Student hourly employment eligibility policy
Table of Contents
Last updated: October 17, 2023
The University of Washington (UW) recognizes that university employment provides valuable work experience and help students meet their education-related financial obligations.
This policy applies to employees in student hourly positions, which are undergraduate or graduate positions in the following job profiles:
|Undergraduate Teaching Helper
|Undergraduate student position that provides academic pursuit and growth
|Undergraduate student hourly employment performing a variety of support tasks (Seattle & Bothell campuses)
|Student Assistant – UWT
|Undergraduate student hourly employment performing a variety of support tasks (Tacoma campus)
|Student Assistant – Grad
|Graduate student hourly employment performing a variety of support tasks (Seattle & Bothell campuses)
|Student Assistant UWT – Grad
|Graduate student hourly employment performing a variety of support tasks (Tacoma campus)
|Nursing Tech, UW student
|Only available to employ UW nursing students who perform selected nursing duties under supervision
|Pharmacist Intern – Student
|Only available to employ UW Pharmacy students who perform selected pharmacist technician duties under supervision
Student hourly employee eligibility
Student hourly employment is available to UW students who meet the following enrollment requirements:
- Undergraduate students enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits
- Graduate students who are enrolled for a minimum of five credits, or two credits for Ph.D. candidates working on their dissertation. This does not include hourly paid positions covered by the United Auto Workers (UAW) collective bargaining agreement covering Academic Student Employees (ASEs)
- Students on academic leave as defined in the “On leave” status section below
Student hourly employment eligibility determination and monitoring
It is the responsibility of the employing department to confirm an individual’s eligibility for a position as a student hourly employee by verifying enrollment with the appropriate registrar’s office. Student hourly employees are responsible for notifying their manager if they no longer meet minimum enrollment requirements.
Students whose enrollment no longer meets the requirements for student hourly employment must be immediately terminated from their student position. Depending on the circumstances, even if a student no longer meets the requirements for student hourly employment, it may be possible to appoint the individual as a nonpermanent employee.
“On leave” status
Student hourly employees are considered “on leave” as follows:
- Undergraduates – For one quarter immediately following a quarter in which the student was enrolled for at least 6 academic credits, including summer quarter, unless the student has graduated.
- Graduate and professional students – When the student has applied for and been granted on-leave status by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Student hourly employees are exempt from Washington State civil service law unless they exceed 516 hours in a 6-month period, in accordance with WAC 357-04-040. Hours worked in temporary position(s) during the summer and other breaks in the academic year are not counted in the 516 hours. Departments should keep student hourly employees in student hourly employee job profiles during summer and other academic breaks.
Departments may utilize student hourly employees only to the extent that the student hourly employees supplement and do not displace or replace classified non-union or bargaining unit employees. Student hourly employees should not supervise bargaining unit employees but may supervise other student hourly employees.
Hiring and performance
Each department is responsible for conducting its own recruitment for student hourly employment. Departments may post vacant positions using the services of the UW Career & Internship Center using Handshake but are not required to do so.
Departments hiring hourly student hourly employees must:
- Follow the guidelines for pre-employment inquiries (APS 46.1) when interviewing student hourly employee candidates
- Apply veterans’ preference as described under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 73.16 regarding the employment and reemployment of veterans
- Work with their HR employment representative to ensure that the criminal conviction background check process is properly completed if the student hourly position meets one or more of the security/safety sensitive criteria
- Ensure the sexual misconduct disclosure process is followed for graduate students applying for student hourly positions
To be eligible for student hourly employment, individuals must be eligible to work in the United States and complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and present original document(s) that establish their identity and employment authorization within three business days of their first day of employment. Student hourly employees must also meet COVID-19 vaccination validation requirements as both students and as student employees.
Compensation and work hours limits
Information about compensation for student hourly employees is outlined on the student employee compensation and work hours limits webpage.
Onboarding and training
As part of onboarding, all UW employees, including student hourly employees, are required to take the following trainings:
- Husky Prevention & Response (Title IX)
- Violence prevention & response
- Reporting suspected child abuse
- Asbestos awareness
Information about these required trainings is available on the UWHR required employee training webpage.
Student hourly employees involved in the hiring process as interviewers, interview schedulers, or hiring managers of other student hourly employees are also required to take the Implicit bias training and Record keeping in the hiring process trainings.
Training and evaluation periods
Depending on the nature and complexity of a student position’s duties, individual units may establish structured training and evaluation periods for newly hired student hourly employees. Units should clearly communicate that completing the initial training and evaluation period establishes eligibility for continued employment but does not guarantee it.
Termination of employment
Student hourly employees do not serve a probationary period and do not achieve permanent employment status. The duration of a student hourly position is subject to the needs of the employing unit and may be ended as determined by the unit for reasons related or unrelated to the student’s job performance. Contact the Human Resources Consultant for your unit if you have concerns regarding the conduct or behavior of a student hourly employee.
Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and other payroll taxes
Student hourly employees who meet minimum enrollment qualifications are exempt from social security and Medicare taxes (FICA), which are otherwise withheld from employee earnings. Information about the FICA exemption for students is detailed on the UW Tax Office website. Student hourly employees are subject to federal withholding taxes and applicable state taxes such as workers’ compensation, and paid family & medical leave deductions if their position is located in the State of Washington.
Although student hourly employees who meet minimum enrollment qualifications are exempt from social security and Medicare taxes while working their regular student hourly job while school is in session, student hourly pay is not exempt from FICA and Medicare tax deductions when a student is not currently enrolled. FICA and Medicare deductions are therefore both made from student pay checks during longer breaks and periods of “on-leave” status.
Student hourly employees are typically exempt from WA State unemployment compensation under RCW 50.44.040. UW does not report wage or hour information for student hourly employees to the Employment Security Department.
Application of employment policies
In addition to this policy, all University policies, Presidential Orders, and state and federal law that apply to University employment also apply to student hourly employees unless specifically excluded. This includes, but is not limited to:
- University’s Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action policy (EO 31)
- Accident, Injury, and Illness Reporting (Administrative Policy Statement (APS) 10.8)
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy (APS 13.7)
- Domestic Violence in the Workplace and Reasonable Accommodations and Leave Related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (APS 46.8)
- Employee Responsibilities and Conflict of Interest policy and Patient, Invention, and Copyright policy (EO 36)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Coverage for University Employees (APS 45.5)
- Leave Related to Active Military Duty (APS 45.4)
- Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)
- Pregnancy Accommodation (APS 46.7)
- Reasonable Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities (APS 46.5)
- Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees (APS 46.3)
- Shared Leave Program for Time Off Accruing Staff, Students, Librarians, and Educators (APS 45.10)
- Workers’ compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses
Time off, leaves of absence and holidays
Student hourly employees do not accrue paid vacation time off and do not receive paid holidays but may be granted unpaid time away from work at their supervisor’s discretion.
Student hourly employees accrue sick time off at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked under RCW 49.46.210. Information about sick time off accrual rules, usage, verification, and notification requirements are detailed on the sick time off for student hourly employees webpage.
Student hourly employees who otherwise meet eligibility requirements under federal and/or state law are entitled to receive:
- Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act – provides job-protected leave and benefits coverage entitlements to a student hourly employees who meet eligibility requirements.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave – A state benefit that offers partial wage replacement for eligible employees working in the state of Washington if they need to take leave for a qualifying event.
- Military duty leave – provides an employee with certain rights when they enlist in or are called to active duty, or must report to required military duty, training, or drills.
- Military spousal leave – Under the military family leave act (RCW 49.77), an employee who works an average of 20 hours per week and is the spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States, national guard, or reserve is entitled to a total of 15 days of leave per deployment when the service member has been notified of an impending call to active duty and before deployment, or when the service member is on leave from deployment.
- Shared leave program – Allows employees who accrue time off to donate or receive paid time off to help manage work absences caused by severe, extraordinary or life-threatening health crises or other qualifying circumstances.
Student hourly employees under 18 years of age
Student hourly employees under the age of 18 have additional federal and state protections to ensure that work conditions are not detrimental to their health and well‑being. The UW Requirements for Employing Minors (APS 44.3) describes the employment process for minors and includes a link to the required Parent/School Authorization form.
Student hourly employees are required to use their official UW email account for work-related emails in order to comply with University records management and request policies, and to protect University records in the event of a data breach.
Most student hourly employees are not eligible to participate in employer-sponsored medical or dental insurance or retirement plans. For questions on eligibility, please contact the Benefits office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telework and remote
Student hourly employees are covered by the University’s telework and remote work policies.
Suspended operations and inclement weather
When the University suspends non-essential operations under EO 27, employees in positions designated essential are required to work. Except in unusual circumstances and with the advance approval of Human Resources, a student hourly employee’s position should not be designated as “essential,” and student hourly employees should not be required to report to work during periods of suspended operations or locally severe weather that affects transportation or personal safety.
Other types of student employment
UW students employed through the following programs at the UW are not covered by this policy for student hourly employment, but by the terms and conditions of the specific employment program, collective bargaining agreement, or other applicable University policy:
|University of Washington Work Study Program
|Ws Teaching Fellow
Ws Research Assistant
Ws Staff Assistant
|Academic Student Employees
|Many job profiles covered by collective bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers
|Appointees of the Associated Students of the University of Washington
|Employees of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate
|Typically Graduate Staff Assistant
|Students in nonpermanent or professional staff temporary positions
|Non-UW student hourly employees
|Assistant – Non-UW Student Work Study
Nursing Technician – Non-UW Student
|Students working in the following groups:
|Student Publications Leadership
Student Publications Senior Staff
Students who receive a stipend payment for a fellowship or participation in a training program are not considered employed by the UW.