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NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Human Resources

Classification and Compensation

Secondary Employment at DHHS


Employees of the state of North Carolina and its related organizations and institutions are essential to the operations of state-affiliated and related services. Because of the value placed on its employees, the State of North Carolina requires its employees to view their jobs as primary obligation.

Under this employer-employee relationship, employees must adhere to policies related to secondary employment. Employees in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are also required to know and to adhere to the state’s policies on this area of employment.

The following information will explain the general policies and guidelines of secondary employment. Before engaging in employment outside DHHS, employees at all levels, including managers and staff workers, are advised to talk with their supervisors, and to seek the guidance of the human resources office on matters related to holding a second job.

What is Secondary Employment?

The state of North Carolina characterizes secondary employment as a job that is not state-related. Secondary employment can be part or full time work outside your state-related employment.

Employment in a privately owned company, whether part-time or full-time, in addition to your state-related job, is defined as secondary employment. Secondary employment in DHHS is also defined as any activity that involves production or sale of goods and services, or the performance of intellectual or creative work resulting in payment. According to the state’s policy and the department’s corresponding policy, independent contractors’ work is also regarded as secondary employment.

If you engage in secondary employment, you must receive prior approval from your supervisor and director. That approval should be done in consultation with the human resources office in your division or facility.

In DHHS, you are required to:

  • Ask your supervisor to approve secondary employment through your facility or division’s management and human resources office.
  • Provide information describing the kind of employment you will be engaged in, the length of time to be employed in the second job, and the number of work hours per week.
  • Describe the type of employer-employee relationship, when applicable, and to provide the name and title of the employing manager. Employees who participate in independent contract arrangements are required to provide the name(s) and address(es) of proposed clientele.

All secondary employment requests must be made in writing to your manager or supervisor.

Your manager’s or supervisor’s approval of secondary employment should be based on (a) whether the employment could be deemed as a conflict of interest with your state job, (b) whether the work would interfere with your ability to perform you primary job with the state, and (c) your ability to be objective and make sound decisions on your primary job. The manager or supervisor must determine that the second job will not involve use of state time, property or equipment.

Once secondary employment is approved, managers and supervisors are allowed to regularly assess whether the second job can be attributed to signs of poor performance in your primary job or whether conflicts of interest have arisen. Managers and supervisors can withdraw approval for an employee’s secondary employment at any time following an assessment of the employment situation, but are advised to work cooperatively with the employee on concerns related to the secondary employment before making a final decision.

The employee’s supervisor must secure agency head approval as part of the periodic review process.  All employee requests for secondary employment must be handled and responded to within 15 days of receipt by the supervisor. Approval or disapproval of the request must be presented to the employee in writing. Special conditions or requirements associated with approval must be spelled out in writing.

Employees participating in independent contract activities must provide the manager or supervisor advance notice of the work and secure approval of work for the client.

When employee’s requests are denied or later withdrawn after initial approval, the denial notice must specify in detail the reasons for denial. Once a denial has been given, employees must file a request for review in writing within 15 days of receiving the manager’s or supervisor’s notice of disapproval/denial. The reviewer’s decision remains final. Ready NC Connect NC