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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach


Appointment of Special Consultant to the University Payroll

Responsible University Officer: Associate Vice President, Human Resources Management and Associate Vice President of Faculty Affairs

Primary Guideline Contact: Director of Staff Human Resources and Director of Faculty Affairs


This administrative guideline covers the use of Special Consultants and does not cover independent contractors retained via a contract through the Purchasing office.


Use of Special Consultant Classification

The CSU Special Consultant classification is intended for temporary employment of work that is considered “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Special Consultants are used for temporary employment which involves a particular knowledge, ability or expertise. A Special Consultant’s expertise may lie in any of a number of areas and the range of permissible assignments is broad.

Examples of activities appropriate for individuals employed as Special Consultants include:

  • performing administrative studies;
  • preparing written reports;
  • gathering and analyzing various forms of data;
  • conducting oral briefings;
  • conducting training workshops, evaluation seminars, specialized examinations or other short-term “teaching” programs which require their particular expertise. Examples of this type of permissible activity include service as a Guest Lecturer and employment as an evaluator for a specialized testing program such as the Writing Proficiency Examination.

Special Consultants are paid on a daily rate basis (flat rate for entire day).  If a department has a business need to hire a Special Consultant with a variable, this request may be submitted to and approved in advance by either Faculty Affairs or Staff Human Resources. Request must include justification for establishing a variable rate. This justification should be submitted with the required paperwork outlined under Procedures for Hiring Special Consultants.

Restrictions on the use of Special Consultants

  • A Special Consultant appointment cannot be used as a substitute for regular instructional classifications.
  • A Special Consultant cannot perform duties covered by an established CSU administrative or staff job classification.
  • A Special Consultant cannot be used for an hourly, intermittent appointment or for non-exempt work.

Special Consultant Differentiated from Requisitioned Consultant Services

Employees in the Special Consultant classification are covered by the same employment policies and compensation procedures as any other temporary employees within the CSU and are subject to taxes and other appropriate withholdings. However, an independent contractor’s pay is processed approved the Purchasing Office and is not paid through the University’s personnel/payroll system.

However, if an individual is already employed by CSULB, University policy requires that he or she be hired in the appropriate employee classification and not as an independent contractor.
Questions regarding Independent Contractors can be directed to the Director of HR Services Group at (562) 985-1741.

Special Consultants and Additional Employment

The CSU’s Additional Employment Policy states that a CSU employee may accept additional employment (or overload) within the CSU up to a maximum of 25% above a full-time appointment. (Another way of expressing this is that no individual may be employed within the CSU for more than a 125% “effort,” with 100% being the equivalent of a full-time commitment.) This restriction applies to all CSU employment (both state funded as well as non-state funded) and includes all auxiliary organizations.

As Special Consultants are paid on the basis of a daily rate, each day of workload as a consultant is aggregated with an individual’s “regular” workload measure (e.g., 40 hours/week, 12 units/semester) when determining total permissible CSU employment. Please contact Faculty Affairs or Staff Human Resources for assistance with Additional Employment compliance with Special Consultants



If a department or college is considering hiring a Special Consultant, the Administrative Services Manager should send a short description of duties and an estimate of the total days to be worked to Faculty Affairs or Staff Human Resources. Faculty Affairs or Staff Human Resources will determine whether the Special Consultant is appropriate. If approved, the following items must be completed, approved, and received in Staff HR a week prior to the incumbent’s start date.

  1. PTF Form - indicate daily rate of pay. Click here for tips on completing the PTF.
  2. Short job description
  3. Employment Application- fully completed and signed
  4. Resume of potential new employee
  5. Supplemental Employment Application Questionnaire - fully completed and signed
  6. Request for Recruitment Authorization (Exception form) - fully completed and signed
  7. Verification of Reference Check
  8. Background Check Request Form
  9. Completed Immediate/Special Pay Voucher (if the Special Consultant only works one day)
  10. Justification for hiring on a variable rate, if applicable. In this case, PTF should state “Daily Rate not to Exceed $_____”

Once all documents are in order, Staff HR will send an appointment letter to the employee.

Special Consultant Sign In

Special Consultants who are NOT already CSULB employees must:

  • Sign in with the Payroll Office as new employees
  • Provide appropriate documentation to establish the individual’s identity and authorization to work in the United States.
  • The State of California also requires the Payroll office to view each new employee’s original Social Security card.

Note: The employee will not receive pay unless he/she signs in. Failure to do so will prevent the University from issuing payment.

Procedures for Paying Special Consultants

Since Special Consultants are paid on a daily basis, Immediate/Special Pay Vouchers must be forwarded to the Human Resources Support Services (HRSS) at the end of each applicable pay period in order to generate pay.
All Immediate/Special Pay Vouchers must be signed by the Appropriate Administrator. Vouchers which do not reflect this signature will be returned.

NOTE: If a Special Consultant is hired for one day, the Immediate/Special Pay Voucher must be turned in with the hiring paperwork.




Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Guideline Contacts Neil Iacono (562) 985-7161
Natalie Bersig (562) 985-8114
Independent Contractor Guidance Marita Swanson (562) 985-1741
Benefits and Retirement Questions Marita Swanson (562) 985-1741


Appendices (if any):

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Related Chancellor’s Office Policies:

Other Related Information:

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Issue Date: September 1988

Last Review Date: July 2005

Amended Date: January 2019

Amended Description: Clarified hiring and paying procedures, updated contact information, added links to forms and documents.