Working during COVID-19

Managing temporary hourly employment

Temporary hourly staff employees

Updated June 1, 2020

Consistent with the University’s Temporary Employment Program, the following clarifications have been made to explain temporary hourly employee management during the COVID-19 crisis. These rules are effective March 1, 2020 until the expiration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Hours limits

Temporary hourly staff employees working in critical positions essential to maintain safe hospital and institutional operations during the COVID-19 state of emergency period are exempt from the UW’s 950-hour limit and the state’s 1,050-hour maximum. In addition, temporary employees who previously hit the hours maximum may be rehired to fill vacant positions that meet the critical position criteria. For more information, see this policy update.

Upon expiration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, temporary hourly employees who have exceeded the state’s 1,050-hour maximum will no longer be able to work in a temporary hourly capacity until they have passed the anniversary of their original temporary employment date. Likewise, upon expiration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, departments should follow the normal extension request process described in the UW’s temporary employment program to request extensions for temporary hourly positions exceeding the institutional 950-hour limit.

End employment date extensions and separations

End dates in the past

Temporary hourly staff employees whose end employment date has passed should be separated from University employment on their end employment date and the positions closed unless the employee’s department chooses to extend the appointment because work exists or is likely to exist in the future for the employee to perform. UTemp employees without a current assignment should be separated.

Separated temporary hourly employees may be eligible for Washington State unemployment insurance benefits administered through the Employment Security Department.

If work exists, end employment dates may be extended up to 12 months consistent with current policy.

Future end employment dates

Temporary hourly staff employees with future end employment dates may be separated and the positions closed if there is no foreseeable future work unless the employee:

Prior to separating a temporary hourly employee with PEBB benefits and who holds a sick time off balance, or who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, departments should check with the employee to see if any condition under the Benefits maintenance section below applies. If so, follow guidance as outlined.

Benefits maintenance

Temporary hourly staff employees who are already receiving PEBB benefits are allowed to use their own accrued sick time off to maintain benefits when the employee:

  • Has not yet reported eight hours of work or sick time off in a calendar month.
  • Has not yet been separated from the University.
  • Is not scheduled to work a total of 8 hours or more in the calendar month.

For more information, visit the UWHR webpage on benefits continuation during COVID.

Temporary hourly staff employees who are already PEBB benefits eligible and who are at high-risk for illness due to exposure to COVID-19, may use their own paid time off to maintain benefits. Employees who have exhausted their own paid time off and have not met minimum healthcare benefits eligibility requirements should work with their department’s HR Consultant to approve No Loss of Pay.

For more information, visit the UWHR webpage on COVID-19 employment accommodation for high-risk employees.