Human Resources

Temporary employment program

The temporary employment program describes the requirements for all UW temporary hourly appointments that use classified titles. Student hourly appointments and professional staff temporary appointments approved by the Compensation office follow separate practices.

Temporary hourly appointments can 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 should not substitute for the employment of regular staff when a unit has an ongoing need for a person to work half time or more. Nor should these appointments be used as a trial period for an employee before hiring that employee to a regular appointment.

Hiring 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.

To hire a temporary hourly employee, you generally have two options:

  • UTemp Staffing
  • Direct hire

UTemp Staffing is a UW service that recruits and identifies qualified temporary employees. They also manage payroll and monitor the hours worked by employees to ensure that they meet the limits.

The direct hire process for temporary employees is for supervisors who want to recruit candidates directly. With direct hire, supervisors must also manage payroll and monitor work hours to ensure employees don’t exceed the limits.

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Pay rate and job title

All temporary hourly employees 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.

Using “Temporary Staff Helper” as a job title

In most cases, you can’t use “Temporary Staff Helper” (code 1863) for an employee’s job title. To use this title, you must receive approval from Human Resources.

This title is only approved when HR determines that the position’s work doesn’t fit any classified non-union class specification (for example, when working as an usher or when conducting specialized training). You can’t use the title to pay an hourly rate that’s less than what the employee would be paid under a classified non-union title.

Non-UW students who are not work study eligible or who are not nursing students may be employed as a regular temporary hourly employee using the classified job title that most closely matches the work to be performed. With the advance approval from HR Operations, it may be appropriate to use Temporary Staff Helper job title for such appointments.

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Work limits and overtime

Temporary hourly employees can work a maximum of 950 hours (excluding overtime) during a 12-month period. However, some units establish a lower limit, so check your unit’s policy and make sure to comply with it.

The initial 12-month period starts on the first day of employment, which is called the employee’s Original Temporary Employment Date (OTED). Subsequent 12-month periods begin on the OTED anniversary date. Once an employee establishes an OTED it does not change, even if an employee leaves the UW or takes other positions at UW.

All hours worked, except overtime, count toward the 950-hour limit. The limit applies to all appointments, including those made through UTemp Staffing, through direct hire, or through an outside agency. If an employee has multiple appointments, the combined hours worked through all appointments can’t exceed the limit.


Overtime hours worked do not count toward the 950-hour limit. All temporary hourly employees are subject to the overtime payment requirements.

Exceptions to the work limit

In some cases, employees may work beyond the 950-hour limit to a maximum of 1050 hours during a 12-month period. Because this limit is set by state law, employees can’t exceed it under any circumstances.

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.

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Monitor an employee’s hours

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that temporary hourly employees don’t exceed the work limit. To monitor the hours worked by your employees, use the Temporary Hourly Employment Monitoring Tool.

The tool allows you to check the number of hours worked by your employee, and it sends you an email when your employee reaches critical hour limits. Learn more about the temporary employment monitoring tool.

You don’t need to monitor hours if you hired the employee through UTemp Staffing, as they will do it for you.

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Extend an employee’s appointment

You can extend a temporary employee’s job appointment past the current end date if the employee is eligible to continue working in the appointment. You may extend the appointment by up to 12 months.

To extend the job appointment of a temporary hourly employee:

  1. Determine how many hours the employee has worked in their current appointment by using the hours lookup tool.
  2. Verify that the total hours of the current appointment plus the proposed extension do not exceed the work limit.
  3. Use the extension request tool to document the extended appointment.

If you hired the employee through UTemp Staffing, you should request an extension through the UTemp manager portal, or via email.

Under certain circumstances, you may need to submit a new employment requisition rather than extend the appointment. This is the case when any of the following apply:

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

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Benefits and leave

Temporary employees who meet eligibility criteria can participate in employer-provided insurance and retirement plans. The UW Benefits Office notifies newly temporary employees of their eligibility.

Temporary employees do not accrue paid leave. However, they are eligible for unpaid leave due to a disability or serious health condition (or to care for a family member with a serious health condition). Unpaid leave can also be used for military duty. Contact your unit’s Human Resources Consultant for questions about temporary employee leave of absence.

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Union representation

A temporary hourly employee can be represented by a union and covered by a collective bargaining agreement depending on the type of work and location of the job.

Currently at the UW, SEIU Local 925 and WFSE are certified to represent temporary employees if the employee:

  • Has a job assignment that matches an SEIU Local 925 or WFSE bargaining unit title
  • Works in a location where the job title is represented by SEIU 925 or WFSE
  • Has worked 350 hours or more in a bargaining unit assignment in a 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment

To determine which employees have reached the 350-hour threshold, each unit can access (after each payroll cutoff) a database of temporary employees covered by a bargaining unit.

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The Temporary Employment Notice

State civil service rules require that newly appointed temporary hourly employees in classified job titles receive, at the time of appointment, written information about benefits eligibility and terms of employment. This requirement applies to appointments in job codes 2000-8999 and code 1863 (Temporary Staff Helper).

To provide the Temporary Employment Notice, UW sends the employee an email. 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 notice with new employees as part of their departmental orientation.

Exceptions to the notice

The Temporary Employment Notice does not apply to employees in certain 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

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Temporary appointment types

The following table provides an overview of appointments that are limited duration or temporary, and links to related hiring and policy information. Contact your unit’s Human Resources consultant if you have questions about these types of appointments.

Appt type  Description Job Code or Assignment Title Work Limitations Monthly /Hrly
Overtime Eligible Benefits Eligible Appt
Direct Hire Temporary Hourly Appointment [1] Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks, occasional, limited ongoing work Job Codes 2000- 8999, and job code 1863 (temp staff helper) 950 hours during 12 months from OTED [2] or OTED anniversary

950 limit does not apply to per diem registered nurses 2 and 3 at HMC and UWMC, and to ocean-going classifications in the College of the Environment

Hourly Yes Determined by Benefits based on appt details and employee’s UW work history Departmentally managed using Temp Extension Tool
UTemp Staffing-provided Temporary Employee Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks, occasional, limited ongoing work UTemp Staffing defines assignment and job codes – 1822. Codes are for UTemp Staffing use only 950 hours during 12 months from OTED [3] or OTED anniversary Hourly Yes Determined by Benefits based on appt details and employee’s UW work history Requested through and managed by UTemp Staffing
Fixed Duration Appointment Project or leave of absence replacement of more than 6 months and not more than 12 months Employing unit selects the bargaining unit job code that matches the job duties. HR reviews and approves Only for SEIU 925 and WFSE bargaining unit classifications. Must be more than 6 months and less than 12 months Monthly Depends on classification of position but generally yes Yes Requested through and approved by HR Operations
Professional Staff Temporary Limited-Term Appointments Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks that meet professional staff exemption criteria Job Code 1850. Compensation determines min salary based upon market minimums for comparable work Appointments of less than 6 months and/or less than 20 hours per week. Hourly Yes Determined by Benefits based on appt details and employee’s UW work history Requested through and approved by Compensation
Professional Staff Project Appointment Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks that meet professional staff exemption criteria Job codes:
1650 for OT exempt, grades 5-10;
1655 for OT exempt,
grades 11-14;
9650 for OT eligibleCompensation determines job code for monthly-paid project appointments based on the scope of the job and FLSA exemption criteria. Compensation determines min. salary based on market minimum for comparable work.
Appointments of 6 to 9 months at 20 or more hours per week, normally limited to a max of 9 months.

Project appointments likely to exceed 9 months should be treated as regular professional staff appointments.

Monthly As assigned by Compensation Yes Requested through and approved by Compensation

[1] Direct hire temporary hourly employees may be covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

[2] OTED (Original Temporary Employment Date): Temporary hourly employees may work a maximum of 950 hours (excluding overtime) in the current 12-month period, which begins with the employee’s original date of temporary employment or the anniversary of that date. (If the original date of temporary employment was prior to October 1, 1989, then October 1 is used as the anniversary date. The OTED does not change even if a temporary hourly employee leaves UW employment and later returns to accept another temporary hourly appointment with the same or a different department.)

[3] Appointments working less than 20 hours per week may be established for periods of up to one year, with extension for longer periods possible

Employment of UW and non-UW higher education students in the job titles listed below is subject to the employment eligibility and compensation requirements that are described on the Student Employee Compensation webpage.

Job Code Title Overtime Covered Usage Appt
0872 Student Assistant Exception Yes This is an exception pay category requiring approval as described on the Student Employment and Compensation webpage. Departmentally managed
0875 Student Assistant Yes General student employment performing a variety of support tasks. Departmentally managed
1836 Student Assistant –Non-UW higher education work study student Yes Only available to employ a non-UW higher education student who is in an authorized work study program at another higher education institution. Duration of appointment is set by the length of the work study awards. Departmentally managed
0884 Nursing Tech UW Student Yes Only available to employ UW nursing students who perform selected nursing duties under supervision. Contact your Nursing Personnel/Recruitment team
1835 Nursing Tech – Non-UW Nursing Student Yes Only available to employ nursing students at other schools who perform selected nursing duties under supervision. Contact your Nursing Personnel/Recruitment team
0890 ASUW/Appointee No Only available for ASUW Appointments Departmentally managed
Academic student employees

For information about employment practices for Academic Student Employees – Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and certain other student job titles not listed above – see the contract between the UW and the United Auto Workers (UAW).

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