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A temporary worker is an employee who is hired on a temporary basis and who works under specific hour and payroll restrictions. A temporary employee may be a student and may receive work-study funding (a portion of the salary is funded by the federal government).

Non-student temporary employees and all non-Harvard student temporary employees at HLS may not work more than three consecutive calendar months at up to full time or more than 17 hours per week while earning less than $15,000 per fiscal year.

University policy prohibits full-time Harvard students from working over 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Please review the student hiring guidelines for further details.

The Hiring Process

The hiring manager and the prospective employee need to complete appropriate paperwork with Human Resources before the temporary begins working.

Quick Hire

Please submit a “PeopleSoft Quick Hire Form” for approval; if the employee shows as “Eligible to Work in the U.S.” on the Quick Hire Form, the employee does not need to complete the I-9 form, but should still come to Human Resources. Otherwise, please send the temporary employee to Human Resources to complete the necessary forms. Note that you use the Intent to Hire form for all research assistants supported by HLS Faculty Allowance funds (contact the for details), whereas the PeopleSoft Quick Hire Form is to be used for all other temporary employees, including other research assistants.

The hiring manager or faculty member should complete the PeopleSoft Quick Hire Form or research assistant set-up form as appropriate. Temporary employees who do not yet have an I-9 or tax paperwork on file at central payroll will need to complete work authorization paperwork with Human Resources.  The temporary will be asked to complete four forms: I-9 Employment Eligibility form (note the original documentation required of everyone), Federal Tax Form, Massachusetts Tax Form, and Direct Deposit Form.

I-9/Employment Eligibility

Federal law requires that each person hired establish his/her eligibility to work in the United States. The temporary must bring original documentation to complete this form. View a list of acceptable documents, and inform your temporary in advance what is required. The paperwork can not be processed without it.

Tax Forms

Student and other temporary workers often ask the Human Resources Office for advice on how to fill out the tax forms. We are not at liberty to provide guidance; the temporary can take the forms home to discuss with parents or spouse, or can consult the IRS directly.

Direct Deposit

Harvard prefers all employees to have direct deposit. For this to be set up, new employees, including temporarys, should bring with them a voided check or a deposit slip to submit with the Direct Deposit Form.

Tax Deferred Account (TDA)

Learn more about Employee-funded Retirement Programs including the Tax Deferred Account.

Pay Rate Information

Please consult the temporary wage guidelines for Harvard Law School. Variations from these rates and requests for raises for positions other than Faculty Research Assistants need to be approved by your Human Resource Officer. Please provide a memo documenting the rate requested and the justification.

Please do not promise a rate outside of the guidelines until it has been approved. Once a raise has been approved, a new temporary new hire form must be submitted to the Human Resource Services Office.

Please call your Human Resource Officer with questions regarding the temporary policies and pay rates. If you have any questions about the hiring procedure, please call Human Resources at 5-4611.