Human Resources

Temporary employment program

The temporary employment program describes the requirements for all UW temporary hourly positions in classified job profiles. Professional staff temporary and limited-term positions approved by the Compensation office and student hourly positions follow separate practices.

Temporary hourly staff positions can be used for limited duration project work, staffing shortages, workload peaks, and 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 staff employees unless otherwise authorized by the vice president for human resources. An employing unit is not be able to hire a temporary hourly staff employee without creating a position and requisition in Workday and having the hire go through UWHIRES.

There are three ways to hire a temporary hourly employee:

  • Direct hire — when managers have identified the person they want to do the work
  • Recruitment — when managers want to recruit candidates
  • UTemp Staffing — a UW service that recruits and identifies qualified temporary employees.

With direct hire and recruitment, managers must manage payroll and monitor work hours to ensure employees don’t exceed the hours limits; UTemp Staffing manages payroll and monitors the hours worked by temporary hourly staff employees to ensure that they meet the limits.

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Pay rate and job profile

All temporary hourly staff 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 representative.

Using Temporary staff helper as a job title

Temporary staff helper (job code 11863) is a job profile that is used when the position’s work doesn’t fit any classified class specification. You cannot use the title to pay an hourly rate that is outside the range of the best fit classified title.

Beginning January 1, 2022, instead of using the temporary staff helper job code for new hard-to-classify hourly work that does not meet a professional staff civil service exemption, departments will need to use an existing classified staff hourly job profile or the professional staff hourly limited term appointment (job code 11850).

Starting January 1, 2022, no new temp staff helper positions will be created. If you have an existing employee in a temporary staff helper job profile working through 2022, they must be moved into a different, existing job profile before June 30, 2022.

HR Compensation and Recruiting Teams will work with departments to find other hourly paid job codes to properly classify the work formerly paid through the temporary staff helper job code. Any temporary staff helper positions still active as of July 1, 2022 will be ended and the employees in them will be terminated from their temporary staff helper positions at that time.

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Work limits and overtime

Temporary hourly staff 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 temporary hourly staff positions, including those made through UTemp Staffing, through recruitment, or direct hire. 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 overtime eligible and subject to overtime payment requirements.

Exceptions to the work limit

Temporary hourly (“per diem”) Registered Nurses at the UW Medical Center locations 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 Office of Financial Management Division of State Human Resources.

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Monitor an employee’s hours

Managers are responsible for ensuring that temporary hourly staff employees don’t exceed the work hours limit. To monitor the hours worked by your employees, use the Temporary Hourly Employment Monitoring Tool which allows you to check the number of hours worked by your employee, and it sends notifications 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 hourly staff employee’s position by up to 12 months past the current date if

  • The employee is eligible to continue working based on the number of hours remaining in their 12-month OTED year
  • You have a business need for continued work by the employee

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

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

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Benefits, time off, and leaves

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

Temporary hourly staff employees accrue paid sick time off. Additional information can be found on the Sick time off for temporary and student hourly employees webpage. Likewise, they are also eligible for unpaid absences 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.

SEIU 925, WFSE, WSNA, and SEIU 1199 are certified to represent temporary employees if the employee has worked 350 hours or more in a bargaining unit assignment in a 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment and:

  • Has a job assignment and work location that matches an SEIU Local 925 or WFSE bargaining unit title
  • Has a registered nurse job assignment that matches an WSNA registered nurse bargaining unit title
  • Has a job assignment that matches an SEIU 1199 bargaining unit title in the Professional/Technical, HMC RN, and ALNW RN bargaining units

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The Temporary Employment Notice

State civil service rules require that at the time of hire, newly appointed temporary hourly staff 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 (NE H)
  • 11836, Student Assistant – Non-UW Student (NE H) (must be work study)
  • 10875, Student Assistant – UW Student (NE H)
  • 21242, Pharmacist Intern – Student (NE H)
Compensation Adjustments – Medical Centers Per Diem

Per diem RNs and Healthcare Specialists working in the medical centers 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 the UW Medical Center locations, Harborview Medical Center, and Airlift Northwest:

  • Health Care Specialist (21060)
  • Health Care Specialist Lead (21061)
  • Registered Nurse 2 (21679 and 21034)
  • Registered Nurse 3 (21680, 21035, 21640)
  • Flight Nurse (21038)
  • Flight Nurse, Senior (21039)
  • Charge Nurse (21496)
  • Float Nurse (21497)
  • Resident Nurse (21495)
  • Staff Nurse (21494)

COVID-19 exception

Temporary hourly staff employees working in critical positions essential to maintain safe hospital and institutional operations during the COVID-19 state of emergency period were exempt from the UW’s 950-hour limit and the state’s 1,050-hour maximum until June 30, 2021 as approved by the director of human resources for the State of Washington under WAC 357-04-045.

Effective July 1, 2021, temporary hourly staff employees who exceeded the state’s 1,050-hour maximum during the COVID-19 exception period will no longer be able to work in a temporary hourly capacity until they have passed the anniversary of their original temporary employment date. Temporary hourly staff who have exceeded 1,050 hours and whose original temporary employment dates are not in the month of July should be terminated.

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