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The following page is a three column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.

Payroll Basics







































































































































Payroll Basics

Payroll Basics Print Version

I. Introduction:

Here at California State University, Northridge, we know that your pay is important to you. We want to provide some basic information about the payroll process for State employees.

II. Payroll Administration Office:

Payroll Administration is a unit within the Office of Human Resources, located in University Hall, Room 165. Our mailing address is:

Payroll Administration/Office of Human Resources
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8229

We are a service-oriented department committed to assisting employees and administrative departments. We are dedicated to processing accurate and timely pay for all faculty, staff and student employees. At the same time, we adhere to University guidelines and federal and state regulations. Working in collaboration with your department, we process pay eligibility and maintain employee leave records.

III. Payday Calendar & Payroll Calendar:

The CSUN Payday Calendar lists dates for distribution of pay warrants or direct deposit for all employees, plus campus holidays and closures:

Please refer to the University Payroll Calendar for campus reporting deadlines and other pay related information:

IV. Understanding Your Pay Warrant:

  1. It's not a check, it's a warrant.
    The State Controller's Office (SCO), which issues your pay, refers to pay checks as pay warrants.
  2. It comes from the State.
    The SCO mails pay warrants to the campus. The warrants are distributed by University Cash Services to a designated member of your department.
  3. It's issued monthly.
    • Warrants for salaried faculty and staff members are usually issued on the last day of the month or the first day of the next month.
    • Hourly employees, student workers, shift differentials, bonuses, stipends, excess plus and special payments are paid on the 15th of each month. If the 15th of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or University holiday, payday will be the prior business day.
    • The Payday Calendar, indicates pay days and dates for Direct Deposit.
    • The Payroll Calendar contains dates for payroll activities and deadlines for reporting absences:
  4. If you are enrolled in Direct Deposit, you still get a monthly statement.

V. Deductions:

Note*: Employees wishing to cancel a payroll deduction for parking should return the original parking permit to University Cash Services. (UCS). UCS will then notify the State Controller´s Office to remove the monthly deduction amount from your pay warrant.

All other voluntary deductions can be cancelled by should contacting the respective company/companies.

VI. Taxes & Withholding:

  1. Select or make changes to your tax withholding status for federal and state taxes by completing the Employee Action Request Form:
  2. Student assistants and Federal Work Study students must complete the SPAR:
  3. Forms should be submitted to Human Resources at least 15 business days prior to your next payday for the change to take effect during the current reporting period. Please refer to the Payday Calendar to verify the next pay day:
  4. Dependent on the payroll calendar, the change will take effect the next possible pay period.

VII. Estimating Net Pay:

  1. You can use the following links to calculate the amount of taxes and other deductions taken from your pay warrant, resulting in your net (take-home) pay.
  2. How to Use Paycheck Calculator (Instructions):
  3. Paycheck Calculator:

VIII. Outdated Pay Warrants:

Pay warrants are valid for one year from the date of issue.

If you have a pay warrant that is over one year old, contact Payroll Administration regarding reissuing the warrant. If your pay warrant is more than three years old, you must request a replacement warrant directly from:

State Board of Control Government Claims
PO Box 3035
Sacramento, CA 95812-3035

More information is available online:

IX. Reporting a Lost, Stolen or Destroyed Pay Warrant:

If you have not received your pay warrant or advice of direct deposit, contact your department administrator.

If you have had the pay warrant in your possession and it becomes lost, stolen or destroyed, come to the Office of Human Resources for assistance in completing an affidavit requesting a duplicate warrant. This form will then be submitted to the State Controller's Office. Please keep in mind that it takes approximately 2-3 weeks for a duplicate warrant to be issued.

X. Direct Deposit:

  1. Eligibility:
    All active employees are eligible to sign up for Direct Deposit, with the exception of special payees, one-time payees and consultants.
  2. Effective Date:
    You can expect Direct Deposit to take effect on the second pay period after submitting the enrollment form.
  3. How to Enroll:
    Complete the Direct Deposit Contract, and the Direct Deposit Enrollment Authorization, Attach a voided check (not a deposit slip) if depositing directly into a checking account.
  4. How Money is Deposited:
    Earnings are wired from the State Controller's Office to the designated financial institution on pay day. View the Direct Deposit Schedule here: .
  5. Changing Financial Institutions:
    Changing financial institutions for Direct Deposit can take up to two pay periods. During any transition, please check your Direct Deposit Advice to confirm which institution received and deposited your funds. You will typically receive a regular warrant before your Direct Deposit is redirected to the new institution. Note: pay warrants are green, and Direct Deposit advice is white; remember to deposit any warrants.

XI. W-2 Forms:

  1. Annual W-2 Statements are mailed each January directly from the State Controller's Office to an employee's address on record with Payroll Administration as of December 1st. For instructions on updating your address, refer to: XIII. Updating Personal Information
  2. The November period is considered to be the last pay period of the tax year and the December pay period (warrant issued on January 1) is the first pay period of the new tax year.
  3. W-2's returned by the post office are kept on file in Payroll Administration. You may contact the office after February 1st to inquire if your W-2 was returned to the campus.

XII. Requesting a Duplicate W-2 Form:

If you do not receive a W-2 Form, or if you need a duplicate W-2:

  1. If you have not received your W-2 by January 31, please verify your address on file with Human Resources by accessing the link inside the portal in > Human Resources/Employee pagelet > Update My Personal Information.
  2. A duplicate copy of a W-2 can be requested from the State Controller's Office. Information is online:

XIII. Updating Personal Information:

Human Resources can best serve you if we have your most current information on file. Please check your personal information annually. If any of your personal information changes at any time, update as necessary by following these steps:

  1. Access the portal by signing in at
  2. Find the Human Resources/Employee pagelet.
  3. Choose menu item > Update My Personal Information.
    • Change Name (Preferred)
    • Change home/mailing address
    • Change phone number(s)
    • Change emergency contact(s)
    • Change email address
  4. Within each section, click on the appropriate yellow buttons to edit, delete, change, or add information.
  5. For assistance, email SOLAR HR Support at, or call x 1000, press 2, press 3.

XIV. Accruals - Finding Sick Leave & Vacation Balances:

Based on your Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or position, you may be eligible to earn Vacation, Sick Leave, and State Service Accruals after a qualifying pay period. Most new, full-time employees accrue 6 2/3 hours of vacation, 8 hours of sick leave, and one month of State Service for each qualifying pay period.

Accruals are posted on or around the 8th of the following month. You can view your balances by logging into the portal.

  1. Access the portal by signing in at
  2. Find the Human Resources/Employee – Time & Attendance pagelet.
  3. Choose menu item View Absence Balances.
  4. For monthly activity, click on the Details icon in the last column.
  5. For assistance, email SOLAR HR Support at

For additional information on Vacation, go to:, or call x 1000, press 2, press 3.

For additional information on Sick Leave, go to:

Additional information is online

XV. Contacting Payroll Administration:

We're here to help! Please feel free to contact us:

Payroll Administration/Office of Human Resources
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91331-8229

Call Payroll Administration at x 2101.

XVI. Self-Reporting Time in Absence Management:

To Self-Report your time in Absence Management, please refer to: