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Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)

Paid Employment in an Unrelated Job

Reference Number: MTAS-1209
Reviewed Date: 09/24/2021

Employees can work another unrelated job on an occasional or sporadic basis with the employer at the same or a different rate of pay without the hours of the second job counting toward overtime in the primary job. A police officer could work as a summer lifeguard at a city swimming pool, and the hours worked in that job could be separated from the hours worked with the police department for the purposes of computing overtime. 29 C.F.R. § 553.212(a).

Assuming the officer is scheduled to work 40 hours per week as a police officer and eight hours per week as a lifeguard, the eight hours worked as a lifeguard do not have to be added to the police work time to compute overtime.

The employer should be very careful to ensure that the secondary work is completely different from the work performed in the primary job and that the employee chooses to work the secondary job, rather than being assigned the duties. To retain the 207(k) exemption (work periods that are more than one week in length and a higher overtime threshold), the unrelated secondary work must be sporadic, occasional, or seasonal.