Human Resources Service Center

Additional Employment, Independent Contractor & Special Consultant

Additional Employment Policy

The California State University (CSU) Additional Employment Policy establishes reasonable limits on the total amount of employment an individual may have within the CSU system. CSU employment is defined as any employment compensated through CSU payroll, regardless of funding source (e.g., general fund, extension, lottery, CSU employment reimbursed by an auxiliary or other source). Outside employment is any employment not compensated through the CSU payroll, including CSU foundation and CSU auxiliary employment. When determining additional employment under the CSU Additional Employment Policy, all CSU employment and all outside CSU foundation and other CSU auxiliary employment are considered together. Additional employment can be from different types of appointments including Special Consultants (Class Code 4660) and Casual Workers (Class Code 1800); however, a particular appointment option may not be appropriate in all circumstances.

Please contact Classification Compensation prior to assignment of additional work to any current CSU employee for further review.

For Faculty Additional Employment, please refer to the Office of Faculty Affairs and Success Additional Employment website.

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  • Definitions

    Additional Employment

    • Refers to any CSU employment that is in addition to the employee’s primary appointment.
    • Additional employment limitations are based on time-base, not salary.
    • A maximum of 125% time-base is allowed under certain circumstances.
    • The salary rate for additional employment may be the same as the rate for the primary appointment; however, a different salary rate is permitted if appropriate for the work performed and if allowed by the funding source (e.g., private corporation contract).
    • In the case of a federal grant or contract, the rate of pay for the additional employment must be the same as the CSU base rate of pay for the primary assignment.

    An exempt employee may be assigned additional employment and receive compensation through the CSU foundation or other CSU auxiliary; however, the additional assignment of work must be unrelated to their primary work assignment.   Prior to starting work through the CSU foundation or other CSU auxiliary approval must be obtained through the Human Resources Services Center.

    When determining the 125% additional employment under the CSU Additional Employment Policy, all CSU employment and all outside CSU foundation and other CSU auxiliary employment are considered together.

    Outside Employment

    • Refers to any employment not compensated through the CSU payroll.
    • Employment directly compensated by a CSU foundation or other CSU auxiliary that is not compensated through the CSU payroll is considered outside employment.
    • Employment that is compensated through the CSU payroll and is reimbursed by a foundation, other auxiliary, or other funding source is considered CSU employment.
    • CSU employees may, consistent with campus policies governing outside activities, be employed outside the CSU system. However, conflicts of interest are not permitted.

    Independent Contractor

    • An independent contractor is an individual who is hired to perform a specific task and the employer controls only the result of the work, not the means and methods of accomplishing the result.
    • The Independent Contractor process is used when hiring an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, single-member LLC or closely held corporation.
    • Note: An individual cannot be both an employee (Staff/MPP, Faculty or Student Employee) and an independent contractor for the same employer at the same time.

    Tech Letter HR/Salary 2021-07 - Independent Contractor vs Employee determinations (PDF) (PDF)

    Special Consultant

    • A Special Consultant performs special assignments of a temporary nature, based on a particular knowledge, ability or expertise. This classification should be used for work that meets the duties test for exempt-level work under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 
    • Individuals appointed to the Special Consultant classification are employees of the California State University and as such are required to complete appropriate employment paperwork such as an Employment Application, the Form I-9, Oath of Allegiance, etc.
    • Special Consultants may be subject to a background check depending on the nature of the duties being performed. Assignment cannot begin until background has cleared. 

    If the individual being hired is a current Chico State faculty member, please contact the Office of Faculty Affairs and Success to ensure the work is not considered faculty bargaining unit work before moving forward. 

  • Payment Processes

    Independent Contractor

    Campuses must comply with State/Federal laws and CSU policies regarding the proper classification of employees and independent contractors.  The determination of whether an individual should be classified as an independent contractor of as an employee is not straightforward.  It requires detailed analysis of each situation’s unique circumstances.  Because of recent changes in the law, past approval of an individual as an independent contractor should not lead to a presumption that the same classification will be made again.  Convenience cannot be a determining factor for classification. It is important to understand that misclassification can result in considerable wage and benefit obligations, financial penalties, tax consequences, and other liabilities.

    The Independent Contractor process is now through CSUBuy, prior to contacting your Procurement Specialist please make sure the individual you are attempting to hire meets the requirements of an Independent Contractor.  The department will be required to complete 23 questions that will help Human Resources determine if the work can be conducted by an Independent Contractor or if they will need to be hired in another manner. 

    Of the 23 questions, if the answer is YES to any of the following questions DO NOT continue with an Independent Contractor.  Please contact Classification and Compensation for an alternative means of compensation:

    • Did the worker retire/separate from the CSU fewer that 2 (two) years ago?
    • Was an employee in a policy making position or an MPP?
    • Will the worker participate in the process of planning, negotiations, transactions, or any part of the decision making process?
    • Will the worker’s position be funded by a CSU contract?
    • Will the worker be responsible for supervision of CSU contracted employees?

    To request the services of an Independent Contractor, please contact your Procurement Specialist for assistance with the three step CSUBuy process:

    1. Get a quote from the contractor
    2. Request a new supplier CSUBuy
    3. Once the supplier is approved, enter a requisition in CSUBuy

    Special Consultants

    Once you have received approval from Classification and Compensation that a Special Consultant is the correct way to compensate an individual please refer to Special Consultant Resources for forms and timesheets.

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