University is free of sexual harassment, appropriate sanctions will be imposed on offenders in a case-by-case manner.
  2. The University will respond to every case of sexual harassment reported. Reporting and grievance procedures are published on the Web sites of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and the Office of the Dean of Students.
  3. Incidents of alleged sexual abuse or sexual assault are included under the section on Student Conduct in the Student Code under section 1-302(b).

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Statement on Consenting Sexual Relationships

  1. A romantic or sexual relationship between a teacher, teaching assistant, advisor, or similarly situated member of the faculty or staff and a student, or between a supervisor and an employee, is inadvisable even when both individuals apparently enter into the relationship willingly.
    1. The respect and trust accorded such individuals by a student, as well as the responsibility the teacher in particular exercises in giving praise, blame, grades, or recommendations for further study and future employment, may unduly influence the student's decision to begin or continue a romantic or sexual relationship.
    2. The responsibility a supervisor exercises with regard to praise, blame, salary, promotion, and job assignments likewise may unduly influence an employee's decision about such a relationship with a supervisor.
  2. Faculty and staff members therefore should avoid entering into romantic relationships with individuals over whom they have academic, professional, or supervisory responsibility even when it appears to be by mutual consent. They also are cautioned against assuming professional or supervisory responsibility for those with whom they have existing romantic relationships.
    1. Because the very real possibility of undue influence exists in these situations, such relationships are inappropriate for faculty and staff members of the University of Illinois.
    2. Because of the unequal nature of such relationships, if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently lodged, it may be difficult to establish innocence on grounds of mutual consent.
      1. When sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the University will vigorously pursue disciplinary action.
      2. Students who feel they have been the victim of harassment should speak with the Administrative staff on duty immediately or contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

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