Temporary Opportunities for Work (TOW)

We're helping make connections that can keep Davis Campus staff employed during COVID-19 pandemic.

The Temporary Opportunities for Work (TOW) program offers temporary reassignments for career staff to host departments in other schools, colleges and divisions that need temporary assistance, on a full- or part-time basis. The TOW program is administered by HR's Temporary Employment Services (TES) team. It provides an alternative that allows host departments to temporarily meet operational needs while keeping an Aggie from layoff/reduction-in-time.

Contact TES for assistance at 530-754-3000.

Work should continue to be reassigned within a school, college, division or department as it is currently done and does not need to be submitted through the TOW program.

Fast facts about TOW

  • TOW program is for Davis Campus career employees (UC Davis Health employees do not participate)
  • Non-represented (99s and K-3s), Clerical (CX), Service (SX), Patient Care Technical (EX), Research (RX), Technical (TX) and Health Care Professionals (HX). 
  • TOW program runs through at least June 30, 2021 and can be extended as needed 
  • Reassignments are temporary, not permanent
  • Minimum TOW assignment is 30 days
  • Minimum TOW assignment .20 FTE and cannot exceed 1.0 FTE
  • Temporary reassignments are not subject to Vacancy Management Program
  • Employees do not receive a stipend except if required by labor contract 
  • Host department pays employee's salary and benefits for time reassigned (TOW Agreement between home and host departments with salary cost transfer)
  • TOW program is administered by Temporary Employment Services (TES) with no recharge to departments

Program Overview & Process

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts, UC Davis developed the Temporary Opportunities for Work (TOW) program. This program facilitates temporary reassignments of career staff in need of work. When feasible based upon the nature of the work, this program provides an alternative for departments to utilize current career employees, on a full or part-time basis, instead of hiring externally for temporary reassignments.

Also, when a career employee is being issued a notice of layoff (temporary or indefinite), departments promptly submit the affected employee's information to TES for consideration in the TOW program. Departments should do this as early as possible. A layoff notice does not have to be issued before an employee's information can be submitted to TES for the TOW program.

Temporary reassignments under the TOW program are management-initiated actions.

  • Host Department - submits the TOW Request for Staff Form (.pdf)
  • Home Department
  • Employee - Assists home department in completing the TOW Employee Information form (.pdf) 
  • An employee’s current position description and an employee information form is submitted to TES. The home department determines the logistics of who submits such documentation to TES

Selection Criteria

TES will select qualified, career employees for temporary reassignment. TES considers the following criteria when selecting temporary assignment for career employees:

  • Skills, knowledge and abilities
  • Documented performance 
  • Length of service*

*Note: Length of service will be calculated by full-time-equivalent months (or hours) of total University service in any job classification or title. Employment prior to a break in service does not count.


Employees must be:

  • Qualified to perform available TOW program reassignment
    • Employees may be reassigned to the same or similar job classifications as they perform in their career position or a recent role.
  •  Davis campus career employees.
    • NOT Eligible: contract, limited, probationary, casual, and per diem employees; former employees, who separated from employment. (Note: Employees who have been temporarily laid off are eligible for TOW.)


  • What happens if an employee declines a temporary reassignment?
  • Employees and supervisors should discuss any questions or concerns an employee has about a planned temporary reassignment to clarify or resolve issues where feasible. If an employee has a legitimate concern about health and safety or not being qualified to perform new duties after receiving training, the supervisor or HRBP should share that information with TES and see if the planned temporary reassignment is appropriate or should be modified or cancelled. An employee has 24 hours to accept or decline a temporary reassignment. If an employee declines 2 TOW reassignments, the employee is removed from the TOW program.  

  • When should management begin the TOW process?
  • Temporary reassignments should be pursued as early as possible and may be initiated by a department in advance of, concurrent with or after a layoff/reduction-in-time notice is issued to an employee, but before the effective date of a layoff. A department may amend the effective date of a layoff/reduction-in-time when an employee is temporarily reassigned and thus the effective date of a layoff/reduction-in-time can be deferred. Departments should consult with their Employee Relations Consultant.

  • More details about relationship between host and home department.
  • The employee’s appointment in their home department is controlling for purposes of their employment. For example, the employee continues to be part of the layoff unit in their home department. The home department remains the department of record for personnel matters, including pay and timekeeping.

    Home departments will continue to manage and approve the employee’s timesheet and account for paid or unpaid leaves. Supervisors in the home and host departments will undertake arrangements to ensure the accuracy of timesheets.

    Home departments continue to be responsible for completing annual performance appraisals, and should consult with the host department supervisor for input, especially when the temporary reassignment is for an extended period of time and/or at high percentage of time. The home department should partner with and fully consider the host department supervisor's input to incorporate into the appraisal and overall rating. Ultimately, the home department supervisor completes the appraisal and selects an appropriate overall performance rating.

  • What about pay?
  • Hours worked on a temporary reassignment will be paid based upon the employee’s normal rate of pay. Temporary reassignments are not designed to provide a stipend or additional compensation.

    The host department is responsible in full for paying the employee’s salary and benefits for time on reassignment, consistent with applicable UC policies and collective bargaining agreement provisions. The home and host departments will enter into an agreement to accomplish this by salary cost transfer(s).

  • Who manages employee performance?
  • The host department will manage the employee’s performance while on temporary reassignment and consult with their Employee Relations Consultant, as necessary, and the home department, as appropriate when there are performance issues. An Employee Relations Consultant is to be consulted about appropriate action.

  • Can an Reassignment Be Shortened?
  • The duration of reassignments may be shortened by host departments, in consultation with their Employee Relations Consultant, due to budgetary or operational circumstances; in which case, the employee would return to their home department and may then be subject to a layoff if the employee has been notified of such and is a lack of work or funding.

    To the extent practicable, departments should provide the affected employee, the home department and TES with advance notice when shortening the duration of a temporary reassignment.

  • When temporary reassignments are NOT appropriate…
  • Temporary reassignments are intended to maintain, to the extent feasible, an employee’s regular appointment percentage by performing work outside of their home department. It Is not intended to increase an employee’s regular appointment percentage or provide overtime