Outside Employment


The policies and procedures provided herein apply to all George Mason University full-time and part-time Classified staff and Administrative and Professional faculty. This policy defines outside employment and establishes the reporting, application, and approval policies and procedures to be followed by individuals engaging in outside employment or seeking approval for outside employment.


George Mason University recognizes the importance of providing a systematic approval process so that appropriate outside employment opportunities can be approved and formally acknowledged. The employee/employer relationship between the employee and the University is continuous and it encompasses any and all work performed for the University.

Employees may engage in certain employment outside the university, provided that the employee has obtained prior written approval of their supervisor and the employee complies with all relevant University policies, including policies regarding conflicts of interest, and annual leave; and records annual leave when performing outside employment during normal or scheduled working hours. Permission to engage in outside employment must be renewed annually in writing.

Employees may not engage in outside employment which the supervisor has determined, in his or her sole discretion:

  1. Interferes with the employee’s regular responsibilities and duties; or
  2. Results in any actual conflict or appearance of conflict with his or her University Employment responsibilities; or
  3. Results in a situation of unfair competition for the University.

When performing outside employment:

  1. Approval of outside employment does not preclude the requirement to work additional hours for the University in urgent situations;
  2. The employee performing outside employment is solely responsible for work performed in the course of outside employment, and the University is not responsible for such work;
  3. All outside work is performed in the employee’s individual capacity;
  4. No University-owned resources may be used including, but not limited to, office supplies, computing equipment or network access;
  5. The employee does not officially represent the University and is not an employee or agent of the University when acting in that capacity; and
  6. The views, thoughts, and expressions of the employee do not represent the views or position of the University.

Employees engaging in outside employment are encouraged to provide all other employers and customers a written statement that explains all such restrictions.

Contracting with State Agencies and Outsource Firms

Employees considering outside employment with another state agency or private firm should be aware of the Virginia Conflict of Interests Act, which prohibits employees from having a personal interest in a contract with the University other than her or his own contract for employment. In addition, if a George Mason University employee is considering outside employment with any firm or entity that has a contract with the University, the employee must file an “Outside Employment Request and Approval” form; and, if such employee will receive salary or other benefits from the firm or entity that may reasonably be anticipated to exceed $5,000 annually, the employee must also file a Statement of Economic Interests. The employee’s supervisor must receive regular and routine reports (monthly or quarterly) from such firm or entity identifying the number of hours and total payment made to the University employee. Any request for outside employment with an outside firm or entity will also require a signature by an Executive Council member. All required forms must be maintained by the respective department and Human Resources and Payroll.


Outside employment is defined as work for any non-University entity or person whether or not such work is performed on campus, and also includes self-employment and self-initiated professional services such as consulting, workshops, seminars, conferences, institutes, or short courses provided to any entity or person other than the University, if the employee receives compensation for providing such services.


All Classified and Administrative and Professional faculty who wish to engage in outside employment must complete an “Outside Employment Request and Approval” form. The form will require the individual to describe in detail the extra employment anticipated and to seek approval. Any changes to the information provided in this request that could adversely impact their employment at Mason must be reported and approved prior to making the change in outside employment.

Approval Process

The decision to approve outside employment will be based, in part, upon an assessment of whether the proposed outside employment can be achieved without adversely affecting the individual’s performance at George Mason University.

All request and approval forms for outside employment will be kept in the supervisor’s file for the employee and a copy must also be sent to Human Resources and Payroll to be filed in the employee’s personnel file. Outside employment agreements should be reviewed annually from the effective date noted on the form for accuracy. Agreements are subject to revocation or amendment by the supervisor if concerns arise about the impact that the outside employment has on the staff member’s employment with the University.


Employees are responsible for informing their supervisor of all outside employment and any changes that occur to that employment after their request has been approved.

Immediate supervisors are responsible for monitoring approved outside employment agreements to ensure that the outside employment does not adversely impact the individual’s obligations to the University.

Human Resources and Payroll is responsible for receiving all approved “Outside Employment Request and Approval” forms and maintaining them in accordance with state and University record keeping policies.

Department heads, directors, deans, Vice Presidents’ and Senior Vice Presidents’ are responsible for reviewing the potential for interference between an employee member’s outside employment and his or her primary duties at the University. The Vice President of Human Resources and Payroll and University Counsel should be consulted with questions regarding the policy.

Supervisors of Purchase Card holders who have been authorized outside employment must ensure all purchases made with the university purchase card are for official university business.


An employee may be disciplined up to and including termination for outside employment that has not been previously approved, occurs during work hours without the use of appropriate leave, or is determined to be in violation of University guidelines, state policy or the Virginia Conflict of Interest Act.


Administrative and Professional faculty are exempt from the prohibition of teaching at another institution during those months when they are not under contract to teach or work at the University.

This policy does not apply to outside volunteer opportunities for which no compensation or other remuneration is received, unless such work adversely interferes with the responsibilities of the Administrative and Professional faculty or staff member to the University.

This policy does not apply to wage employees and adjunct, instructional, part-time, and research faculty members.


This policy is effective July 20, 2011. This policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Carol D. Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance

Mark R. Ginsberg
Provost and Executive Vice President

Date approved: August 15, 2011
Revised: May 2, 2016
Revised: January 6, 2021