Washington State University

Revised 9-11
Human Resource Services

Temporary Employment Program

PDF link


The University employs temporary employees to meet short-term and intermittent workload needs.

The University hires temporary employees for the following purposes:

Temporary employees, as referred to in this section, are also known as hourly, piece work, or time slip employees.


The University may only employ temporary workers for a maximum of a specified number of hours in a given period of consecutive months. These limits are provided below for student and nonstudent employees.

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.

Replacing Civil Service or Collective Bargaining Unit Employees

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


Definition of a Student

For purposes of temporary employment, a student is one who is enrolled at WSU for six or more credit hours during fall or spring semesters. During summer session a student is one who is enrolled for three or more credit hours.

Students enrolled for less than six credit hours who receive financial aid are also considered students.

Student temporary employees may not be hired to fill a position currently or formerly occupied by a civil service or collective bargaining unit employee during the current or prior calendar year or fiscal year.

Maximum Hours

The law limits student employment 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.

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--Global Services for more information.


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

Work Study

The work study program pays 60 percent of an employee's gross salary. The employing department pays the remaining 40 percent.

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 noneligible wages.

Hiring departments may consult the following sources for information about workstudy allocations for student employees:

Contact Human Resource Services for information about TEMPS training and access; telephone 335-4521.

See 85.33 for information about Administrative Information System access.

See the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website at:


Work-study employees cannot be employed on a piece-rate basis. For additional work study compensation information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships; telephone 335-9711; or see the Temporary Employment Classification Compensation Plan on the Current Employees Classification and Compensation page of the HRS website at:



Maximum Hours

Nonstudent temporary employment is limited to 1,050 hours of employment in any 12-consecutive-month period. (WAC 357-04-045, WAC 357-19-435) (See above for a definition of consecutive months.)

Monitoring Begin Date

Start counting hours on the Monitoring Begin Date. The Monitoring Begin Date is always the first day of the pay period in which an appointment begins, i.e., the first or the sixteenth.

More Than One Position

Hours worked in all temporary positions that an employee holds at WSU count toward the total hours worked. If an employee has one temporary employment position and accepts another, the hours from both WSU temporary positions count toward the total hours the employee may work during one year.


Overtime hours are not included in the 1,050 hours.

Remedial Action

Violations of temporary employment hours limitations can result in remedial action. Remedial action is the awarding of a permanent civil service or collective bargaining unit position which may include retroactive salary, benefits, and seniority. (WAC 357-19-450)

Remedial action may occur when the temporary employee's appointment does not comply with state temporary employment regulations, i.e.:

The employee must file a written request for remedial action with the Office of the State Human Resources Director within 30 calendar days of the effective date of the alleged violation. (WAC 357-19-448)

Notice of Conditions

Employers are required to give all nonstudent temporary employees written notice of the conditions of their employment prior to the commencement of each appointment and/or upon any subsequent change to the conditions of their employment. (WAC 357-19-444) See 60.27 for information regarding the Conditions of Employment form.



The rate of pay for temporary employees is based on the Temporary Employment Classification and Compensation Plan. Copies of the plan are available in the following locations:


Temporary employees are paid on a positive pay basis. See 55.26 and 60.61.


Employment of temporary employees is 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 workweek.

Workweek Defined

A normal workweek is the period from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to midnight Saturday.


Refer questions regarding benefit eligibility to Human Resource Services.


Nonstudent temporary employees who work 70 hours or more per month for any five months in a 12-month period are eligible for PERS II or PERS III retirement plan participation and are required to participate.


Human Resource Services (HRS) monitors insurance benefit eligibility in accordance with the Health Care Authority rules. A nonstudent temporary employee who works 480 hours or more in a consecutive six-month period, working a minimum of eight hours each month, is eligible for insurance benefits at the beginning of month seven. NOTE: The employee must report a minimum of eight hours worked in month seven in order to receive the insurance benefits.

An employee is eligible for insurance benefits from the date of initial employment if the employing department anticipates that the employee will work 480 hours or more in a consecutive six-month period, working a minimum of eight hours each month. 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.

A nonstudent temporary employee must work a minimum of eight hours each month or the employee loses benefit eligibility. An employee who loses benefit eligibility must work a minimum of 480 hours or more over a subsequent, consecutive six-month period, working a minimum of eight hours in each month, in order to reestablish eligibility.

Workers' Compensation, Unemployment Compensation

All temporary employees are covered by workers' compensation. Nonstudent temporary employees are covered by unemployment compensation.

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.

Benefits Not Received

Temporary employees do not earn sick leave, annual leave, or a personal holiday. They are not paid for holidays.

Student temporary employees are not covered by unemployment compensation.


Contact the Human Resource Services (HRS) to review the position's duties and hours of employment before employing a minor (anyone under 18 years old).

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 form from the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries website at:


Select For Business, then
Select Workplace Rights, then
Select Teen Workers, then
Select Teen Worker Forms and Publications.

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.

Age Limit

WSU units are not to employ anyone under 16 years of age. In unusual circumstances permission to hire 14- and 15-year-old individuals may be granted by HRS on an exception basis. Route detailed written exception requests to HRS.


Faculty and Administrative Professional Staff

If a WSU faculty or administrative professional employee accepts a temporary employment position, the restrictions governing extra compensation apply. For faculty employees, see 60.44 for specific restrictions governing extra compensation.

Administrative professional employees are to coordinate temporary employment with HRS since such employment may affect civil service and/or Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions.

Civil Service Employees

If a civil service employee accepts temporary employment, hours worked on the temporary employment assignment are added to hours worked on the civil service assignment for overtime 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.

Reporting Hours

Differing Work and Pay Rate

If the work differs and, thus, the rates of pay differ, the civil service employee may receive a rate based upon a weighted-average for the overtime hours. The department is to report those hours on a Positive Pay Report or Unit Pay Report. Contact HRS for more information.

Collective Bargaining Unit Employees

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


The following are other employment terms which may be confused with temporary employment appointments as described in 60.26 and 60.27.

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. See 60.25.

Faculty Timecard

Faculty and administrative professional employees who perform duties or services which are clearly beyond what is reasonably expected in the performance of regularly-assigned duties may hold faculty timecard appointments. Faculty timecard appointments are not considered temporary employment appointments. See 60.42.

Civil Service and Collective Bargaining Unit Employees

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 collective bargaining unit position.

Grant and Contract Temporary Appointments

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

Reporting Hours

Same Job and Pay Rate

Use a civil service or collective bargaining unit employee's regular Time Report as the pay document for extra hours worked as a temporary employee if the employee is doing the same kind of work.

Specify the budget code(s) to charge the additional hours (either regular hours or overtime hours).


Students with appointments as teaching, research, or staff assistants are not on temporary employment appointments.