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Temporary Employment Program


Temporary Employment Requirements

This resource describes the requirements for all UW temporary hourly appointments that use classified titles. Student hourly appointments and Compensation Office-approved professional staff temporary appointments follow separate practices.

Temporary hourly appointments may be used for limited duration project work, staffing shortages, workload peaks, and — in certain cases — ongoing work that is limited to fewer than 20 hours per week. Temporary hourly appointments may not substitute for the employment of regular staff when a unit has an ongoing need for a person to work half time or more, and are not used for an extended trial period before a regular appointment is developed.

Temporary Employment Limits

The limits on the amount of time that a temporary employee can work are established by state law and University policy. Under University policy temporary hourly employees may work a maximum of 950 hours (excluding overtime) in the current 12-month period that begins with the employee's Original Temporary Employment Date (OTED) in a temporary hourly position, or the anniversary of that date. Once established, the OTED does not change regardless of other positions the employee may subsequently hold or breaks in University employment. If an employee's OTED was before October 1, 1989, then October 1 is used as the anniversary date.

All hours worked in multiple and/or consecutive appointments, or worked for the UW through UTemp Staffing or an outside agency are combined and counted toward the 950-hour limit. Overtime hours worked are not included in calculating time worked toward the 950-hour limit.

Some units establish a lower limit on the number of hours that a temporary employee may work. Managers and employees are responsible for knowing and complying with their unit policy.

Temporary Employment Limit Exceptions

An organization’s appointing authority (dean, vice president, etc.) may approve individual exceptions to the 950-hour limit on a case-by-case basis, but in no case may a temporary hourly employee be allowed to work more than 1050 hours in the current 12-month period that begins with the employee's (OTED). There are no exceptions to the 1050-hour limit, which is set in the Washington Administrative Code.

Temporary hourly (“per diem”) Registered Nurse 2 and 3 employees at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, and certain classifications of employees who work on UW oceangoing research vessels are not subject to the 950- or 1050-hour limit, as approved by the Washington State Department of Personnel.

Benefits & Leave

Insurance and Retirement Plans

Temporary employees who meet eligibility criteria can participate in employer-provided medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance plans, and in state retirement plans.

Preliminary notification of benefits eligibility is included in the Temporary Employment Notice. The UW Benefits Office sends to each newly appointed temporary hourly employee a determination of whether or not the employee is eligible to participate in PERS retirement plans and/or to receive employer-paid health, life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Leave

Temporary employees do not accrue paid leave. However, temporary employees may be eligible for unpaid time away from work because of a disability or serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or for military leave.

Your unit's Human Resources Consultant can assist with questions relating to temporary employee leave of absence.

Overtime Requirements

All temporary hourly staff are subject to overtime payment requirements.

Union Representation

For detailed information about what positions are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, see Temporary Employees in Bargaining Units.

Temporary Employee Hiring Process

Employment Process

Human Resources coordinates all employment of temporary hourly employees unless otherwise authorized by the vice president for Human Resources. An employing unit may not place a temporary hourly employee on payroll, or start a temporary hourly employee working, without advanced HR approval.

If you are not familiar with the details of the hiring process, including the use of UWHIRES, see the Hiring Process Guide for:

  • UTemp Staffing - A University service that recruits and identifies qualified temporary employees, manages payroll functions, and completes all monitoring and administration requirements. Reach UTemp Staffing at 206-543-3652 or utemp@uw.edu.
  • Temporary hourly appointment direct hire process - For managers who will recruit and manage payroll and temporary employment monitoring.

Job Title and Hourly Pay Rate

All temporary hourly staff appointments are paid an hourly rate that falls within the salary range for the classified title that best fits the work (job class codes 2000-8999 in the University's compensation plan). Deviations from this practice require advance Human Resources approval from your employment specialist.

Temporary Staff Helper Job Title Use

Human Resources must provide advance approval to use the “Temporary Staff Helper” job title. Use of this title is approved only when Human Resources determines that the work to be performed in a temporary appointment does not fit any classified non-union class specification (e.g., working as an usher; conducting specialized training; performing "consulting activities" where paying the individual as a consultant is not possible or desirable), or to employ a student attending another institution who will be doing the same work in the department as a UW student helper is doing. HR will confer with the hiring manager to establish an appropriate pay rate. The Temporary Staff Helper title cannot be used to pay an hourly rate that is less than what the employee would be paid if a classified non-union title were used.

Temporary Employment Notice

State civil service rules require that newly appointed temporary hourly employees in classified job titles receive written information about their benefits eligibility and terms of their employment at the time of appointment. This requirement only applies to appointments in job codes 2000-8999, and in job code 1863 (Temporary Staff Helper). It does not apply to employees in other types of limited duration appointments like fixed-duration classified appointments, professional staff temporary, or limited-duration appointments, or to the following job titles:

  • 1835, Nursing Technician Non-UW Student
  • 0884, Nursing Technician UW Student
  • 1836, Student Assistant Non-UW Student (must be work study)
  • 0875, Student Assistant UW Student

The UW provides this information via the Temporary Employment Notice email sent to the employee. HR employment staff are responsible for ensuring that necessary individuals in the employing department (e.g., hiring managers) receive copies of the notice.

If an employee does not have an email address, the hiring manager is expected to provide the employee with a copy of the notice.

Hiring managers should review the information contained in the Temporary Employment Notice with new employees as part of their departmental orientation.

Temporary hourly appointments and appointment extensions are limited to a maximum of 12 months. If you need to continue a temporary hourly appointment beyond the current appointment end date, and the temporary hourly employee is eligible to continue working in the appointment, you may extend the appointment for a maximum of 12 months at a time.

When You Must Submit a New UWHIRES Requisition

Under certain conditions, and to ensure compliance with civil service rules, an employing department may be required to submit a new employment requisition rather than extend an existing temporary hourly appointment. These conditions are when:

  • There is a change in job class code/title or appointing department,
  • More than two full pay periods have passed since the end of the appointment in question, or
  • An employment separation has been entered for the employee in the UW payroll system.

Extend a Temporary Hourly Appointment End Date

There are two steps to extending a temporary hourly appointment end date:

  1. Before extending a temporary hourly appointment, use the Temporary Hourly Employee Prehire Hours Lookup Tool to determine if the employee has enough hours remaining to work the additional length of time needed to complete the appointment. This tool provides the total number of temporary hours worked (exclusive of overtime) in the current 12-month period measured from the employee’s original date of temporary employment or the anniversary of that date.
  2. Use the Temporary Hourly Appointment Extension Request Tool to document the extension of a temporary hourly appointment.

Temporary Appointment Monitoring

Managers are responsible for monitoring all hours worked by temporary hourly employees in classified job titles that are hired directly, and for ensuring the employee does not work in excess of the 950-hour limit. If a temporary hourly employee was placed in the unit by UTemp Staffing, then UTemp Staffing will monitor the hours worked.

Use the Temporary Employment Monitoring tool to monitor hours worked by employees in your department. Search by employee name, EID, or UW NetID to find total annual hours worked to date by temporary hourly employees subject to the 950-hour (1050 with authorization) limit in your organization.

About the Temporary Employment Monitoring Tools

The Temporary Employment Monitoring Tools send email notifications to designated reviewers and administrators at critical hour time limits and allows you to check the total annual hours worked through the last pay period by temporary hourly employees subject to the 1050 limit on temporary hourly employment in your organization.

Other features of the tools include:

  • At-a-glance appointment details of employees who have reached critical hour limits of 500, 750, 850, or 950 hours;
  • The ability to document appointing authority approval for an employee to exceed 950 hours (up to the maximum 1050 hours);
  • A history of 950-limit authorizations;
  • And access to hours—monitoring reports.

ACT

Roles & Spans of Control

Responsibility for the temporary hourly employment monitoring process varies from organization to organization based on their size and level of decentralization. In order to provide flexibility, the Temporary Hourly Employment Monitoring Tools use ASTRA to allow each organization to set spans of control based on org code and assign roles.

ASTRA DELEGATORS: Delegators must first set up Authorizers in ASTRA; Authorizers will then be able to set up Users of the new Temporary Hourly Employment Monitoring Tools.

ASTRA AUTHORIZERS: Authorizers should consider where temporary hourly employees typically work within their organization when assigning roles: Reviewer, Administrator, and Watcher. We recommend establishing spans of control and assigning roles so that all parts of your organization that might hire temporary hourly employees are covered. At a minimum, a Reviewer role must be assigned to each span of control where a temporary hourly employee is currently working. Assigning additional roles per span of control is encouraged as it provides back-up coverage. There is no limit to the number of people an organization can set up in these roles.

ASTRA Role Overview Table
ASTRA ROLE & ACTION TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT MONITORING TOOL EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS
Enter approval to work beyond 950 hours Check hours worked & view reports Receive email notifications at all hours thresholds Receive 950+ without authorization email

While each organization may assign any position type to these roles, a sample scenario of roles is outlined below:

  • Reviewer: payroll coordinator or administrative staff person at a 10–digit org level
  • Administrator: administrator or department manager at a 7– or 5–digit org level
  • Watcher: department head at a 5– or 3– digit org level
Reviewer (update)
Administrator (update)  
Watcher (inquiry)      

Email Notifications

If you are set up as a Reviewer or Administrator in ASTRA, you will receive automatic email notifications each pay period when a temporary hourly employee in your span of control has reached a critical hour threshold. The number of notifications you receive depend on your span of control and which User role you have been assigned by your organization’s ASTRA Authorizer:

Role Critical Hour Threshold Email Description Suggested Action(s) to Take Included in the Email Notification
Reviewer 500 One or more temporary hourly employees within your span of control have reached the 500 hour threshold. Visit the Temporary Hourly Employee Monitoring tool to view which employees have worked at least 500 hours.
Reviewer 750 - 949 One email per pay period per temporary hourly employee within your span of control who has worked between 750-949 hours. Employee details are included.
  • Review the appointment details for accuracy of the hours.
  • Use the Temporary Hourly Employee Monitoring tool to document if the employee has been authorized to work more than 950 hours by your organization’s appointing authority.
  • Take the steps necessary to end the appointment in the payroll system if the employee’s appointment has concluded or is inactive.
Reviewer 950+ One email per pay period per temporary hourly employee within your span of control who has worked over 950 hours. Employee details and indication of whether your organization’s appointing authority has authorized work to exceed 950 hours are included.
  • Review the appointment details for accuracy of the hours.
  • Continue to closely monitor the employee to ensure that they do not exceed 1050 hours.
  • If the employee has not yet been authorized to work more than 950 hours by your organization’s appointing authority, that authorization must be received and documented in the Temporary Hourly Employee Monitoring tool.
  • Take the steps necessary to end the appointment in the payroll system if the employee’s appointment has concluded or is inactive.
Administrator 950+ without authorization One email per pay period per temporary hourly employee within your span of control who has worked over 950 hours without authorization from your organization’s appointing authority. Employee details are included.
  • Review the appointment details for accuracy of the hours.
  • Continue to closely monitor the employee to ensure that they do not exceed 1050 hours.
  • If the employee has not yet been authorized to work more than 950 hours by your organization’s appointing authority, that authorization must be received and documented in the Temporary Hourly Employee Monitoring tool.
  • Take the steps necessary to end the appointment in the payroll system if the employee’s appointment has concluded or is inactive.

LEARN MORE

Temporary Employment Monitoring Tool Q & A

Understanding Data

What employees can I monitor in the Temporary Employment Monitoring Tools?
All temporary hourly employees who are subject to the 950-hour limit on temporary employment. The temporary hours limit applies to appointments in job codes 2000-8999, and in job codes 1863 (Temporary Staff Helper) and 1822-1826 (Temporary Staff A–E used by UTemp Staffing). It does not apply to employees in other types of limited duration appointments like fixed duration classified appointments, professional staff temporary or limited duration appointments, as well as a few limited exemptions approved through the Washington State Department of Personnel, which include per diem Registered Nurse 2 and 3 employees working at the hospitals and employees who work on the UW oceangoing research vessels.
What is the Original Temporary Employment Date (OTED) and how is it established?
See the explanation of the OTED under the Temporary Employment Overview tab > Temporary Employment Limits.
Why do the temporary hours worked calculate through the end of the pay period when the OTED falls within a pay period?
The University of Washington’s payroll system does not collect time on a daily basis; time is only collected at the end of the pay period for the entire pay period. Therefore hours will calculate through the end of the pay period in which the OTED falls. To get actual daily hours you still need to reference departmental timesheets.
How do I count hours worked around the anniversary of my employee’s OTED in order to correctly evaluate them for compliance with the 950 limit?
When the OTED falls on any date with a reporting pay period, the hours worked after the date of the OTED fall into the next 12-month period. Therefore, subtract the post-OTED pay period hours worked from the employee’s reported hours balance to properly monitor compliance within the current period’s 950-hour limit.
How is the 12-month period that is used to count temporary employment hours for compliance with the 950-hour limit established?
State civil service rules define what the OTED is, and require that temporary employment hours not exceed the specified limit during the 12-month period from one anniversary of the OTED date to the next OTED anniversary.
How current is the information in the Temporary Hourly Employment Monitoring Tools?
The data is normally updated the morning after final payroll calculation is made. The tools will show data from the most recent, completed pay period. Refer to the Payroll Schedule for specific dates.
What happens if a temporary hourly employee works more than the allowed 1050-hour limit?
Contact your Human Resources consultant if a temporary hourly employee exceeds the 1050 work hour limit to discuss next steps.

Critical Hour-level Thresholds

Why do I see an employee who no longer has an active appointment in my department listed under a critical hour-level threshold?
The tools show any employee within your span of control who has a future temporary appointment end date, and who also has temporary hours worked in the current 12-month period between the previous OTED anniversary and the next OTED anniversary.
Why does the same employee show up more than once on the critical hour threshold page?
Generally this happens when an employee holds more than one appointment within your span of control. This is especially true if you have a wide span of control for your organization, and it includes multiple smaller units. An employee may also appear more than once if the employee has more than one appointment and any of the appointments has been authorized to exceed 950 hours.
How do I find employees who have worked less than 500 hours?
Use the “Check Hours of an Employee” feature or review the “My Temporary Hourly Monitoring Report” to find employees who have worked less than 500 hours.

Employee and Appointment Detail

One of my employees holds more than one temporary hourly appointment, and one of those appointments is in a department outside my span of control. If I authorize the employee to exceed the 950-hour limit, how does that affect the other department(s)?
The hour limits on temporary employment apply regardless of the number of temporary hourly appointments an employee may have. If you authorize an employee to exceed the 950-hour limit, that authorization applies to all hours worked including those worked in other departments. If you authorize an employee to work beyond the 950-hour limit, you must notify any other departments where the employee works of your authorization. This will ensure that all departments can accurately monitor hours worked and comply with the limits on temporary employment. Our reports display all appointments that an employee has, including those outside your span of control, to facilitate interdepartmental communication and compliance with University policy.
I recently entered a new temporary appointment into OPUS for an employee and the appointment doesn’t appear on the Employee Detail page in the Temporary Employment Monitoring tool. Why is that?
New appointment data appears in the tools after the end of the pay period. Check back after the next payroll cycle to confirm that the new appointment appears on the Employee Detail page.

Email Notifications

How many emails will I get as a “reviewer?”
Email notifications are only sent for appointments that reach critical hour thresholds. The number of emails will therefore vary depending on the number of temporary hourly employees in your organization, the number of hours they have worked, and your span of control. HR’s review of temporary appointment data by organization indicates that a reviewer with a 3-digit org (the highest span of control) is likely to receive approximately 20 emails per pay period. More typically, a reviewer will have a narrower span of control (7- or 10-digit), and receive far fewer emails.

ASTRA

How do I obtain access to the Temporary Employment Monitoring Tools?
Access to the Temporary Employment Monitoring Tools is controlled through ASTRA. For campus departments, contact your department's Temporary Hourly Employment Monitoring Tools ASTRA authorizer for access requests. If you do not know who your department's ASTRA authorizer is, you can use the ASTRA authorizer look up tool.
For medical centers departments, contact uwmedhr@uw.edu to request access.