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Temporary Employment

State personnel board rules and university policy provide for temporary employment for work assignments that are non-permanent and short term in nature. A university temporary employee is an individual hired directly by a campus department who is paid through the university payroll system. University temporary positions may be filled without a formal recruitment or search process but are limited to nine months in a rolling 12-month period.

The campus does not maintain a list of persons interested in performing temporary work; however, departments may contact Human Resources/Employment Services to seek availability of individuals who have applied and competed for regular (non-temporary) positions on campus but who may also be interested in temporary employment. Additionally, temporary employees do not have to meet residency requirements mandated for classified positions in the state personnel system.

Departments also have the option to hire temporary employees through a temporary agency. In those cases, a department contacts the temporary employment agency to request a worker. The temporary worker is paid by the agency and the university is billed by the agency. The university has mandatory contracts with three temporary employment agencies.

There are two job codes available for hiring a university temporary employee:  Professional Temporary and Classified Temporary Aide. This guidance has been developed to provide assistance in the hiring of university temporary employees.

Professional Temporary:

The Professional Temporary job code describes temporary positions that work for short periods of time, e.g., summer months, special events, or projects. Professional Temporary positions are responsible for exercising discretion, analytical skill, personal accountability and responsibility in a wide range of areas including academic, administrative and managerial, and student services functions. Work typically involves creating, integrating, applying and sharing knowledge directly related to a professional field and typically would require at least a bachelor’s degree to successfully perform the work assignment.  The Professional Temporary code must be used for professional level work pursuant to this definition. Please note this code does not pertain to retiree appointments. Professional Temporary appointments are not eligible for health benefits, merit salary increases, performance awards, retirement or leave accruals.

Classified Temporary Aide:

The Classified Temporary Aide job code describes temporary positions that work for short periods of time, e.g., summer months, special events, or projects. The work can be any variety of assignments performed under close supervision and in support of programs, events, or projects. The Classified Temporary Aide code should be used for non-professional work (work that does not meet the definition of Professional Temporary as outlined above). Because of the temporary nature of this position, Classified Temporary Aides are not eligible for benefits (except those required by law), salary survey increases, leave accruals or performance awards.

Determining which Job Code to use:

Use the Professional Temporary (OEP) job code (2582N) if any one of the following is true:

  • Work performed is professional in nature and requires the exercise of discretion, analytical skill, judgment, personal accountability and responsibility for creating, developing, integrating, applying, or sharing an organized body of knowledge that characteristically is (a) acquired through education or training that meets the requirements of a bachelor’s or higher degree, or equivalent specialized experience; and (b) continuously studied to explore, extend, and use additional discoveries, interpretations, and application and to improve data, materials, equipment, applications, and methods.
  • Position is an Executive Assistant reporting to an Officer (as defined in Regent Policy, e.g., Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Associate Vice Chancellor, Dean, Provost).
  • Position is 100% funded from grants or gifts.

Use the Classified Temporary Aide job code (P1A1XX) if none of the above Professional Temporary criteria applies.

  • Examples of work assignments that should use the Temporary Aide job code include:  administrative assistant, technical accounting, library technician, sales assistant, cashiering, customer service/support, data entry, program assistant, legal assistant, food preparation, food service, custodial duties, structural or specialized trades, IT technical support, computer operations, AV/media technical support, child care, police/law enforcement, police communications, security, event support, parking assistance, health care technician, nursing, medical records, laboratory technician, animal care, equipment operators or mechanics, engineering technician, research technician, grounds keeping, materials handling, or facilities maintenance.

Setting up the temporary position in HRMS (PeopleSoft):

  • Due to the temporary nature of these assignments, a position description is not needed. 
  • To simplify the administration of temporary appointments, all temporary appointments are set up as biweekly/hourly.  As a result, these positions are overtime eligible 1.
  • Create a new temporary position or modify an existing temporary position by using the applicable Professional Temporary or Classified Temporary Aide job codes. Enter the new temporary employee into the existing position number or the new number assigned by PeopleSoft.
  • The temporary employee will require a background check before Employment Services will approve the hire. (A background check is not required if the individual has successfully completed a university background check within the previous three years.) The temporary employee may not start work until the background check has been completed and approved.
  • Temporary employees must be notified of the campus self-disclosure requirement which states that all employees must self-disclose post-employment criminal Convictions or felony charges filed against them within three business days of the Conviction or felony charge to Human Resources. Temporary employees with driving responsibilities are further required to self-disclose a suspension or revocation of a driver's license within three business days of revocation. Please refer to the Background Check Policy for more details.
  • The offer letter is optional for temporary employees. If an offer letter is prepared, it is retained in the department and is not sent to HR.
  • For Classified Temporary Aide positions, an SSA-1945 Form is also required and should be sent to Human Resources/Records. A PERA form is also required for classified Temporary Aide positions and should be sent directly to System Employee Services (formerly Payroll & Benefit Services).

Time limitations for Temporary Positions:

  • The length of temporary appointment cannot exceed nine months in a rolling 12-month period. The 12-month period is counted from the appointment start date, not from January 1st or July 1st. If the work period is continuous, this can be a true nine months, e.g. December 15th through September 14th. If the work period is not continuous, one or more days worked within a month is counted as a whole month.
  • A temporary employee cannot work nine months for one department, then work an additional nine months for another department if the additional assignment falls within the same 12-month period.
  • Before a hire is made, departments are advised to determine if the individual they are considering for temporary work has performed any temporary work for the University or other state agencies in the past 12 months.
  • Please note that temporary positions are not intended to replace a department’s regular staffing strategy.   If your department is repeatedly filling the same temporary position, please contact Human Resources/Employment Services to discuss alternate solutions.  


  • The pay range for the Classified Temporary Aide and Professional Temporary job code is $8.23/hour (minimum wage) to $65.48/hour.
  • The appropriate salary level may be obtained by making comparisons to similar positions on campus. You may also contact Human Resources/Employment Services for guidance on setting an appropriate pay range based on the position responsibilities.
  • Temporary employees do not have the same rights and privileges as regular employees.  For Classified Temporary Aides, constitutional pay equity requirements do not apply. Therefore, appointing authorities may select any salary within the range as determined appropriate for the job.
  • Temporary employees are not eligible to receive the same salary adjustments as regular employees, such as across the board increases or merit pay. Appointing authorities may grant a salary increase when justified by unusual situations in collaboration with HR.
  • Temporary employees are not eligible for benefits or leave except as provided by law, such as workers’ compensation and potentially Family and Medical Leave.
  • Classified Temporary Aide employees must contribute to one of the retirement plans administered by PERA. If a Professional Temporary is or has ever been a PERA member, they will have a one-time option to choose between PERA and a university plan. A Professional Temporary who has never been a PERA member may choose to enroll in a 403b plan or may choose not to participate in a retirement plan.

Differences between Temporary and Regular Appointments:

  • Temporary employees are paid on the bi-weekly payroll rather than the monthly payroll. They are paid for the hours they actually work and not for holidays or other leave days. Hours worked must be submitted to System Employee Services through PeopleSoft Time Entry at the end of each payroll period.
  • Temporary employees do not receive salary survey adjustments or merit increases.
  • Temporary employees do not earn annual leave or sick leave. A temporary employee may request time off and it may be granted, but it is not paid leave.
  • If temporary employees work overtime they are paid through payroll and do not accrue compensatory time.
  • If temporary employees wish to become regular (non-temporary) employees, they must apply and compete for a position they are interested in through JobsatCU. If a temporary employee becomes a regular employee, the time worked as a temporary employee does not count toward length of service or seniority.
  • Although Classified Temporary Aide employees do not have the rights of a regular employee – such as to a hearing if terminated – supervisors nevertheless have a responsibility to communicate to the temporary employee expectations and standards for satisfactory performance. 

University Department Responsibilities:

  • Keep a record of dates and hours worked. Submit this information in a timely manner so the employee is paid at the expected time. This information is submitted through PeopleSoft Time Entry.
  • Communicate to the temporary employee the expectations and standards for satisfactory performance.
  • Do not employ a specific temporary employee longer than nine months in any rolling 12-month period. This will require departments to plan carefully.
  • When a temporary appointment ends, terminate the appointment in PeopleSoft immediately. For intermittent temporary employees (employees who work an irregular schedule, e.g. they do not work every month or do not work several months in a row), this is particularly important. The payroll record should show clearly that a temporary appointment did not exceed nine months.

Questions related to university temporary employees should be directed to Human Resources/Employment Services at 303-492-6475. For information about approved vendor temporary agencies serving the University of Colorado, please contact Madeline Souder in the Procurement Service Center at 303-764-3418 or visit the Procurement Service Center temporary services page.


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1 In rare exceptions, certain temporary positions (e.g., lawyers, doctors and teachers) may be exempt from overtime according to the FLSA. Please contact Employment Services for guidance.

 Content Editor