Important Information to be aware of when employing temporary hourly workers.
Washington State University relies on non-student temporary/hourly employees (NSTE) to assist us in providing services and accomplishing the goals of the University. The following are crucial points to keep in mind when working with NSTE by management, ranging from front-line leads and supervisors to PI’s Managers, and Directors. The following is not an all-inclusive list regarding NSTE issues, but please be aware of:
Total Hours Worked
When tracking NSTE hours, there are a number of different hour limitations, including:
- 1050 hours: The maximum hours a NSTE may work in a 12 consecutive month period based on their initial hire date.
- 480 hours over a consecutive six month period: If a NSTE works an average of 80 hours per month, over a consecutive six month period, working at least eight hours in each of those six months, they will become benefit eligible the first of the following month.
- 70 hours in five out of 12 months: If a NSTE works 70 or more hours in any five out of 12 months, they will become eligible for retirement participation.
- 350 hours over a consecutive 12 month period: If a NSTE works more than 350 hours within a bargaining covered in any 12 consecutive months, they will become covered by the bargaining unit.
Employment decisions cannot be based on whether a NSTE has become benefit eligible or eligible for retirement participation. In the event an employee meets the above benefit/retirement eligibility criteria, they cannot be released from work because they are now benefit/retirement eligible. Normal applicable reasons for releasing a NSTE from employment include: reaching the 1050 hour limit, lack of funding, lack of work, and work performance. Hourly workers are at-will employees, meaning there is no promise of ongoing employment.
If a NSTE receives a benefit package, and they have questions, including what they should do if they do not want the coverage, please direct them to contact the Pullman HRS office. Please do not attempt to answer any benefit questions or advise the NSTE in anyway regarding benefits.
Employees including NSTE, are not responsible for monitoring their hours. Management is the responsible party for assigning duties, work hours, and tracking the hours of their emplyees. It is crucial to not only keep track of the hours your employees work for you, but to also be aware of the hours they may be working in another WSU department. Coordination/collaboration between WSU offices is important, since all hours worked at WSU count towards the hours identified in “Total hours worked”.
Proactive and Appropriate
Be proactive and have appropriate conversations. Pre-planning NSTE’s work and hours can be valuable to departments to ensure that the employee works the applicable hours, as well as ensuring the use of the department’s resources are being managed appropriately. To ensure appropriate conversations are occurring with NSTE, it may be helpful to identify a key individual within the department as the designated contact person for these issues. This ensures that a consistent message is being given, and prevents incorrect information from being shared with a NSTE.
NSTE who work for WSU on a recurring seasonal basis, may become benefit eligible as a seasonal employee. Seasonal work is work that occurs at a similar time each year, for a period as short as three months, in which the employee may average working half-time or more and will be performing similar work each year.
Be sure to review & provide to all temporary employees the “Conditions for Temporary Employment” Form.