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Policy Manual

Temporary Staff on Penn's Payroll (Extra Persons)

This policy refers to temporary staff on the University of Pennsylvania's payroll.  For those temporary staff not on Penn’s payroll, see Using Temporary Agencies - Policy 112.


The University employs individuals in a variety of types to support and enhance the academic, research, and service missions of the University. Temporary staff allow a department to meet specific increased staffing needs for a limited period of time. If an area is considering the use of a temporary staff member not hired through an agency, certain federal regulations and the corresponding University policies apply.

All temporary positions require a requisition which must include an end date.  The requisitions are classified by Human Resources and should include the instruction of “do not post”. Once a completed and signed offer letter is returned, the temporary staff member can be entered into Workday.

Questions concerning the use of temporary staff should be addressed to Human Resources, 215-898-7372.

Temporary staff must be supervised by a regular University employee at all times.

All temporary staff hired on or after July 1, 2019 may be in a temporary position on Penn’s payroll for a maximum of nine months. If a department needs a temporary staff member for longer than nine months, contact Human Resources.

114.1 APPROPRIATE SCOPE OF DUTIES

In recent years, much attention has been given to issues regarding protecting the privacy of personal information. The University of Pennsylvania has taken an active approach in response to the growing concerns about privacy in general, and identity theft in particular. Through a number of initiatives, Penn has reduced the availability of personal information in an effort to limit potential abuse of such information, deter "identity theft," and protect the privacy of University faculty, staff, and students.

Consistent with these initiatives, the University of Pennsylvania (excluding UPHS) adopts the following guidelines to reduce the availability of personal information to individuals such as temporary staff, volunteers, and student workers.  In general, these individuals should not have access to personal information when performing job duties. Where there is a documented sufficient need, offices hiring temporary staff should:

• Provide appropriate supervision regarding the access to, and use of, personal information by individuals mentioned above;
• Require a signed statement that they are aware of and will follow University guidelines on confidentiality of personal information;
• Restrict access to the amount of information reasonably necessary to accomplish the job;
• Prohibit individuals mentioned above from removing personal information from the office;
• Terminate access rights to information promptly when the information is no longer necessary; and
• Terminate access rights promptly when the temporary staff member, volunteer, or student worker leaves the position.

If a temporary position will have access to personal information, we strongly recommend the temporary position be filled through Penn’s approved temporary staffing vendor, which conducts thorough background checks.

114.2 PAYING TEMPORARY STAFF

Offer letters are generated by school/center/department. An offer letter will be completed and signed before a temporary staff member can be entered into Workday and/or paid. After the temporary staff member is entered into Workday, he/she goes to Onboard@Penn to complete an I-9 Form.  He/she will then be directed to the PennCard center to obtain his/her Penn ID.

114.3 RETIREMENT PLAN ELIGIBILITY

If a temporary staff member is placed on University payroll and works 1,000 hours in his/her first rolling year of employment, he/she will become eligible for the University of Pennsylvania Basic and Matching Plans as of the 1st of the month of the next rolling year.  If a temporary staff member does not work 1,000 hours in the first rolling year of employment, but in any calendar year thereafter, he/she will become eligible for the University of Pennsylvania Basic and Matching Plans as of January 1 of the next calendar year.

114.4 HEALTH BENEFITS ELIGIBILITY

Temporary staff may become eligible for ACA benefits if they work an average of at least 30 hours per week during their look-back period.

Individuals having more than one temporary position will have all hours worked combined for benefits eligibility, as long as both positions are the same employee type (for example, temporary) and the same pay group (for example, hourly).  If all combined scheduled hours equal at least 35 hours/week (1,820 hours per year, and 87.5% FTE), an individual will be considered eligible for full-time benefits.

For questions regarding health benefits and temporary staff, please contact Human Resources at 866-799-2329.

114.5.A  SICK LEAVE ELIGIBILITY AND ACCRUAL

Temporary staff who are appointed to work or who do work for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, or the surrounding area (e.g., New Bolton Center, Morris Arboretum, Glenolden) for six (6) or more months in a calendar year will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one (1) hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

Eligible temporary staff can accrue a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave in a calendar year.  Eligible temporary staff can use no more than 40 hours of sick leave in each calendar year. Any accrued but unused sick leave will be carried over to the next calendar year. Upon termination, temporary staff will not receive payment for sick leave. Temporary staff rights to sick leave under this policy shall in no case be less than those afforded by the ordinance or any other applicable law.

Temporary staff who are appointed to work and who do work fewer than six (6) months are not eligible for sick leave. Temporary staff employed by the University of Pennsylvania in other states or municipalities are subject to the ordinances and laws of those respective areas. 

114.5.B  SICK LEAVE NOTIFICATION

Temporary staff members or their designee should notify their supervisor as soon as they know that they will be unable to work, but no later than the start of the temporary staff members’ scheduled work day.  Temporary staff members must notify their supervisor on each day of absence unless other arrangements have been made.  Failure to provide proper notice may result in disciplinary action.

When a temporary worker has been out on sick leave for more than three (3) consecutive work days, he/she may be required to submit documentation from a health care provider certifying the medical necessity for the absence and the expected date of return to work.  The temporary staff member may be required to submit a return to work note from the treating health care provider prior to reporting back to the workplace.

114.5.C  SICK LEAVE USAGE

Eligible temporary staff members may use accrued sick leave beginning on the 90th calendar day after hire.  

Sick leave may be used for the following reasons:

  1. Medical diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive medical care of the temporary staff’s own physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition,
  2. Medical diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive medical care of a family member’s* physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition,
  3. Absences necessary due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking provided the leave is to allow the temporary staff or the staff’s family member to obtain: 

a.  Medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence or stalking,
b.  Services from a victim services organization,
c.  Psychological or other counseling,
d.  Relocation due to domestic or sexual violence or stalking,
e.  Legal services or remedies, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from domestic or sexual violence or stalking.

Temporary staff using sick leave for absences due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking for themselves or a family member are required to submit appropriate documentation as outlined in the University’s Domestic or Sexual Violence Policy.

Temporary staff using sick leave are prohibited from working either in the workplace at Penn or at home on Penn related business.  Failure to return to work once all paid sick leave has been exhausted may result in termination of employment.

The University reserves the right to require that the temporary worker submit to examinations by a health care provider of the University's choosing for continuation of payments under this policy.

*For purposes of this policy (114) a family member is defined as a:

  • biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild or legal ward or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis,
  • biological, foster, stepparent or adoptive parent or legal guardian of the temporary staff or a temporary staff’s spouse or a person who stood in loco parentis when the temporary staff was a minor child,
  • spouse,
  • grandparent or spouse of a grandparent,
  • grandchild,
  • biological, foster, or adopted sibling or spouse of a biological, foster or adopted sibling,
  • Life Partner (as defined in section 9-1102 of the Philadelphia Code).

Policy Number: 114
Effective Date: 06/27/2016
Revised Date: 03/26/2019
Last Reviewed Date:10/09/2019
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 114 (02/01/1990, 07/01/1998, 04/05/2007, 12/03/2014, 05/13/2015)
Applicability: All Temporary Staff Members
Cross-reference: Staff Requisitioning, Recruitment, Selection, Reference Checks, Employment Offers, and Offer Letters - Policy 101Employment of Non-U.S. Citizens - Policy 108Temporary Identification Cards - Policy 205Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave - Policy 634

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