Dual Employment: Regulating Public Jobs for Legislators

2/6/2018

In the context of legislative ethics, dual employment refers to holding a paid position with the state in addition to an elected office. The practice may also be referred to as “double dipping.”

Dual employment should not be confused with dual office holding, the latter of which involves holding multiple elected offices or appointments. Laws often treat the two practices differently, although the boundaries between the two may be difficult to determine. Examining this survey in conjunction with the survey on dual office holding is recommended.

Through constitutional provisions and statutes, states may prohibit other public-sector employment opportunities. Some states provide exceptions to dual employment provisions, such as for legislators who also work as teachers.

Laws regarding dual employment vary considerably among the 50 states and generally fall into six categories. States may, 1) place no restrictions, 2) allow employment so long as legislators are not paid more than once for coincident hours of the workday, 3) permit employment so long as the legislator was hired as an employee before being elected to office, 4) prohibit employment if legislative and employment duties could conflict, 5) ban all forms of public employment not related to public schools, or 6) universally ban any employment at the state or local level.

This table is intended to provide general information and does not necessarily address all aspects of this topic. Because the facts of each situation may vary, this information may need to be supplemented by consulting legal advisors. All content is up to date through 2/6/2018.

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Dual Employment for Legislators
State/Cite Can a legislator hold other public employment? 

Alabama

No, subject to exceptions. Exceptions: Membership in or employment by the Alabama National Guard, the civil defense force, or the state defense force. Any contract with providers of Medicaid services in the ordinary and normal course of their profession. Part time employment if no more than 10% total income. Ala. Code § 29-1-26.

Alaska

No. Alaska Const. art. II, § 5.

Arizona

No, subject to exceptions. Exceptions: Office of school trustee, teacher or instructor in the public school system. Ariz. Const. art. IV, Pt. 2 § 5.

Arkansas

Yes, subject to limitations. Permissible dual-employment upon prior approval of the Joint Budget Committee and if: employed by a state agency, public school district, state-sponsored vocational school, education service cooperative, or state-supported college or university. Also permitted if: credentialed or certified as a tutor, teacher, professor or adjunct professor and is employed as such, or was employed in the position before being elected. Ark. Code Ann. § 21-1-402.

California

No. Cal. Const. art. IV, § 13. 

Colorado

Yes.

Connecticut

No. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 2-5; Conn. Const. art. III, § 11.

Delaware

Yes, subject to limitations. May not collect wages from dual-employment coincidently. Del. Code Ann. tit. 29, § 5822.

Florida

Yes, subject to limitations. May not be dual-employed if duties may create a conflict. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 112.313.

Georgia

No. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-10-9.

Guam

No, subject to exceptions. Exceptions: Part time: teachers, school health counselors, and University of Guam instructors for the Guam Community College, or instructors with employment that does not conflict. Persons employed by the Youth Congress. Part-time employment with boards or commissions. Persons employed as nurses, physicians, or ancillary health professionals in the government of Guam. Attorneys or part-time judges or court referees. Persons employed part-time as counselors or chemical dependency specialists. Any employee of the government of Guam with training and experience to qualify for such a position, the position does not conflict with legislative service, and there are no other qualified applicants. 4 G.C.A. § 6504.1.

Hawaii

Yes.

Idaho

Yes.

Illinois

Yes, subject to limitations. May not collect wages from dual-employment coincidently. Ill. Const. art. IV, § 2.

Indiana

Yes.

Iowa

Yes, subject to restrictions. Legislators cannot engage in any outside employment that utilizes any of the trappings of the office for pecuniary benefit. Iowa Code Ann. § 68B.2A.

Kansas

Yes, subject to restrictions. No federal employees may serve as legislators, and no member of the state legislature may accept a position with the federal government. Kan. Const. art. II, § 5.

Kentucky

No. Ky. Const. § 165; Ky. Const. § 237; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 6.764.

Louisiana

No, subject to exceptions. A legislator may be employed within the legislative branch if the offices are not incompatible. La. Stat. Ann. § 42:63; La. Stat. Ann. § 42:64.

Maine

Yes.

Maryland

No, subject to exceptions. Exceptions: employment as a nonelected law enforcement officer or a fire or rescue squad worker; a transaction or relationship that existed before the legislator filed a certificate of candidacy for election to the General Assembly or was appointed to fill a vacancy. The Joint Ethics Committee may exempt legislators from the dual employment prohibition if the employment is: for educational instruction, subject to a merit system hiring process, a human services position, or a career promotion, change, or progression that is a logical transition from a pre-existing relationship. MD Gen. Provis. § 5-514.

Massachusetts

No. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 30, § 21.

Michigan

No, subject to exceptions. Exceptions: notaries public and members of the armed forces reserve. MI Const. Art. 4, § 8.

Minnesota

Yes, subject to limitations. Must take a leave of absence from state employment while the legislature is in session. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 43A.32

Mississippi

Yes. Miss. Code. Ann. § 25-4-105.

Missouri

No. Mo. Const. art. III, § 12.

Montana

Yes, subject to limitations. A legislator may not receive salaries from two separate public employment positions that overlap for the hours being compensated. Mont. Code Ann. § 2-2-104.

Nebraska

Yes. Restrictions on holding any other "lucrative office under the authority of this state," but this provision may apply to elected offices only, not employment. Neb. Const. art. III, § 9

Nevada

Yes.

New Hampshire

Yes.

New Jersey

No. N.J. Const. art. IV, § 5, ¶ 4.

New Mexico

Yes.

New York

Yes.

North Carolina

Yes.

North Dakota

Yes.

Ohio

No, subject to exceptions. Exceptions: School teachers, employees of boards of education, notaries public, or officers of the militia, or those appointed as trustee, officer, or manager of a private institution that only receives funds from the state treasury in exchange for services rendered. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 101.26.

Oklahoma

Yes.

Oregon

Yes.

Pennsylvania

Yes.

Puerto Rico

Unclear. "No person shall draw a salary for more than one office or position in the government of Puerto Rico." P.R. Const. Art. VI, § 10. It is not clear if "position" refers to traditional employee-employer relationships, or if it refers to public office appointments.

Rhode Island

Yes, subject to limitations. An elected state official may be employed by a state agency if employment was held at the time of the official's election. The Rhode Island Ethics Commission may also provide authorization for dual-employment. 36 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 36-14-5.

South Carolina

Yes.

South Dakota

Yes, subject to limitations. May not coincidentally receive pay for hours worked for multiple positions paid out of the state treasury or from funds of any state institution or department. S.D. Codified Laws § 3-8-4.

Tennessee

Yes.

Texas

Yes.

Utah

Yes.

Vermont

Yes.

Virginia

Yes.

Virgin Islands

No. V.I. Rev. Org. Act of 1954 § 6.

Washington

Yes.

West Virginia

No. W. Va. Const. art. VI, § 13.

Wisconsin

Yes.

Wyoming

Yes.