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Secondary Assignments (Overload Jobs)

  • Responsible Office: VCU Human Resources and the Office of the Provost , Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 03/07/2022
  • Policy Type: Administrative

Policy Statement and Purpose

Virginia Commonwealth University permits, under certain circumstances, employees to hold multiple positions within the university. This policy covers university employment and corresponding compensation related to secondary (overload) assignments. This policy also affirms that employees may hold only one primary job and may hold no more than one salaried job within the university. Secondary assignments are generally temporary and are not benefits-eligible, except where required by law. Secondary assignments are only permissible when university officials have formally approved the assignment, and when all eligibility requirements have been met.

The purpose of this policy is to clarify the acceptability of secondary assignments and to ensure fair employment and compensation practices. The policy applies to all employees and is complementary to federal and state laws and procedures, as well as institutional policies and procedures governing search requirements, compensation, and employment practices.

This policy does not govern secondary employment outside of VCU or external consulting; these topics are covered by separate policies. Nothing within this policy precludes an employee from seeking a new primary job within or outside of the university. This policy does not cover primary job changes, bonuses, awards or merit pay.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Table of Contents

Who Should Know This Policy
Policy Specifics and Procedures
Related Documents
Revision History

Who Should Know This Policy

All employees (including faculty) are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.


Academic Year

The university’s academic year runs from August 16 through May 15 of any given calendar year.

Full Time Equivalent (FTE)

FTE is expressed in terms of the level of full-time support in a given position. Every full-time position is considered 1.00 FTE.

Manpower Control Act (MCA) Standard Measurement Period

The 12-month period of May 1 through April 30 of the following year during which certain non-benefited employees cannot work more than 29 hours per week on average, or 1,480 hours total per measurement period (the “29-hour limit”).

Secondary Assignments (Overload Jobs)

Additional assignments where the duties are clearly outside the regular responsibilities of the employee’s primary job.

Primary Jobs

When an employee holds multiple jobs at the university and one of the jobs is salaried, the salaried position is considered the employee’s primary job. Otherwise, the primary job is the job that was accepted first. When an employee holds multiple jobs at the university and all are adjunct faculty appointments, the primary job is the one with the greatest FTE.


VCU Human Resources officially interprets this policy for all employee types other than faculty appointments. The Office of the Provost officially interprets this policy for faculty appointments including full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty. VCU Human Resources, in consultation with the Office of the Provost, is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to the applicable office based on employee type.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

General Requirements for All Secondary Assignments

  • The intended task is clearly outside of the employee’s primary job responsibilities.
  • The intended secondary assignment(s) does not diminish the employee’s effectiveness in their primary job.
  • The university’s best interest is served by allowing the secondary assignment.
  • The employee is qualified to perform the responsibilities of the secondary assignment.
  • Collective university employment complies with institutional, state and federal policies.
  • Employees on certain visas cannot have more than one job without the approval of VCU’s Global Education Office. Please consult with the Global Education Office before processing a secondary assignment for an employee on a visa.
  • Employees with primary jobs supported by grant funding are permitted to have secondary assignments,only when the grant or contract award specifically documents the secondary assignment or when the sponsoring party has otherwise approved the arrangement in writing.
  • Departments must consult with VCU Human Resources prior to approval if the secondary assignment is with VCU Health System.
  • The secondary assignment(s) is only permissible after approval by the required university officials.
  • Employees on a full-time leave of absence (i.e. educational leave, study-research leave, personal leave without pay, etc.) are not permitted to hold a secondary assignment. Extenuating circumstances may be evaluated on a case by case basis by the respective Senior Vice President’s Office or Human Resources, as applicable.

 Procedures Applicable to All Secondary Assignments

  • Secondary assignments require the approval of the primary job's supervisor. In determining secondary assignment eligibility, a supervisor considers whether the assignment meets the criteria described in this policy.
  • For employees whose position is non-benefited, supervisors are responsible for ensuring the employee is eligible for a secondary assignment. This includes determining whether the employee currently holds (or intends to hold) a non-benefited secondary assignment in another unit that may cause them to violate the policies governing Wage Employment (Hourly and Student Worker) or Adjunct Faculty Appointments and Procedures for Compliance with the Manpower Control Act.
  • It is the responsibility of both the primary and secondary units to coordinate with one another regarding applicable leave administration and compensation, including eligibility for overtime pay for non-exempt employees, where due. In general, secondary assignments are not used for performing the same duties as the primary job when the supervisor, work location, customers, and work titles remain unchanged.
  • All secondary assignment pay is based on the applicable pay structure for the work to be performed and must be reported and paid in accordance with current payroll and FLSA guidelines.
  • The secondary assignment unit supervisor initiates the appropriate approval process and oversees the completion of the appropriate approval process for each secondary assignment request.
  • VCU Human Resources oversees the approval guidelines for all secondary assignments that are non-academic in nature. The Office of the Provost oversees the approval guidelines for academic secondary assignments.

Procedures for Specific Employee Groups

University and Academic Professional, Classified, Hourly, and Student Worker Employees:

  • University and Academic Professionals and Classified Staff
    • Employees with a primary job within the university and academic professional or classified employee groups may hold a secondary assignment as adjunct faculty, exempt temporary staff, or as an hourly employee, subject to the restrictions noted in this policy and with the required approvals. See relevant compensation guidelines for additional information.
    • A non-exempt university and academic professional or classified staff member must be compensated on an hourly basis for any secondary assignment and is entitled to overtime pay where applicable.
  • Hourly and Student Worker Employees:
    • An hourly employee may hold another hourly job and a student employee may hold another student employee position or an hourly job. However, the total combined hours worked by hourly and student workers between all hourly jobs must comply with the 29- hour rule within the Standard Measurement Period.
    • Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with this policy. If hours worked in a single week exceed 29, supervisors must ensure that hours worked in other weeks are limited so that work hours average 29 or less per week over the Standard Measurement Period. 

It is the responsibility of both the primary and secondary departments to coordinate reporting of hours worked and leave taken so that overtime payments for non-exempt staff and hourly employees are correctly calculated and the employee is not paid for working simultaneously in two departments at one time. VCU RealTime is the university’s timekeeping management system that employees use to record their hours worked, including overtime.  Overtime pay requests must be approved in advance by managers, and, like other timekeeping documentation, must be maintained for five years.

Graduate Assistants and Work-Study Student Employees:

  • Graduate assistants cannot have more than one job without the approval of their program director. Work-study student employees cannot have more than one work-study job without the approval of VCU’s Office of Financial Aid. The 29-hour restriction described above for hourly employees also applies to graduate assistants and work-study student employees. For more information, please contact the VCU Graduate School ( or VCU’s Federal Work-Study Coordinator (

Faculty:   Full time faculty are permitted to have a secondary assignment, subject to the restrictions noted in this policy and with the required approvals.

  • All secondary assignments must be initiated in writing using the Request for Secondary Assignment form for faculty. It is expected that the total compensation for all secondary assignments during the academic year and summer will not, in general, exceed 33.33 percent of the faculty member’s contractual salary. Requests for secondary assignments that either singularly or cumulatively exceed 33.33 percent of the faculty member’s contractual salary must be reviewed and approved by the respective senior vice president’s office (or president, as applicable). As part of the approval process for a secondary assignment, the primary supervisor must certify that the work performed in the secondary assignment is not part of the faculty member’s primary responsibilities.
  • Adjunct Faculty: Adjunct faculty may only accept additional employment in another part-time, non-benefited position (adjunct or hourly) at VCU if they have been authorized to do so by the respective hiring authorities. All secondary assignments for adjuncts must be initiated in writing using the Request for Secondary Assignment form for adjunct faculty. Secondary adjunct assignments for employees whose primary position is adjunct faculty are typically only instructional in nature. Any secondary assignment that is not primarily instructional may require an appointment to an hourly position or an exempt temporary staff position. If a secondary hourly, staff, or adjunct assignment is permitted, the total combined hours for all part-time, non-benefited positions held during the Standard Measurement Period must comply with the 29-hour limit referenced above. If at any time during the Standard Measurement Period it is determined that the projected hours might exceed this hourly limit, the hours must be reduced and/or the position may be subject to earlier termination. These restrictions are to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Manpower Control Program, and the Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA.

The secondary assignment restrictions and approval processes noted above apply to supplementary compensation within VCU only.


Search for the following forms via DocuSign.

  1. Secondary Assignment Request Form for Faculty
  2. Secondary Assignment Request Form for University and Academic Professionals and Classified Staff
  3. Secondary Assignment Request Form for Adjuncts

Related Documents


  1. VCU Policy: Working @ VCU: Great Place HR Policies
  2. VCU Policy: Wage Employment (Hourly and Student Worker)
  3. VCU Policy: Outside Professional Activity and Employment, Research, and Continuing Education (for Faculty)
  4. VCU Policy: Adjunct Faculty Appointments and Procedures for Compliance with the Manpower Control Act
  5. VCU Human Resources Overtime Guidelines

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

February 1, 2010                       Overload Jobs

July 24, 2013                             Overload Jobs

November 11, 2016                   Overload Jobs

March 20, 2018                          Secondary Assignments (Overload Jobs) [minor revision to    correct typographical errors]


There are no FAQ associated with this policy and procedures.