Frequently Asked Questions

Training

Please use FireFox to log into CSU Learn via the Online Portal Page. Once logged in, click on the Assigned Training tile and then find the course you’d like to start.

The CSU requires that faculty, staff, and student employees take certain courses to comply with state and university requirements that are driven by federal law, state law or CSU policy. A majority of these courses will be assigned through the systemwide learning management system, CSULearn.

Users are asked to retake required compliance courses due to either scheduled renewals or content enhancements. In an effort to closely align our campus with federal laws, state laws, and CSU policies, SSU requires employees to take some compliance training on a renewal schedule. Additionally, from time to time, courses undergo enhancements, improvements, and updates that requires renewals from all employees to become compliant.

Check that you’re opening the training in FireFox and that your flash player is activated. Please note that Internet Explorer is not supported by CSU Learn.

Some trainings require the user to register before starting the training. Please click the word “Register”- the START button will become visible after you register.

Self-Service Options

  • Log into PeopleSoft using your LDAP login and password.
  • In the Menu bar, click on Manager Self Service.
  • Select Time Management
  • Select Approve Time and Exceptions
  • Select Approve Reported Absences
  • Select an employee by clicking the select checkbox
  • Or click on the “Select All” button to view absences for all employees
  • Then click on “Continue”
  • Select the approve checkbox to approve the absence for one employee, or click on “Select All” to approve all entries
  • To change the review status, select from the drop down
  • Submit the approvals or save the change to review status by clicking “Submit” then “OK” on the Approval Confirmation page

Please refer to the Manager Absence Approval Quick Reference Guide (pdf)

Business Process Guide for Manager Self Service in Absence Management (pdf)

Absence Management Manager Report Processing (pdf)

You have the ability to access and maintain your personal information, eliminate forms, and expedite changes at any time through SSU Online Services. In order to update/change the following information, log in to MySSU and make the changes yourself:

  • Address – Home and Mailing
  • Phone Numbers
  • Emergency Contact Information

For Name Changes, you must email Employment Services to request the Employee Action Request form.  You will also need to schedule a meeting to show an original, non-laminated Social Security Card with your new legal name.

If you do not have regular access to a computer, you may still make personal information changes by going in person to Employment Services.

Faculty and Staff may view their absence balances on-line.

Employee Balance Inquiry Quick Reference Guide (PDF)

  1. Please use your LDAP access to login to MyHR (CMS-PeopleSoft)
  2. Select Self Service
  3. Select Time Reporting
  4. Select Employee Balance Inquiry
  5. To view absence detail select the icon under the column labeled Details.

Absences and accruals are updated monthly.  The leave balances used and accrued for the prior month will usually post around the 15th of the current month.  For example the leave balances used and accrued for January will be updated in PeopleSoft around February 15th.

For employees with concurrent positions, balances will be listed separately by position.  The balance available for use is the total for all positions.  All eligible employees are entitled to only one personal holiday per year, regardless of concurrent positions. 

If the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the bargaining unit in which the absence is earned or used differ from what is displayed, the provisions of the MOU shall supersede.  Questions regarding information displayed should be directed to the Payroll and Benefits Office at 707-664-2793 or payroll@sonoma.edu.

Managers may view their employees leave credit balances on-line.

Manager Balance Inquiry Quick Reference Guide.pdf

  1. Please use your LDAP access to login to MyHR (CMS-PeopleSoft)
  2. Select Manager Self Service
  3. Select Time Management
  4. Select Manager Balance Inquiry
  5. Refresh your employee list if needed
  6. Enter Search Criteria
  7. Select Search
  8. To view absence detail select the icon under the column labeled Details.

Absences and accruals are updated monthly.  The leave balances used and accrued for the prior month will usually post around the 15th of the current month.  For example the leave balances used and accrued for January will be updated in PeopleSoft around February 15th.

For employees with concurrent positions, balances will be listed separately by position.  The balance available for use is the total for all positions.  All eligible employees are entitled to only one personal holiday per year, regardless of concurrent positions. 

If the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the bargaining unit in which the absence is earned or used differ from what is displayed, the provisions of the MOU shall supersede.  Questions regarding information displayed should be directed to the Payroll and Benefits Office at 707-664-2793 or payroll@sonoma.edu.

Faculty and Staff can now view their Benefit Enrollment Summary.  Some of the items available for review are:

  • View current plan enrollments (medical, dental, vision)
  • View dependent enrollments
  • View HCRA/DCRA enrollments
  • View Life and AD & D Insurance coverage amounts as well as Long-Term Disability, if eligible

To access the view:

  • Please use your LDAP access to login to MyHR (CMS-PeopleSoft)
  • Navigate to Self Service
  • Select Benefits
  • Select Benefits Summary
    • A specific date can be selected at the top of the page to view benefit enrollment history.
    • Select the Type of Benefit for detailed information about dependent enrollment.
  • Use the CSU Benefits Portal Link at the bottom of the page, for details regarding the CSU Benefit plans.

This information is not intended for use as confirmation of benefit enrollment nor should be used as proof of enrollment.  If the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the bargaining unit in which the employee is benefits eligible differ from what is displayed, the provisions of the MOU shall supersede.

Questions regarding information displayed should be directed to the Payroll and Benefits Office at 707-664-2793 or payroll@sonoma.edu.

Faculty and Staff can now view their pay history on-line.

  • Please use your LDAP access to login to MyHR (CMS-PeopleSoft)
  • Select Self Service
  • Select Payroll and Compensation
  • Select View Paycheck
  • Select the "View a Different Paycheck" link to view any prior warrants
  • The view is limited to pay warrants issued since July, 2002

Please note that paycheck information is updated monthly. This information is not intended for use as confirmation of payment for direct deposit to your financial institution nor should it be used for W-2 or tax reporting purposes. The official employee W-2 form will be mailed annually from the State Controller’s Office (SCO) in Sacramento. If you need a duplicate W-2 there is a link to the SCO web site on the view paycheck page.

The paycheck view in PeopleSoft is intended for informational purposes only. Actual pay warrants are generated by the SCO’s payroll system. Therefore, if there are any discrepancies between the system databases, the SCO payroll system shall supersede.

Questions regarding information displayed should be directed to the Payroll and Benefits Office at 707-664-2793 or payroll@sonoma.edu.

  • Log into PeopleSoft using your LDAP login and password.
  • In the Menu bar, click on Self Service.
  • Select Time Reporting
  • Select Report Time
  • Select Report and View Absence
  • Select the Absence Name from the drop down menu
  • Select the Begin and End Dates
  • To enter Partial Days, select Partial Hours from the drop down and enter the appropriate hours in the “Hours Per Day” field.
  • Click on “Calculate Duration” and validate that the number of hours are correct.
  • Review the information carefully and click on the “Submit” button.
  • Click “OK” on the confirmation page

Please see Employee Absence Entry Quick Reference Guide (pdf)

Business Process Guide for Employee Self Service in Absence Management (pdf)

Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit means that your funds are deposited to your bank account as soon as the funds are released from the State Controller’s Office.  For hourly employees please see the Student Employee, Intermittent/Hourly, & Special Consultant Payroll Calendar.  Direct Deposit posting dates for Salaried employees are available on the State Controller's Website for Direct Deposit posting dates.

While most financial institutions post funds to accounts at the beginning of the bank business day, this is not a universal practice.  Some institutions post funds in the afternoon instead of the morning.  It is strongly recommended that you check with your financial institution to determine when your funds will be available.

The SCO has permanently suspended the printing of direct deposit advice statements. Employees with direct deposit are encouraged to retrieve their earnings statements by visiting the State Controller’s Office site for CSU employees: Cal Employee Connect.

If an employee wishes to cancel direct deposit, the employee may indicate this on the Direct Deposit Enrollment Authorization form and submitting it to the Payroll and Benefits Department.  Additionally, direct deposit could be canceled automatically when an employee goes on Industrial Disability Leave (IDL), Non-Industrial Disability Leave (NDI), and Leave Without Pay or upon separation.  If the State is legally obligated to withhold any part of an employee’s wage or salary payment for any reason, the State Controller’s Office may terminate the employee’s enrollment in the direct deposit program.  The State Controller’s Office also performs a purge of inactive pay.  They may cancel the direct deposit enrollment automatically if the employee has no pay issued in six (6) months.

To re-designate your account and/or financial institution, complete and submit a new Direct Deposit Enrollment Authorization form to the Payroll and Benefits Department.  Do not close your old account until your first payment is deposited into your newly designated account and/or financial institution.

All employees are eligible to participate in direct deposit.

The employee must submit a completed Direct Deposit Enrollment Authorization form to the Payroll and Benefits Office. This form should be mailed to the campus as it contains Social Security Numbers. Employees may also use MOVEit to submit level 1 data to payroll@sonoma.edu.

Once your form is received by the Payroll and Benefits Office, direct deposit usually begins approximately 30 to 60 days later.

Benefits

Most Primary Care Physicians will honor a copy of your enrollment form that is mailed to your home address after the Benefits Office has processed your enrollment. If your provider will not see you until you receive your I. D. card, contact the Benefits Office. We will contact your provider to determine additional options.

If you or any of your covered dependents need a prescription before you receive your identification card, you will need to pay for the prescription in full at a participating pharmacy, save your receipt, and then file a claim for reimbursement with your insurance carrier once you receive your I. D. card.

CalPERS is a defined benefit program unlike a 401(k), 457 or 403(b), defined contribution accounts. Therefore, you are unable to roll these funds into CalPERS. However, CSU does provide several investment options under the defined contribution program. These accounts or employee funded accounts only. There is no employer contribution to the defined contribution plans. Other rollover options may apply. Contact CalPERS directly for specific details.

If CalPERS eligible prior to 12/31/12, you are required to pay 5% of your gross salary in excess of $513. If CalPERS eligible after 12/31/12, you are required to pay 7.25% of your gross salary.

The CSU contributes an amount that is determined each fiscal year based on the CalPERS valuation process.

You are vested with 5 years of CalPERS service and are eligible to retire at age 50 or 52 depending on your CalPERS plan. Vesting for health benefits in retirement may differ. Contact the Payroll Office to find out your specific vesting period.

The amount of life insurance that the CSU provides is based on your occupational field or collective bargaining agreement. Please see the Benefits Comparison by Employee Category and Plan for details

You can enroll within 60 days of your eligible appointment, or qualifying family status life event, and during our annual open enrollment period (normally the month of September). The effective date of when your coverage can begin is based on the date your sign your enrollment authorizations and submit these documents to Payroll and Benefits.

You may purchase supplemental life insurance for yourself and eligible dependents. There is a guaranteed issue amount if you enroll within the first 60 days of your qualifying appointment.

If you were covered by another group policy by your former employer, you may be eligible to continue under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a federal law that allows for continuation of group health coverage. This coverage will cost you at least 102% of the group premium. You will need to contact your former employer for additional information.

Yes. If you waive the CSU medical and/or dental coverage because you have other non-CSU coverage, you can receive additional cash in your paycheck each month. You will be taxed on this additional income. Currently, you can receive $128 per month if you waive medical coverage and $12 per month if you waive dental coverage. You must be covered by an employer-sponsored, non-CSU alternative group policy.

You may consider an individual policy offered by several health insurance programs. Check the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) web site for information regarding the health plan options. You will need to contact the health plans directly to determine provisions and available benefits. However, these programs may have pre-existing conditions and increased co-payments. (Covered services will vary from Plan to Plan.)

There are additional flexible benefit plans that help you save money by allowing you to pay for certain eligible expenses with pre-tax dollars. The tax savings help offset the impact of these expenses your income. Programs available are:

Tax Advantage Premium Plan (TAPP)
Allows the monthly cost for medical coverage through the CSU to be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis.
Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) Plan
Allows you to set aside a portion of your pay on a pre-tax basis to reimburse yourself for eligible health care expenses for yourself and eligible family members.
Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) Plan
Allows you to set aside a portion of your pay on a pre-tax basis to reimburse yourself for eligible dependent care (i.e. daycare) expenses.

Currently, your spouse, your domestic partner, your natural-born children, adopted children, stepchildren, and economically dependent children who reside with you in a parent-child relationship and who are under the age of 26. Eligible dependent children do not have to maintain student status.

You must provide dependent social security numbers and a copy of your marriage certificate. If you are enrolling an economically dependent child (a child who is not your natural-born child) who resides with you in a parent child relationship, you must provide a copy of the court order or sign an Affidavit of Eligibility. A birth certificate is also required for adding any dependent children.

To enroll a domestic partner you must register the domestic partnership with the Secretary of State and provide a Declaration of Domestic Partnership. Effective January 1, 2020, any couple over the age of 18, and those younger who qualify under the requirements set forth in section 297.1 of the Family Code, are eligible to register with the Secretary of State.

You may cover your overage disabled dependent who has never married and is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical condition that existed prior to age 26 on your initial enrollment subject to approval by CalPERS. A Member Questionnaire for the CalPERS Disabled Dependent Benefit form and a Medical Report for the CalPERS Disabled Dependent Benefit form must be approved by CalPERS prior to enrollment.

The amount you pay is based on the amount the employer contributes, the health plan you select and the number of dependents you include on your enrollment. Current rates are available on the Benefits Services page.

Dental and vision premiums are covered fully by the CSU. There is no employee contribution on a monthly basis. You may have to pay a co-payment when you use the plan. The amount of co-payment you pay is based on the type of services provided.

You should receive your health plan identification card in approximately 10-14 business days from the date you submit your enrollment forms. Identification cards will be mailed to the address indicated on your enrollment form unless otherwise stated. There is no card for either the dental or vision plans.

Health Care Dependent Re-Verification

HMS securely destroyed the documents received during the DEV project to protect the privacy of you and your family members.

If you provide re-verification documents for dis-enrolled, eligible dependents after receiving the final CalPERS notice during your birth month but before the re-verification due date, your campus benefit office may rescind the dependent deletion. You may incur an accounts receivable for the unpaid premium for the month after your birth month.

If you provide re-verification documents for dis-enrolled, eligible dependents after the re-verification due date, your benefit office re-enrolls the family members prospectively for health and/or dental benefits. This will result in a gap in the dependents benefit coverage.

If your child's 26th birth date coincides with your re-verification cycle, CalPERS will administratively remove your child from health benefits on the birth date.  Your benefit office will remove your child from dental benefits, if enrolled. 

You should contact your benefit office immediately if you wish to remove a dependent due to a "permissive qualifying event" (e.g., family member obtains non-CalPERS health benefits, family member enters military, custody change for child under age 18, or child reaches age 18). The dependent should be removed due to a qualifying permissive event rather than ineligibility found during the re-verification process.

The DRV is separate from the process to recertify a PCR dependent or a disabled child age 26 and over. Follow the instructions on these notices to recertify these dependents.

Notify your benefit office immediately of any qualifying event that occurs during the re-verification period, such as divorce or termination of domestic partnership. In these situations, the dependent should be removed due to the qualifying event rather than ineligibility found during the re-verification.

The CalPERS website contains health benefit information. Your campus benefit website contains dental benefit information.   You also may obtain dental benefit information on the CSYou Intranet site.

Sixty (60) calendar days before your birth month, CalPERS will send you a letter providing the re-verification due date, listing the enrolled family members for re-verification and the acceptable re-verification documents.  You are to promptly provide re-verification documents to your campus benefit office. The benefit office will re-verify the same family members for dental benefits, if enrolled.

Delay in providing re-verification documents to your benefit office may result in your family members losing health and/or dental coverage.

Benefit offices will keep all documents used in the DRV process in your benefit file without a purge date.

You should provide copies of the documents and write "Not for Official Use" on them.

Required Documents by Dependent Type
Dependent Type Required Re-verification Documents

Spouse or Domestic Partner

A copy of the marriage certificate or domestic partnership registration filed with the California Secretary of State or a comparable agency in another jurisdiction listing the family member as the domestic partner.

AND

A copy of the first page of the employee's federal or state income tax return from the previous tax year listing the employee and the spouse or domestic partner.

OR

A combination of other documentation, including but not limited to, a household bill, account statement, or insurance policy listing the name and address of the employee and the spouse or domestic partner, or other documents that substantiate the existence of a current marriage or domestic partnership. Household bills and account statements older than 60 calendar days are unacceptable.

Natural-born Children

A copy of the birth certificate naming the employee as the parent.

Adopted Children

A copy of the adoption certificate naming the employee as the parent.

Stepchildren

A copy of the birth certificate naming the employee's current spouse as the parent.

Domestic Partner Children

A copy of the birth certificate naming the employee's current domestic partner as the parent.

The first document establishes the life event allowing the enrollment of the dependent (i.e., marriage or registering as domestic partners), while the second required document substantiates the relationship is current.

You will be responsible for any charge related to obtaining copies of the required documents.

Providing a copy of the documents for the initial DRV cycle will enable a more direct process for your campus benefit office to re-verify your family members. Benefit offices will keep all documents used in the DRV process in your benefit file without a purge date. In subsequent re-verifications, you need not provide birth certificates for natural-born children or adoption certificates for adopted children again. You also need not provide the marriage certificate, domestic partnership registration, and birth certificates for stepchildren or domestic partner children if the marriage or domestic partnership remains current.

Tuition Waiver

After you are registered in classes. This form must be completed every semester the tuition waiver benefit is to be used.

The waiver will be applied at the campus the student is enrolled in once the application form is received and course load can be confirmed. If changes to courses/units occurs after the waiver is applied, an audit is performed after the designated census date and the waiver will be adjusted accordingly.

Deadlines depend on the registration schedule at each CSU campus. You should immediately submit your Tuition Waiver Application Form after you have registered. To view SSU’s registration schedule, go to Admissions Dates & Deadlines.

Yes. Only courses in regular academic programs may be taken under the tuition waiver program. Tuition waiver is not applicable to courses offered through Extended Education. Tuition Waiver for Summer Session is available only at certain CSU campuses, Sonoma State is not among them. Auditing a course is not permitted.

  • dependent children of CSUEU (Units 2, 5, 7 & 9), CFA (Unit 3), APC (Unit 4) or SETC (Unit 6), C99 and MPP employees may participate in the Fee Waiver Program up to age 25; UAPD (Unit 1) and SUPA (Unit 8)'s age limit is 23
  • your child or stepchild who has never been married up to age limit
  • a child living with you in a parent-child relationship who is economically dependent upon you, and has never been married up to age limit
  • or your child or stepchild over the age limit who is incapable of self-support due to a disability which existed prior to age limit.

The Education Code and Collective Bargaining Agreements forbid waiving or reducing certain fees for non-employees.

Work Related
Work related courses are taken for the purpose of improving the level of skills needed to perform existing duties and responsibilities, or acquiring additional skills needed to perform newly assigned duties. Work Related Tuition Waiver participants must complete the Waiver Request for CSU Application Fee form every semester.
Career Development
Courses that are to be taken must be linked to the present and future needs of the CSU. An Individual Career Development Plan must be completed by employee and approved by the employee’s Appropriate Administrator. Career Development Tuition Waiver participants only need to complete the CSU Application Fee Reimbursement Request the initial semester of participation.

All CSU Bargaining Units need to obtain the Appropriate Administrator and Dean or Department Head signatures except for CSUEU Units 2, 5, 7 & 9, for which only the Appropriate Administrator’s signature is required.

The Tuition Waiver Program provides the opportunity for eligible staff, faculty, dependent children, spouses or domestic partners to take classes at any CSU campus at significantly reduced rates, during the current academic semester.

No, release time is granted at the supervisor’s discretion.

The following employees or their dependent children, spouses or domestic partners are eligible to participate:

  • Full-time permanent, tenured or probationary employees
  • Full-time temporary and probationary employees, if permitted by collective bargaining contract
  • Permanent part-time employees
  • FERP employees only during the semesters when they are actively employed
  • Temporary faculty employees (excluding coaches) with three (3) year appointments
  • Coaches must have at least six (6) consecutive years of service in one department
  • Full-time Management Personnel Plan (MPP) employees, including temporary appointments
  • Confidential Employees.

If release time is not granted, an adjusted work schedule may be authorized. An adjusted work schedule is a temporary schedule that allows the employee to take classes during normal work hours by making up class time. The supervisor approved adjusted work schedule must be attached to the Tuition Waiver Application form.

  • It is always taxable for domestic partners.
  • It is taxable only for Post Baccalaureate classes for spouses and dependent children.
  • Generally, undergraduate fees for employees are nontaxable. Graduate/doctorate fees for employees are nontaxable if expenses do not exceed $5,250. However, when the graduate/doctorate fees do exceed $5,250, they are taxable.

Once you have reviewed the admissions requirements, apply online at Cal State Apply. Fees are due at the time the application is submitted. Return the completed CSU Application Fee Reimbursement Request and proof of payment to the Payroll and Benefits Office for approval. Reimbursement occurs from the student's campus of attendance.

After you are admitted and have registered for classes, complete and submit the Tuition Waiver Application form. There may be additional paperwork necessary for admission to a campus. For additional information on the application process, contact the Office of Admissions at the student's campus of attendance.

Forms are available on the Sonoma State University Payroll & Benefits Forms. For easy access to a particular form, click on the link for that form where you find it mentioned in this FAQ.

Each employee is entitled to one Tuition Waiver per semester for use by the employee, dependent children, spouse or domestic partner.

An employee or his/her dependent child, spouse or domestic partner may enroll in a maximum of two classes or six units, whichever is greater, per term. Students taking courses in addition to the fee waiver courses shall pay any difference in fees, per applicable collective bargaining agreement or Executive Order 712. All other fees shall be at the regular rate.

Examples:

  • If a student is enrolled in two 1-unit courses, his/her part-time tuition is waived
  • If a student is enrolled in two 4-unit courses, his/her full-time tuition is waived
  • If a student is enrolled in more than two courses, his/her part-time tuition is waived; the full tuition is not waived
  • If a student is enrolled in two 4-unit courses and one 1-unit course (three courses, totaling 9 units), then he/she is in more than two courses, the part-time tuition fee is waived and the student would have to pay the difference between the full and part-time tuition plus any other applicable fees.

Yes, the Application Fee can be reimbursed once the CSU Application Fee Reimbursement Request is submitted and approved. The processing of the reimbursement will occur at the student's campus of attendance. A maximum of one application fee per degree can be waived.

Each employee or dependent child, spouse or domestic partner is entitled to one CSU Application Fee Waiver per degree.

Yes, it can be used at any CSU campus. Enrollment at other CSU campuses requires completion of enrollment and tuition waiver forms available from the campus chosen by the employee, dependent child, spouse or domestic partner. Payroll and Benefits will forward the approved paperwork to the campus to be attended. Application and registration deadlines vary from campus to campus.