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HR and Payroll Administrator

Business Office | Santa Rosa, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Overview of School:

Sonoma Academy is a private independent high school located in Santa Rosa, CA on a 34-acre campus, surrounded by 1,000 acres of protected open space, at the base of Taylor Mountain. Founded in 2001, it provides an engaging, challenging, and innovative college preparatory education and a supportive community for motivated learners from Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake, and Mendocino counties. The school currently serves 330 students in grades 9 through 12 and is increasing its enrollment each year. For more information on programs and philosophy, please visit our website:     

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Mission:

We believe that learning occurs best in a connected community. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are essential to an education in which all members of our community thrive. We are committed to cultivating a diverse community that is conscious and welcoming of difference, dedicated to investigating and advancing equity, and engages with our local and global community.  We are deeply committed to having a staff, faculty, and student body who reflect the rich diversity within the North Bay and we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply. If you would like to join us in our work, we welcome your application.

Overview of Position:

The HR and Payroll Administrator is focused on administering human resource and payroll programs for the 90+ full time and part time employees of Sonoma Academy. This includes compensation, benefits, leave of absence, onboarding and offboarding, occupational health and safety. This position provides excellent customer service and fully utilizes ADP Workforce Now to streamline processes and ensure compliance and data integrity.

Schedule: Full time, M-F (currently working remotely)  

Primary Responsibilities

 HR Administration:

  • Coordinate all aspects of employee onboarding and offboarding, including creation of employment agreements, background checks and employee eligibility verifications, ensuring compliance, ADP set up, basic orientation.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date human resource data in HRIS, files, records, and documentation.
  • Answer frequently asked questions from employees relative to standard policies, benefits, hiring processes, etc.; refers more complex questions to COO.
  • Maintain the integrity and confidentiality of human resource files and records.
  • Distribute required policies: Employee Handbook, Mandated reporter policies.
  • Organize and track annual compliance training, utilizing Safe Schools learning management systems.
  • Track and document employee injuries and illness in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

Payroll Administration: Responsible for the full range of a semi-monthly payroll cycle in coordination with the school’s external vendor (ADP):

  • Enter, maintain, and/or process all employee information in the HRIS/payroll system; information may include employee changes, hourly rates, salaries, stipends, bonuses or other compensation, time worked, paid leave and holidays, deductions and withholding, leave of absence, address changes, and other information.
  • Ensure proper processing of payroll deductions for taxes, benefits, 403(b) and other deductions.
  • Ensure necessary approvals for non-exempt employees, confirming voluntary deductions and reviewing the pre-process report.
  • Process garnishment requests, employee advances and paybacks, employment verifications.
  • Reconcile payroll data and create the general ledger entry to appropriately allocate all payroll and payroll-related expenses to the proper accounts.
  • Create necessary reports and reconcile the 403(b) and 457(f) contributions from the school and employees, and upload to the retirement vendor website.
  • Answer questions from employees related to payroll topics or HRIS time accruals.
  • Provide user training and hands-on support, including the creation of training materials and hosting training sessions.
  • Ensures system compliance with data security and privacy requirements.
  • Reconcile payroll to the general ledger and monthly bank statements.
  • Reconcile payroll issues or errors. Issue, or reissue, physical or replacement checks or direct deposits due to payroll errors or final discharge.
  • Record and process federal and state payroll tax deposits.


Benefits Administration: Administer the day-to-day operations of group benefits programs (group health, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability, worker's compensation, life insurance, travel and accident plan, flexible spending plan, 403(b) retirement plan, etc.):

  • Coordinate daily benefits processing. Utilizing HRIS and carrier systems, administer employee enrollments, COBRA, terminations, changes, beneficiaries, disability, accident and death claims, rollovers, distributions, loans, hardships and compliance testing. 
  • Gather employee change and enrollment data, download and reconcile monthly billings and prepare vouchers for payment of administrative fees for all group plans. 
  • Provide customer service support to internal and external customers. Develop communication tools to enhance understanding of the benefits package.  Design and distribute materials for benefits orientations, open enrollment and summary plan descriptions.
  • Serve as primary contact for benefits broker, plan vendors and third-party administrators.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable government regulations. Ensure timeliness and accuracy of required reporting and fees.
  • Coordinate annual flu shots.
  • Document and maintain administrative procedures for assigned benefits processes. 


Required Education and Experience: 

  • AA or BS degree in Business, Human Resources, Accounting or related field AND a minimum of three (3) years of experience in benefits and payroll administration; or a combination of experience and education
  • Proficiency with benefits, employment and payroll modules of ADP Workforce Now
  • Ability to develop and operate complex Excel files
  • Ability to develop query-based reports
  • Knowledge of all pertinent federal and state regulations, filing and compliance requirements, both adopted and pending, affecting employee wages and benefits programs, including the ACA, COBRA, FMLA, Section 125, workers' compensation, Medicare, and Social Security and DOL requirements

 Competencies required:

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to do data entry accurately and quickly, despite interruptions, and carefully track completion of critical path items while coping with various diversions
  • Willingness to be part of a collaborative environment and work closely with diverse colleagues in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, verbally and in writing
  • Positive attitude, flexible approach, and a sense of humor

    Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

  • Occasionally lift up to 25 pounds
  • Generally works in standard office conditions and climate
  • May work at a desk and computer for extended periods of time.