University Staff Temporary and Project Appointments

  • Original Issuance Date: July 1, 2015
  • Last Revision Date: August 17, 2015

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this document is to define university staff temporary and project employees and to establish guidelines about when these appointment types should be used.

2. Policy Background

Wis. Stat. § 36.115(4) requires that a personnel system that includes a civil service system must be created. Under Wis. Stat. Chapter 230 both Financial Administration: Limited Term Employment (G26) and Wis. Stat. § 230.26 provided rules and requirements for limited term or temporary employment, and Wis. Stat. § 230.27 provided rules and requirements for project positions. Project position appointees do not perform a regular function of the employing agency and their employment has an established probable date of termination.

3. Policy Definitions

  • Immediate Family (Nepotism): means an employee’s spouse or domestic partner; and an employee’s relatives by blood, marriage, domestic partnership or adoption; and any other person who directly or indirectly receives more than one-half of his or her support from the employee, or from whom the employee directly or indirectly receives more than one-half of his or her support.
  • University Staff Project Appointment: means a university staff appointment of up to four years; the need is project-based and there is an established date of termination.
  • University Staff Temporary Appointment: means a university staff appointment of up to 1,040 hours within a twelve-month period; the need for the position/duties is temporary in nature.

4. Policy

University staff positions may be filled on a temporary or project basis if the work to be done by the individual in this type of appointment is not of an on-going nature.

  1. Temporary Appointment
    1. Specific Attributes of a Temporary Appointment
      1. Divisional HR will establish recruitment and assessment methods of hiring temporary staff. (TBD)
      2. Temporary employees are assigned to Compensation Category F as outlined in UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1277. UW-Milwaukee Schools/Colleges/Divisions have the authority to set the employee’s salary no lower than both the state and federal minimum wages (unless a lower wage is authorized pursuant to Section 14 of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Wis. Stat. § 104.07), and no higher than the pay range maximum for the position title. See UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1277 for additional information about compensation for university staff temporary employees.
      3. Temporary employees are hired for positions which are truly temporary and there is no expectation of continued employment. The total time worked by any individual temporary employee in a temporary appointment cannot exceed 1,040 hours in a twelve-month period.
      4. Temporary employees are hired for positions where the hours worked by the employee will never exceed 1,040 hours in a twelve-month period because the position is seasonal in nature or occurs on an irregular basis (e.g., agricultural workers, special events staff, or support staff during peak student registration periods).
      5. Positions filled as a temporary appointment will not be included in an institution’s full time equivalent (FTE) report.
      6. Wisconsin residency is not required. No approval is required.
      7. Unless the situation fits the exceptions outlined in (g) below, when an employee in a temporary appointment works 1,040 hours within a twelve-month period, and the need for the duties to be performed would result in the temporary employee exceeding the 1,040 hour limit, the institution must consider two options:
        • Filling the position with an expectation of continued appointment (e.g., via recruitment/waiver); or
        • Filling the position with a project appointment.
      8. Upon approval from the Central HR Office and the respective Vice Chancellor, a temporary employee may be eligible to work beyond 1,040 hours within a twelve-month period for any of the following reasons:
        • Coverage during an approved extended leave such as an FMLA leave.
          • The extension of the temporary appointment must be tied to the specific leave that resulted in the continued need for the temporary employee.
          • An extension beyond the 1,040 hour limit may be authorized to enable the temporary employee an opportunity to train with an employee holding an ongoing appointment prior to the leave or during a transition period after the employee holding an ongoing appointment has returned to work.
        • Coverage during an extended period of recruitment.
          • The extension of the temporary appointment must be tied to the specific vacancy that resulted in the continued need for coverage by a temporary employee.
        • Coverage after layoff notices to university staff have been given or the closing of an operational unit has been announced.
          • The extension of the temporary appointment must have an established end date identified at the start of the appointment that coincides with the established closing or layoff date.
    2. Multiple Temporary Appointments
      1. Different Positions

        Concurrent temporary appointments may be used if the temporary appointments are for different positions. The following factors should be considered when reviewing multiple temporary appointments for purposes of determining whether or not they are different appointments. All factors should be considered collectively; no one factor will be determinative.

        • At least 50% of the duties of each temporary position must be different from the duties of the other temporary position held
        • A different title or working title is appropriate for each position
        • The employee attained the multiple positions through separate recruitments
        • The appointments are in different employing units
        • The appointments report to different supervisors
      2. Successive Temporary Appointments

        Successive temporary appointments may be authorized if the employee is working in different positions per (a) above. If the employee reaches the 1,040 hour limit within a twelve-month period, but the work of the position continues, the employee must be terminated and a new temporary employee appointed or the position must be filled as a project or with a university staff appointment with the expectation of continued employment. Exception may be granted when pre-approval is sought and granted under 1(h).

  2. Project Appointment
    1. Specific Attributes of a Project Appointment
      1. Divisions shall use the merit-based principles as outlined in UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1275 and UW-Milwaukee’s University Staff Non-Exempt Recruitment when hiring project employees.
      2. Project employees are hired for positions when there is a temporary workload increase or for a planned undertaking which is not a regular (on-going) function of the department and for which there is an established probable date of termination, and there is no expectation of continued employment. Minimally, a project appointment may be appropriate when the expected duration is greater than 1 year.
      3. The total duration of a project appointment cannot exceed four years. If a project appointment is originally established for less than four years, it may be extended; however, the total duration of the original and extended appointment shall not exceed four years.
      4. Positions filled as a project appointment will be included in an institution’s full time equivalent (FTE) report.
      5. If the duties of a proposed project appointment are expected to be continuous or exceed four years, the institution should consider filling the position with a university staff appointment with the expectation of continued employment.
      6. Project employees are assigned to Compensation Category F as outlined in UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1277 and the UW-Milwaukee University Staff Compensation Structure.
  3. Attributes of Both Temporary and Project Appointments
    1. “At Will” Employment

      Both temporary and project employees are “at will,” meaning the institution may terminate the appointment without notice for any or no reason, provided it is not based on prohibited discrimination. It is recommended that an institution, where practicable, provide a minimum two-week notice of termination.

    2. Family Members (Nepotism)

      In accordance with section III.C.(2)(e) of the Regent Policy Document on Code of Ethics, no employee may recommend or make a temporary or project appointment or supervise the position when the person to be hired or supervised is a member of the employee’s immediate family.

    3. FLSA Status

      University staff temporary employees are non-exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If a temporary employee has more than one appointment, under the FLSA all hours worked for a UW System institution within a work week are combined to determine the total hours worked in any given week.

      If the employee’s proposed duties are deemed exempt from the FLSA overtime provisions, the position shall be filled as academic staff – fixed terminal.

      See UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1253 and UW-Milwaukee’s FLSA Designation policy (TBD) for detailed information.

      Note: Effective July 1, 2015, existing project appointments are not eligible for voluntary reassignment. If the duties of existing positions meet the criteria of FLSA exempt status (as approved by the Central HR Office) a recruitment shall be required.

    4. Notification to Employee of Appointment Terms

      The Divisional HR is responsible for informing the temporary or project employee of his/her status at the time a temporary or project appointment is made. The temporary or project employee shall be given a written communication that includes, at a minimum:

      • An explanation of the duties and nature of temporary or project employment, specifically stating that there is no expectation of continued employment.
      • An explanation of the potential benefits available to the temporary or project employee.
      • A brief summary of the policy regarding temporary or project employment.
      • An explanation of the institution’s authority to terminate the appointment at any time.
      • A place for the appointee and the appointing authority or designee to sign the acknowledgment.
      • The probable end date for the appointment.
  4. Temporary and Project Employee Benefits
    1. Temporary and project employees are subject to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) eligibility requirement in Wis. Stat. §§ 40.02(26) and 40.22, and in Chapter 3 of the WRS administrative manual.
    2. All temporary and project employee may participate in the following benefit plans, regardless of whether or not they are covered by the WRS:
      • Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program
      • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program
      • Long-Term Care Insurance
    3. Temporary and project employees must be covered by the WRS in order to be eligible for coverage under all benefit plans except those listed in (2) above.

      Note: employees with a University Staff temporary appointment may not participate in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program.

    4. Eligibility for Employer Contribution Towards Health Insurance
      1. Temporary Employees

        Temporary employees must be covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System in order to be eligible for health insurance. Eligibility for the employer contribution towards health insurance becomes effective on the 1st of the month on or following the completion of two months of WRS state service per Wis. Stat. § 40.05(4)(a)2. If a temporary employee wants to enroll in health insurance when first eligible for the employer contribution towards health insurance, the employee must submit an application on or before the first of the month following the completion of two months for state WRS service.

        If an employee holds only one WRS-covered temporary appointment and no other WRS-covered appointment, the employee is required to pay the less-than-half time rates for health insurance.

        If an employee has a WRS-covered temporary appointment and at least one other WRS-covered appointment within UW System, and works at least 50% time between the appointments, the employee is eligible for the full employer contribution towards health insurance (State Group Health Insurance Administration Manual – Section 302B).

      2. Project Employees

        Project employees are eligible for the employer contribution towards health insurance on the 1st of the month on or following the completion of two months of WRS state service. If a project employee wants to enroll in health insurance when first eligible for the employer contribution towards health insurance, the employee must submit an application on or before the first of the month following the completion of two months for state WRS service.

        Project employees are eligible for the full employer contribution towards health insurance provided they work at least 50% time.

  5. Temporary and Project Employee Paid Leave Benefits
    1. Temporary employees are not eligible for paid leave benefits.
    2. Project employees are eligible for the same paid leave benefits available to university staff with an expectation of continued employment.
      • All leave earned in a project appointment will transfer into any successive leave-eligible appointment.
      • At termination, accumulated sick leave balances are is treated in the same manner as sick leave for university staff with an expectation of continued employment – see UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1212 (this includes sick leave reinstatement provisions) for additional information.
      • Time served in a project appointment shall counts towards continuous service.
      • Employees in project appointments on July 1, 2015 who have never attained permanent status will have a continuous service date of July 1, 2015.
      • Employees hired on or after July 1, 2015 will have a continuous service date established in accordance with UW System Administrative Policy SYS 1219.

Related Documents

Policy History:

  • Wis. Stats. § 230.26, Limited term appointments
  • Wis. Stats. § 230.27, Project positions
  • Wis. Admin. Code § ER 10.01, Definition and categories of limited term appointments
  • Wis. Admin. Code § ER-MRS 1.02, Definitions
  • Wis. Admin. Code § ER-MRS 10.04 (2), Procedures and records
  • Wis. Admin. Code § ER-MRS 24.04(2)(e), Standards of conduct
  • Wis. Admin. Code Chapter ER-MRS 34, Project appointment

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