Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 60: Personnel

Temporary Employment Program

BPPM 60.26

For more information contact:
   Human Resource Services

1.0   Overview

The University employs temporary employees to meet short-term and intermittent workload needs. Temporary employees, as referred to in this section, are also known as:

  • Nonpermanent employees;
  • Student employees; or
  • Professional hourly employees (see Section 8.0).

2.0   Limits

2.1     Replacing Civil Service or Bargaining Unit Employees

Nonpermanent and student employees may not be hired to replace civil service or bargaining unit employees who are laid off due to lack of funds, lack of work, organizational changes, or termination of project employment.

2.2     Consecutive Months Defined

A period of consecutive months begins with the effective date of appointment. The period ends on the day preceding that date any number of months later.

3.0   Nonpermanent Employees

The University hires nonpermanent employees for the following purposes, in accordance with WAC 357-19-360:

  • A permanent employee is absent from the position;
  • The employer is recruiting to fill a vacant position with a permanent appointment;
  • The employer needs to address a short-term immediate workload peak or other short-term needs;
  • The employer is not filling a position with a permanent appointment due to the impending or actual layoff of a permanent employee(s); or
  • The nature of the work is sporadic and does not fit a particular pattern.

3.1     Maximum Appointment Length

Nonpermanent appointments are limited to a maximum of 24 consecutive months.

3.2     Remedial Action

Violations of nonpermanent rules can result in remedial action. Remedial action is the awarding of a permanent civil service or bargaining unit position, which may include retroactive salary, benefits, and seniority. See WAC 357-19-430 or the applicable bargaining agreement.

Requests for remedial action by nonpermanent employees must be received in writing within thirty days as provided in WAC 357-49. (WAC 357-19-425)

3.3     Notice of Conditions of Employment

Employees receive the conditions of their employment in Workday as part of their onboarding tasks.

3.4     Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Employers must give all nonpermanent employees the ACA Employer Notification, which provides notification to employees and their households of the benefits offered through the University, as well as notification of the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. The notice is provided in Workday, which the employee acknowledges receipt of within 14 days of employment (see BPPM 60.27). The notice is available from HRS.

4.0   Student Employees

4.1     Definition of a Student

For purposes of employment, a student is one who is enrolled at WSU for six or more credit hours during   fall or spring semester and/or for three or more credit hours for at least one of the summer sessions.

Students enrolled for less than six credit hours during fall or spring semester or for less than three credit hours for a summer session who receive financial aid are also considered students. 

4.2     Student Employee Benefits

 4.2.a   Retirement Benefits

For purposes of retirement only, a student is enrolled at WSU for ten credits or more during the fall or spring semester. Students enrolled in nine or less credits are monitored for retirement eligibility.

4.2.b   Benefits for Summer Session Student Employee

For purposes of insurance monitoring and eligibility only (see Section 5.4), an employee who meets one or more of the following criteria is considered a student employee over the summer session, regardless of whether they are enrolled in summer session classes:

  • Enrolled at WSU for six or more credit hours for the entire preceding fall and spring semesters (and did not graduate at the end of spring semester).
  • Enrolled at WSU for six or more credit hours for the entire preceding spring and following fall semesters.
4.1.b.i    Summer Session Graduate Student Employee Status for Benefit Purposes

A graduate student participating in the Continuous Doctoral Status program may be considered a student employee over the summer session for purposes of benefit monitoring and eligibility only (see Section 5.4).

Refer to the Continuous Enrollment for Degree-seeking Students section in Chapter 5 of the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual.

4.3     Maximum Hours

Student employment is limited to a maximum of 516 hours worked in any six consecutive months, excluding hours worked during the summer and other academic year holiday breaks. (WAC 357-04-040)

WSU academic holidays are periods when school is not in session. Academic holidays include time in November, December, January, and March and from semester-end in May to the start of the fall semester in August.

4.3.a   F-1 Status

Foreign students who hold F-1 nonimmigrant status are limited to 20 hours of work per week while school is in session. Contact International Programs for more information.

4.3.b    Exceptions

The following types of students are exempt from the hours limitations, in accordance with WAC 357-04-040:

  • Student body officers or student organization jobs such as student officers or student news staff members.
  • Students employed in jobs that are directly related to their major fields of study and which provide training opportunities.
  • Students in documented and approved internship programs that consist of academic components and work experience.

4.4     Notice of Conditions of Employment

Student employees receive the conditions of their employment in Workday as part of their onboarding tasks.

4.5     Work-Study

The work-study program pays 60 percent of a student’s gross salary. The employing department pays the remaining 40 percent. For state work study allocations, departments are required to pay the minimum hourly rate of the comparable civil service title for the work completed. For federal and institution work study allocations, departments are required to pay minimum wage.

If a work-study student’s employment exceeds eligibility in terms of gross earnings or dates of eligibility, the employer is required to pay 100 percent of the non-eligible wages.

Hiring departments may consult Student Financial Services for information about work-study allocations for student employees.

For work study compensation information, contact Student Financial Services or see the Student Employment Classification Compensation Plan from HRS. 

5.0   Compensation

5.1     Pay

5.1.a    Nonpermanent Pay

The rate of pay for nonpermanent employees follows the civil service compensation range and associated steps established by the job profile.  Nonpermanent scheduled employees are paid at a salary rate, prorated to their full time equivalency (FTE). Nonpermanent nonscheduled employees are paid at an hourly rate. (WAC 357-28)

5.1.b   Student Employee Pay

The rate of pay for student employees is based on the Student Employment Classification and Compensation Plan available from HRS.

5.2     Overtime

Nonpermanent and student employees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that employees be paid at a rate of one and one-half times their normal rate for work in excess of 40 hours in a single work week.

Nonpermanent and student employees must be paid overtime and do not qualify for compensatory time off.

5.2.a    Work Week Defined

The WSU work week is the period from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to midnight Saturday.

5.3     Periodic Increment Date

For nonpermanent appointments, the periodic increment date is 12 months from the date of appointment. If the appointment occurs on or before the 15th day of the month, the periodic increment date is 12 months from the first of the month; if the appointment occurs on or after the 16th day of the month, the periodic increment date is 12 months from the first of the following month. (WAC 357-28)

5.4     Benefits

Refer questions regarding benefit eligibility to HRS.

5.4.a    Retirement

Nonstudent temporary employees, defined as students who are enrolled in nine credits or less, who work 70 hours or more per month for any five months in a 12-month period are eligible for retirement plan participation and are required to participate. (See Section 4.1.)

All temporary employees may also participate in the Voluntary Investment Program. If interested, contact HRS.

5.4.b    Leave

Student and professional hourly employees accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. They do not receive annual leave, personal holiday, or paid holidays.

Nonpermanent scheduled employees accrue annual leave and sick leave proportionate to a full-time appointment based on their FTE. (WAC 357-31-170)

Nonpermanent scheduled employees are entitled to a personal holiday and paid holidays proportionate to a full-time appointment based on their FTE. (WAC 357-31-025)

Nonpermanent nonscheduled employees accrue annual leave and sick leave proportionate to the number of hours in pay status in the month to that required for full-time employment. Sick leave accruals must not exceed eight hours in a month. (WAC 357-31-127)

Holiday credit, including personal holiday, is proportionate to the number of hours in pay status in the same month of the holiday to that required for full-time employment, excluding all holiday hours. Nonpermanent employees hired during the month of the holiday do not receive holiday pay for holidays that occur prior to their hire date. (WAC 357-31-021 and WAC 357-31-022)

See BPPM 60.57 for nonpermanent leave.

5.4.c    Insurance

HRS monitors insurance benefit eligibility in accordance with the Health Care Authority rules. All jobs are taken into consideration when determining eligibility, resulting in stacked jobs establishing eligibility.  Nonstudent temporary employees may become eligible for employee insurance benefits as outlined under Subsections 5.4.c.i through 5.4.c.iii.

 5.4.c.i    Anticipating Work Hours Over Consecutive Six Month Period

An employee is eligible for insurance benefits from the date of initial employment if the employing department anticipates that employee’s job(s) result in:

  • A six or more month position term;
  • A twenty or more hour work week; and
  • At least eight work hours scheduled in each month. Note: If it is a nonpermanent scheduled position, this point is assumed, since it is a scheduled position.

If not initially eligible, and if the anticipated work hours are revised and the employee meets the eligibility criteria noted above, the employee becomes eligible for insurance benefits the first of the month following the effective date of the revision. Notify HRS regarding revisions to anticipated work hours.

5.4.c ii    Averaging Work Hours Over Consecutive Six Month Period

A nonpermanent employee who is identified as not being benefit-eligible upon their initial appointment becomes eligible for insurance benefits at the beginning of the seventh month if they:

  • Work for more than six months; and
  • Average at least eighty hours per month; and
  • Work for at least eight hours in each month. Note: The employee must report a minimum of eight hours worked in the seventh month in order to receive the insurance benefits.

A nonpermanent employee who establishes eligibility for benefits must work a minimum of eight hours each month or the employee loses benefit eligibility. An employee who loses benefit eligibility must reestablish eligibility.

5.4.c.iii    Recurring Seasonal Employment

A nonpermanent employee who performs similar type work on a recurring seasonal basis and averages at least eighty hours per month with at least eight hours in each month of the season may become eligible for seasonal benefits. A season is identified as a period as short as three consecutive months that recurs on an annual basis.

After establishing eligibility, the nonpermanent employee is eligible for benefits during the recurring seasonal period provided they work each season performing similar work. In the event that there is a season in which the employee does not work or the work performed is substantially different, the employee loses benefit eligibility and must reestablish eligibility.

5.4.d    Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Compensation

All student and hourly employees are covered by workers’ compensation. Nonpermanent employees are covered by unemployment compensation.

5.4.e    Department Costs

Departments must pay the cost of Public Employee Benefit Board (PEBB) medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance and PERS II or PERS III retirement coverage for qualifying nonstudent temporary employees.

5.4.f    Benefits Not Received

Student employees are not covered by unemployment compensation or employee insurance benefits.

6.0   Child Labor

Before employing a minor (anyone under 18 years old), contact HRS for review and authorization.

See also Section 7.0.

6.1     Parental Consent

The employing department is responsible for securing parental consent before hiring a minor. The department obtains a Parents/School Authorization for Employment of a Minor and Special Variance form from the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

The department completes the top portion of the form and routes it to the minor’s parent for authorization. After the parent returns the signed form, the department retains the authorization in the employee’s departmental personnel file.

6.1.a    Age Limit

WSU units are not authorized to employ anyone under 16 years of age.

 7.0   Supervision of Children or Vulnerable Adults

Background checks are required for positions with duties involving the supervision, care, and/or treatment of children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities. (RCW 43.43.832) See also BPPM 60.16.

8.0   WSU Employees in Temporary Employment Positions

8.1     Faculty and Administrative Professional Staff

If a WSU faculty or administrative professional employee accepts a nonpermanent or professional hourly job, the restrictions governing extra compensation apply. For faculty employees, see BPPM 60.44 for specific restrictions governing extra compensation.

Administrative professional employees are to coordinate with their primary department since additional employment may affect civil service and/or Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions.

8.2     Civil Service Employees

If a civil service employee accepts additional employment in a nonpermanent position, hours worked in the additional employment are added to hours worked on the civil service assignment for overtime calculation purposes.

Overtime-eligible employees earn overtime pay at a rate of time and one-half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one week.

8.3     Bargaining Unit Employees

An employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement must refer to the applicable agreement for restrictions governing temporary employment and for reporting procedures.

9.0   Not Temporary Employment

The following are other employment terms that may be confused with temporary employment appointments as described in this policy (60.26) and BPPM 60.27.

9.1     Faculty and Administrative Professional Staff

Regular appointments to faculty and administrative professional positions may have an appointment end date but these appointments are not considered temporary employment appointments.

9.2     Civil Service and Bargaining Unit Employees

9.2.a    Probationary/Trial Service Appointments

Probationary and trial service appointments are not temporary employment appointments. These employees are completing the training and evaluation period within a permanent civil service or bargaining unit position.

9.2.b    Grant and Contract Temporary Appointments

Employees appointed to duties included in a civil service or bargaining unit position job description for 20 or more hours per week for more than six months are civil service or bargaining unit employees regardless of the source of funds or a specific termination date.

10.0   Related Resources

BPPM 60.11 Recruitment and Selection of Faculty Personnel

BPPM 60.17 Recruitment and Selection of Administrative Professional Personnel

BPPM 60.18 Recruitment and Selection of Classified Positions

BPPM 60.27 Temporary Employment Processing

BPPM 60.43 Paid Sick Leave for Temporary Hourly Employees

Human Resource Services resources:

Revisions:  Jan. 2024 (Rev 622); Dec. 2020 (Rev. 559); June 2018 (Rev. 516); June 2015 (Rev. 450); Sept. 2011 (Rev. 386); Apr. 2010 (Rev. 358); Nov. 2008 (Rev. 330); July 2005 (Rev. 262); Apr. 2003 (Rev. 228); June 2000 (Rev. 163); Jan. 1994 (Rev. 94); Aug. 1993 (Rev. 92); Jan. 1992 (Rev. 88); Mar. 1990 (Rev. 80); Dec. 1988 (Rev. 72); Mar. 1987 (Rev. 66); July 1986 (Rev. 64); Mar. 1985 (Rev. 59); Sept. 1982 (Rev. 49); May 1976 – new policy (Rev. 9).