Categories of Employment

Full-time and Part-time Status

Revised January 2011

Full-time employees are those who are scheduled to work 2,080 hours per year (52 x 40 hours per week for most employees) with an allowance for vacation and holidays.

Part-time employees are those whose work schedule calls for anything less than 2,080 hours.

Employees must be regularly scheduled to work at least half-time (1,040 hours) to be eligible for benefits such as medical, dental, disability and life insurance, and tuition remission. Employees must work a minimum of 1,000 hours to be eligible for PLU retirement contributions, as required by law. Some benefits are prorated for those working less than full-time.


All new employees enter into an introductory period of employment. Introductory periods are generally set for an initial period of 90 days. With Human Resources approval, the supervisor may direct that the introductory period be terminated, curtailed, or extended depending upon the progress being made by the new employee.

The introductory period provides employees an opportunity to determine their interest in, and suitability for, the position. It also gives the supervisor an opportunity to assess the employee’s progress.

During the introductory period, new employees typically receive the necessary advice and training from their supervisors to help them learn their assignments and perform satisfactorily.

A performance appraisal is normally conducted at the end of the introductory period. Successful completion of the introductory period does not alter the employment at will status or confer any greater right to employment than previously existed.


Positions that do not meet the exemption provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Washington Minimum Wage Act are defined as nonexempt positions. Employees in nonexempt positions are eligible for pay for time worked over and above that regularly scheduled (refer to the Overtime Policy for specific details).

Exempt positions are those which meet the exemption provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Washington Minimum Wage Act. Full-time employees in exempt positions are not eligible for pay for additional time worked.

Revised October 2009

A regular employee is one in a benefits eligible position who has completed the introductory period.

A temporary employee is one who is employed short-term to complete a special project, to assist during a department’s peak load period, etc. Temporary employees may be paid on an hourly or salaried basis, depending on whether the position is classified as exempt or nonexempt. Generally temporary employees are not eligible for benefits. University parking passes and identification cards will be issued only to temporary employees hired to work assignments expected to last three months or more, unless they are required to successfully complete the assignment (i.e. adjunct faculty need temporary ID cards to access the Library).

Long-term temporary employees may be eligible for benefits, provided their temporary assignments are expected to last six months or more, and during which time 1,040 or more work hours will be completed. Normal benefit waiting periods will apply. Vacation, sick leave and holiday pay are subject to the same requirements. A temporary appointment is not to exceed one year in length without prior approval of the appropriate officer and Human Resources.

The hire date will be determined from the date the employee was hired in a regular benefits eligible position. If there has been a break in service of less than one year, the employee will be given credit for prior service in benefits eligible positions. If the break is service is greater than one year, the date of hire will be determined from the date hired in the current regular benefits eligible position. Service awards are based on the hire date.

For temporary employees appointed to regular status, benefits eligibility will be based on the date that the employee moves to the regular benefits eligible position.


Pacific Lutheran University is committed to providing a comprehensive program of higher education. The university recognizes that the people who comprise its faculty and staff are central to achieving this objective. In order to assure that employees are recognized and rewarded within the constraints of its financial resources, the university supports a pay system that:

  1. Is compatible with and supportive of the university’s goal to provide a comprehensive program of higher education.
  2. Is designed to attract, retain and reward people who are knowledgeable about and committed to the university’s mission and goals and who are capable of achieving performance objectives within the university environment.
  3. Allocates compensation in a fair and equitable manner, reflecting excellence in both individual and group performance.
  4. Provides compensation levels consistent with the employee’s contribution to the university’s mission and goals.