Human Resources

Temporary employment program

The temporary employment program describes the requirements for all UW temporary hourly positions in classified job profiles. Student hourly positions and professional staff temporary positions approved by the Compensation office follow separate practices.

Temporary hourly positions 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 positions 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 positions be used as a trial period for an employee before hiring that employee to a regular, ongoing position.

Hiring process

Human Resources coordinates all employment of temporary hourly employees unless otherwise authorized by the vice president for human resources. An employing unit will not be able to place a temporary hourly employee on payroll, or start a temporary hourly employee working, without creating a position and requisition in Workday and having the hire go through UWHIRES.

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

  • Direct hire
  • Recruitment
  • UTemp Staffing

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

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.

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Pay rate and job profile

All temporary hourly employees are paid an hourly rate that falls within the salary range for the classified title that best fits the work. 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 11863) 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 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 positions.

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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 as a temporary employee, 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 the UW.

All hours worked, except overtime, count toward the 950-hour limit. The limit applies to all positions, including those made through UTemp Staffing, through recruitment or direct hire, or through an outside agency. If an employee has multiple positions, the combined nonovertime hours worked in all temporary hourly positions cannot exceed the 950-hour 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, as approved by Human Resources, 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 hours 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 position

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

To extend the end date for a position held by a temporary hourly employee:

  1. Determine how many hours the employee has worked in their current position by using the hours lookup tool.
  2. Verify that the total hours of the current position plus the proposed extension do not exceed the work hours limit.
  3. Coordinate extension end dates with the Integrated Service Center using the Monitor Employment Status and Change Job – Data Change – Extend Employment End Date- Staff Campus, Medical Centers user guides.

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 create a new position and requisition in Workday rather than extend the end date. This is the case when any of the following apply:

  • There is a change in job class code, job profile, or department
  • An employment termination has been entered in Workday for the employee

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Benefits, time off, and leaves

Temporary employees who meet eligibility criteria can participate in employer-provided insurance and retirement plans. The Integrated Service Center notifies temporary employees of their eligibility.

Temporary employees accrue paid sick time off. Additional information about accrual rates can be found on the Sick time off for temporary and student hourly employees webpage. They are also eligible for unpaid time off due to a disability or serious health condition (or to care for a family member with a serious health condition) or for military duty. Contact your HR leave specialist for questions about temporary employee leave of absence or time off.

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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, WFSE, and SEIU 1199 are certified to represent temporary employees if the employee:

  • Has a job assignment that matches an SEIU Local 925 or WFSE bargaining unit title
  • Has a registered nurse job assignment that matches an SEIU 1199 registered nurse 2 or 3 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

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The Temporary Employment Notice

State civil service rules require that at the time of hire, newly appointed temporary hourly employees in classified job titles receive written information about eligible benefits and the terms and conditions of employment.

Workday sends the Temporary Employment Notice at the time of hire and for add job and change job transactions that result in a new temporary hourly position. Please contact the ISC with any questions.

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 positions like fixed-duration classified, professional staff temporary, professional staff project positions, or to the following job titles:

  • 10884, Nursing Technician – UW Student
  • 11836, Student Assistant – Non-UW Student (must be work study)
  • 10875, Student Assistant – UW Student
Compensation Adjustments – Medical Centers Per Diem

Per diem RNs and Healthcare Specialists working in the hospitals may request a step increase if they work at least 1,872 hours at the regular rate of pay (equivalent to 90% FTE) in a per diem role since their last step increase or since the beginning of their current per diem appointment. Reviews may not be requested more frequently than once every 12 months and only per diem hours worked since January 1, 2013 are counted in this calculation. If the review determines that 1,872 hours were worked since the last step increase, the wage increase will be granted effective the date of the request.

This provision applies to per diem staff working in the following jobs at UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and Airlift Northwest:

  • Health Care Specialist (21060)
  • Health Care Specialist Lead (21061)
  • Registered Nurse 2 (21032 and 21034)
  • Registered Nurse 3 (21033 and 21035)
  • Flight Nurse (21038)
  • Flight Nurse, Senior (21039)

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Temporary position types

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

Position type  Description Job Code or Job Profile Work Limitations Monthly /Hrly
Overtime Eligible Benefits Eligible Position
Direct Hire Temporary Hourly  [1] Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks, occasional, limited ongoing work Certain classified titles paid hourly 950 hours during 12 months from OTED [2] or OTED anniversary

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

Hourly Yes Determined by the ISC based on position details and employee’s UW work history Departmentally managed using Workday
UTemp Staffing-provided Temporary Employee Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks, occasional, limited ongoing work UTemp Staffing job code 11822 950 hours during 12 months from OTED [3] or OTED anniversary Hourly Yes Determined by the ISC based on position details and employee’s UW work history Requested through and managed by UTemp Staffing
Fixed Duration 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 Yes Requested through and approved by HR Operations
Professional Staff Temporary Limited-Term Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks that meet professional staff exemption criteria Job Code 11850. Compensation determines minimum salary based upon market minimum for comparable work. Positions of less than 6 months and/or less than 20 hours per week. Hourly Yes Determined by the ISC based on position details and employee’s UW work history Requested through and approved by Compensation
Professional Staff Project Position Short-term staffing, project work, workload peaks that meet professional staff exemption criteria Job codes:
11650 for OT exempt, grades 5-10;
11655 for OT exempt, grades 11-14;
19650 for OT eligible. Compensation determines job code for monthly-paid project positions based on the scope of the job and FLSA exemption criteria. Compensation determines minimum salary based on market minimum for comparable work.
Positions of 6 to 9 months at 20 or more hours per week, normally limited to a max of 9 months.

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

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 position with the same or a different department.)

[3] Positions 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 Job Profile Overtime Covered Usage Position
10872 Student Assistant Exception Yes This is an exception pay category requiring approval as described on the Student Employment and Compensation webpage. Departmentally managed
10875 Student Assistant Yes General student employment performing a variety of support tasks. Departmentally managed
11836 Student Assistant –Non-UW Student Work Study 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 position is set by the length of the work study awards. Departmentally managed
10884 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
0890 ASUW/Appointee No Only available for ASUW positions 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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