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The Policy Shop: Extra Duty Pay and Additional Compensation

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We’re adding a new feature to Spotlight – The Policy Shop. This column will take a closer look at a particular Human Resources (HR) policy and help you understand how it works. For our first edition, we’re focusing on Extra Duty Pay and On-Campus Consulting (better known as Additional Compensation).

Spotlight  spoke with Toni Lee Febbo, Director of HR Services, who oversees Benefits Administration, Employment, and Staff Compensation.

SPOT: Who is covered by the Extra Duty Pay and Additional Compensation/On-Campus Consulting policies?

TLF: The Extra Duty Pay policy applies to nonexempt staff, whereas the On-Campus Consulting policy applies to exempt staff.

SPOT: When would one of these policies become applicable? What kinds of circumstances should make a supervisor or an employee pick up the phone and call HR?

TLF: If an employee is asked to perform duties for another department for pay, these policies apply. The criteria are: 1) The work must be for a different department; and 2) It cannot be work that is part of the employee’s regular job. When these two things happen, the policies come into play.

Whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt, they must get approval from HR in advance in order to finalize the agreement. This is very important, because this way everyone involved - the employee, the supervisors in both departments, and HR - understands the terms of the arrangement.

SPOT: Can you give readers a couple of examples?

TLF: For instance, you might have a coordinator who has web design skills who is asked by another department to help them create a website. Similarly, an exempt employee in Admissions who does photography on the side could be asked to take pictures at a symposium hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences. In both of these cases, the work is outside the scope of the person’s job and not in his or her department.

SPOT: How do the policies differ for exempt and nonexempt employees?

TLF: The key distinction between them has to do with how the two types of employees are paid. Nonexempt employees are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which means they are paid an hourly rate, and must be compensated for all work hours including overtime pay for working over 40 hours in one week.

SPOT: How does this factor into the Extra Duty Pay policy?

TLF: Lehigh can pay a nonexempt employee doing work for another department at two different hourly rates of pay – one for his or her regular job and one for the extra duty assignment. But, if the combined total number of hours worked goes over 40 hours, a weighted average of the two hourly rates needs to be used to calculate an overtime rate.

Also, a flat fee cannot be used as a method to avoid overtime pay for a nonexempt employee. These policies are intended to ensure we stay in compliance with federal law, so they are very important.

SPOT: What are some of the provisions that exempt employees need to keep in mind?

TLF: Like nonexempt employees, exempt employees cannot offer services that are within the scope or nature of their current positions for additional compensation. And, they must perform the work on their own time, such as evenings, weekends, and vacation time.

In addition, they need to be careful to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. Finally, they cannot perform the work until a “Request To Retain On-Campus Consulting Services” agreement has been properly processed and approved by in advance by their supervisor and HR, and this includes determining the rate of pay as well.

SPOT: If anyone is unclear about the policy, what do you recommend?

TLF: I would encourage any employee considering taking on an extra assignment at Lehigh to read the appropriate policy. That would be Policy 413: On-Campus Professional Consulting Policy  for exempt employees and Policy 405: Extra Duty Pay for nonexempt staff. If, after reviewing the policy, an employee has a question, he or she should feel free to contact me at extension 83896 or

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to, or call extension 85165.

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