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Clarifying Overloads & Temporary Assignments

Occasionally employees take on additional duties and ask whether they may be eligible for a pay increase. The steps below outline the criteria that must be met in order to demonstrate and be approved for additional compensation.


  • The UW-Madison Office of Human Resources has a policy on overloads. Please make sure to review the UW-Madison policy documentation for the most up to date information.
  • An overload or temporary assignments with a pay increase requires multiple conditions be met:
    • Administratively directed responsibility (typically requested by supervisor and ultimately signed off on by the Division of Extension Dean);
    • Duties are substantially outside of normal position responsibilities and/or employment beyond 100% (UW-5031 - I.4.A);
    • Unusual, short-term, or non-recurring (UW-5031 - III);
  • In addition, a written agreement and scope of work are required before any pay increase is negotiated and work performed;
  • The agreement must be approved by the Division of Extension Dean. 


Questions frequently arise by staff wondering what types of tasks may constitute a temporary pay increase.  The salary received by full-time employees who are exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions is considered full compensation during the appointment period.  Exempt employees are expected to work without extra pay to complete their assignments (UW-5031 - Rationale/Purpose).

However, there are situations where administration identifies a need and will ask a person to assume additional responsibility.  These assignments involve 1) additional work requirements that are added to the existing duties of a full-time employee creating a workload in excess of 100 percent of the employee’s normal duties, or 2) substantially new responsibilities that would not be part of the existing position responsibilities (e.g., taking on a temporary administrative role) and warrant additional compensation based upon the nature of the duties (UW-5031 - I.4.A) .  The performance of these additional duties is unusual, short-term, or nonrecurring (UW-5031 - III).

The determination that a compensation adjustment is appropriate must be made before work is perform. A clear ‘scope of work’ is crafted and shared with the employee that outlines the additional activities upon which compensation is based.  Overloads and overload payments must be approved by all parties before any work is performed (UW-5031 - I.2).

Instructions for Employees

If you have questions, please reach out to your direct supervisor.

Instructions for Supervisors

UW-Madison Policies

UW-Madison Overload Policy (Policy Library)

Keywords:overload temporary assignment duties responsibility FLSA exempt compensation   Doc ID:108795
Owner:Nathaniel S.Group:Extension Handbook
Created:2021-02-02 09:26 CSTUpdated:2021-12-21 16:07 CST
Sites:Extension Handbook
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