In many workplace settings, such as the industrial, academic and medical industries, employees may hold more than one job within the same organization. For example, a doctor might also be a professor of medicine, or a professor might also be the dean of the department. This can have a lot of advantages and can allow employees to use their skills and experience to their full potential within the organization.


In these situations, it is important to be aware of the laws related to employees with multiple jobs. For example, how does this work when it comes to overtime? When employees report to multiple managers, whose tasks are top priority? Read on to learn more about the complexities of this organizational structure.


Overtime for Employees With Multiple Jobs in the Same Organization

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937, nonexempt employees must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week. When the employee works in multiple jobs within the same organization, the overtime calculation will include the total hours for all jobs.


This does not apply to employees working at multiple jobs at different companies, only for those who work at more than one job within the same company.


So, for example if an employee works 20 hours per week at Job #1 and 22 hours per week at Job #2, the hours are added together and they will be owed overtime pay for 2 hours. Time tracking software can make this a lot easier to keep track of.


Pay Frequencies and Multiple Jobs

Also, keep in mind that if the employee has multiple jobs with different pay frequencies, tax is calculated for each job separately based on pay frequency. So, if one job within the organization is paid weekly and another is paid biweekly, the employee’s earnings for tax purposes are calculated separately to ensure that the employer is taxing according to the appropriate tax bracket.


If you plan to pay employees for multiple jobs with a single check, it is recommended to pay them with the pay frequency in which the payee is paid most often.



Exempt Employees with Multiple Jobs

Employees who are exempt from overtime can generally take on more than one job within the same organization without being eligible for overtime. However, you will need to pay attention to how much time your exempt employees spend on nonexempt duties to make sure that their exempt status is not affected.


The FLSA salary test for white-collar exemptions states that exempt employees are paid a salary of at least $455 per week and their “primary duty” is exempt work. This means that they spend at least 50% of their time performing exempt work.


However, if the employee starts spending more of their time working in another position within the same company and they are performing non-exempt duties, this can affect their exempt status and they will become eligible for overtime. As long as the employee still spends at least 50% of their time on exempt duties they should still continue to meet that exemption criterion.  Check out this article to learn more about overtime rules for exempt vs nonexempt employees.


Employees Who Report to More Than One Manager

When employees report to more than one manager, things can start to get a bit confusing. It can be difficult for the employer if tasks, expectations and directions are conflicting and it can also be confusing for the managers as well.


This structure of multiple bosses is also known as “Matrix Management.” It is often used in the management of large projects or when employees need to be drawn from different functional disciplines to work on a project without removing them from their respective positions.


If at all possible, this type of management should be avoided. These work structures can be done well, but if they are poorly executed they can be one of the most frustrating ways to operate and the ensuing confusion can ruin productivity. If there is any way that you can restructure the company hierarchy so that the employee only reports to one manager, you’ll save everyone a lot of headaches.


However, sometimes that isn’t possible. If that is the case, here are some important tips to follow for employees who report to more than one manager:


  • Define all roles upfront. Who reports to who and who makes the decisions?


  • A RACI chart can be a helpful tool. Who is Responsible? Who is Accountable? Who should be Consulted? Who will Implement?


  • Set very clear standards for communication. How often will each manager meet with the employee and how is the employee expected to report their project status?


  • Also, make it very clear which manager is responsible for performance reviews, compensation decisions, etc. Even in an environment with multiple managers, one manager should be responsible for these tasks.


  • Make sure performance metrics are clear and agreed upon. Employees should not have their performance measured by multiple sets of criteria, as this is confusing and unproductive.


  • It helps to have one place where all information is given and received, so that there aren’t conflicting messages being sent by different managers.


  • For computer-based work, tools like Trello or Asana that allow multiple users to update tasks in real time can be helpful when working in this way. These apps make it possible to create a shared set of tasks so everyone can see all of the employee’s projects and have a better understanding of their workload. In other workplaces, a bulletin board or whiteboard might serve this purpose.


  • If Manager “A” has an urgent task they want the employee to make their first priority, they should first find out if Manager “B” has already assigned the employee an urgent task they need to complete first. Generally, the work will be done on a “first come first served” basis, unless Manager B agrees that Manager A’s task should be bumped up the priority queue due to its critical importance.


  • Each manager should also be aware that they are not the employee’s only boss and keep this in mind when assigning workload, or the employee will find that they are given far too much work to do.


  • If you have multiple employees who report to more than one manager, consider putting these shared employees into their own department. They can be managed by a single manager whose responsibility is to coordinate their assignments with all of the different departments for which they may be performing tasks.


When employees have multiple jobs or managers within the same organization it can make things complicated. However, when this arrangement is managed correctly it can reduce confusion and improve productivity.