• left portrait
  • office
  • right portrait
  • hr-manual.gif

Hiring a Short-Term Casual

There are many reasons to hire people on a temporary basis. As with all organizations, Columbia must get its work done when employees become ill or take a leave of absence, make sure that positions are covered when people depart, and occasionally devote extra resources to special projects. On top of this, the seasonal peaks in the life of a university require additional short-term assistance.

The University's hiring policies address this need for flexibility. At the same time, they ensure compliance with collective bargaining agreements, affirmative action plans, and such laws as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

When it comes time to hire somebody on a short-term basis, there are several available options, each with its own advantages, legal requirements, and procedures:

  • If your need is limited to a short period of time—specifically, to no more than 560 cumulative work hours—you may hire a SHORT-TERM CASUAL. Casuals, who are paid directly by the University through the payroll system, do not qualify for benefits.
  • For periods of no more than 560 hours, you may also use an AGENCY TEMP. Temps are recruited and paid by their agencies, who then bill Columbia. In all other respects, however, they are just like short-term casuals.
  • If you need somebody in excess of 560 hours, but not indefinitely, your best choice may be to hire a TEMPORARY UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE. Temporary University employees, whose appointments specify their period of employment, are paid through the regular payroll system and enjoy salaries and benefits consistent with regular employment.
  • You may want to consider hiring a Columbia University STUDENT as a work-study or intern. If a student is not eligible for these programs, he or she may still be hired as a casual or temporary student employee. However, the rules for short-term casuals do not apply to full-time Columbia students.
Key Actions:
  • Complete hire/rehire transaction via the PAC Template-Based Hiring (TBH) process
  • Carefully review Tracking and Recording Time and Attendance for Support Staff: Union and Non-Union, and follow all time tracking and recording procedures
  • Monitor casual employee hours to ensure they do not exceed 560 hours