Helping employees maximize their potential



Temporary Worker Guidelines

The following guidelines have been established to assist departments with determining the appropriate circumstance for which to utilize temporary workers ("temps"); Identifying and placing temporary workers and; and managing the temporary worker assignment.

If you should have any questions or exceptions to these following guidelines, please contact the Director of Talent Acquisition & Diversity Outreach in Human Resources for further assistance.

Temporary Worker Definition

  • What is a temporary worker?
    • A temporary worker refers to an employee of a temporary staffing agency (agency) assigned to the university to work on a specific short-term assignment or for a finite period of time; to complete special projects; to respond to workload fluctuations that are unusual or episodic in nature; to fill in for employees who are on leave; or to fill in during a recruitment period.
    • Temporary workers may be used by campus departments for assignments expected to last six (6) months or less than 1,000 hours in a 12-month period, whichever will not exceed 1,000 hours.
    • During their assignment at the university temporary workers remain employees of the temporary staffing agency, and the campus contracts with the agency for their services.
    • A temporary worker who retired from the University of California retirement system will be classified as a rehired retiree and must go through the reemployment of UC retired employees into staff position process. Please refer to the Reemployment of UC Retired Employees into Staff Positions webpage.

Identifying and Placing Temporary Workers

  • Identifying and Placing Temporary Workers
    1. Temporary workers are identified and assigned to the university via an approved agency
      • Refer to Temporary Employee Services for a list of approved agencies
      • Contract information for approved agencies can be found at the UC Office of the President Purchasing Services – Agreements Database when sorting by Temporary Staffing Services
    2. The agency must be in compliance with all applicable employment laws, including but not limited to ensuring the completion of employment eligibility forms prior to being assigned to the university
    3. The agency is responsible for conducting the appropriate references and background checks
      • When required (e.g. for “critical” assignments), the university may request additional background checks be completed by the agency at an additional cost
      • When required (e.g. for driving positions), the university may request a driving record check, drug test, and/or physical be completed at an additional cost.
    4. Department Actions:
      •  Verify that the proposed use of temporary employment is in the highest and best interest of the university.
      •  Ensure the temporary worker is not a University of California (UC) retiree. If so, the temporary worker must go through the reemployment of UC retired employees into staff position process
      • Develop the temporary position job description, identifying important/critical job functions and duties; determine the qualifications required for successful performance
        • Ensure required background checks and other relevant special conditions of employment are referenced in the job description
      • Secure funding approval. The agency invoices the university for the temporary worker’s bill rate (includes hourly rate and agency mark-up)
      • Contact the approved agency to request temporary worker(s). The agency is responsible for securing the temporary worker and arranging for the first day of the assignment.
      • Ensure the agency is aware of parking and other university -or department-specific conditions and/or requirements prior to the first day of assignment
      • Upon completion of assignment, ensure any university property is returned
      • If there are changes to the temporary worker’s assignment or schedule, notify the agency. The agency is responsible for notifying the temporary worker of any these changes.

Temporary Worker Assignment

  • Temporary Worker Assignment
    1. Duration
      • All temporary worker assignments are intended to be short-term in nature and are not intended to exceed six (6) months or more than 1,000 hours in a 12-month period, whichever is greater.  
      • If the assignment is for work customarily performed by a represented position, the assignment must not exceed that allowable by the respective collective bargaining agreement (refer to Bargaining Unit Contracts).
      • In unusual circumstances when an assignment will exceed six months or that allowed by the respective collective bargaining agreement, the department should contact Human Resources at least 30 days prior to reaching this threshold for review and potential reappointment.
    2. Assignment
      • Temporary workers are employees of the temporary agency. Therefore, it is recommended the following not be provided to a temporary worker:
        • Business cards
        • Credit cards
        • Name plates
      • Additionally, the following types of programs or actions should be handled by the temporary worker's employer (agency) and not by the university
        • Performance appraisals, salary adjustments, employee benefits
          • Do not negotiate the pay rate of temporary workers. The agency should set pay, as well as handle all communication regarding raises for the worker.
          • Do not negotiate a temporary worker's vacations or personal time off. Direct the worker to his or her agency, which should then call you regarding coverage prior to approval.
          • Do not discuss job opportunities and the temporary worker's suitability for them directly. Instead, refer the worker to publicly available job postings.
      • Disciplinary action
        • Do not coach or counsel a temporary worker on his/her job performance. Instead, call the temporary worker's agency and request that they do so, and tell them why it is necessary.
        • Do not terminate a temporary worker directly. Contact the agency to do so.
      • EEO/harassment policies, procedures and interpretation
        • The university should provide information on specific work-related policies and procedures temporary workers need to be aware of during their job assignment. These may include parking, building access, ID badges, smoking, phone systems, e-mail and other communication systems, solicitation, dress code, safety, non-discrimination, campus culture and conduct, and confidentiality and non-disclosure.
        • If there is a need to discuss specific harassment or discrimination issues with temporary workers, contact the agency representative for resolution.
      • Recognition programs
        • Temporary workers are not eligible to participate in university recognition programs.
      • Training
        • The university should provide any training that is specific in nature and required to successfully complete the job assignments. This often includes office equipment or specific software training or site-specific safety training.
        • Requests for training beyond this scope should be referred to the staffing agency.
      • Travel
        • If a temporary worker will be required to travel during the course of their assignment, his or her employer (agency) should be responsible for all costs, reservations and reimbursements. The university should provide adequate notice and information to the appropriate employer (agency).
      • Injuries
        • If an injury occurs, contact the agency for instructions.
        • The agency will provide you with the name of the medical facility contracted by the agency.
        • The agency is responsible for workers compensation coverage.
        • For life threatening injuries contact, dial 911 for assistance.