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The US Bureau of Statistics conducted research and revealed that 4.9% of workers have more than one job. If you are moonlighting, then there’s a high chance your employer will fire you. But don’t let that news get your heart rate up just yet.
Most employers don’t mind their employees working a second job, as long as it doesn’t affect their productivity. Working multiple jobs or having a side hustle is a good way to make a living. However, not every employer is so understanding.
In this post, you’ll learn the scenarios in which your boss can and cannot fire you.
Can Your Employer Fire You for Having a Second Job?
Your employer can fire you if you’re working under At-will employment. This simply means that your employer can fire you at any time. For the right reasons, of course.
For example, when you are racially profiled, it’s unlawful for your boss to fire you. At-will employment also means that you can quit at anytime if you no longer wish to work for them.
Most American states allow At-will employment except Montana. Some states have laws against employers taking legal actions on their employees while they’re performing legal off-duty activities. But you should know that these laws vary from state to state.
Despite each of them having different laws, off-duty law limits the right of an employer to fire you for holding multiple jobs. However, it’s within the employer’s right to fire you if your second job interferes with productivity.
Reasons Why Employers Will Stop You from Moonlighting
Why would your employer want to fire you? Well, the answer fits reasonably well into the following points:
Productivity and Efficiency.
Working more than one job requires plenty energy. Imagine having to divide your time them all in a week. Unless you have a secret source of energy you tap from, your productivity is bound to reduce. This could affect your effort at your main job and cost your employer’s business significant loss.
Working for the competition.
It’s not a crime to work two jobs. But if you’re working for your bosses’ direct competition, you are no different from a mole. You might be seen as a link to divulge trade secrets, top customers, and marketing strategy to the competition.
If you must work multiple jobs, you have to choose others that exist in an entirely different niche or industry. The last thing you will need is a dispute between you and your employer over problems that can be easily avoided.
Reasons Why You Should Tell Your Employer That You Have a Second Job
The thought of your employer disapproving of your second job is disheartening. The feeling of rejection is quite a blow, which is why most employees would prefer to hide their side hustles to avoid conflict.
But is it a wise course of action?
The answer is “No”. Your employer should know if you are moonlighting. Most employers would not have a problem with you working a second job if it doesn’t compromise your work performance.
Some organizations might make it a requirement to report your other work to the Human Resources department or anyone in charge of recruitment to scrutinize your second job. If it doesn’t conflict with your duty, the company will most likely allow you to keep it.
However, not all companies are lenient and may have laws against moonlighting in their Terms of Service. You should always find out about these laws before taking a second job to avoid getting into serious trouble.
What Should I Do If I’m Fired for Moonlighting?
If you are fired for doing an illegal activity on your first or main job, there’s no point suing because you’re clearly in the wrong. However, if you were fired for working a second job and your employer is being dodgy about it, you can seek the counsel of an attorney.
States with off-duty conduct law permit you to sue your employer if they treat you differently from other colleagues or abuse you. Your lawyer will look into the situation and advise you on the next step.
You should know that an employer can have you fired for having two jobs according to the At-will employment law. You can get fired for anything that is not protected under their terms or in violation of the employee handbook.
However, you won’t get fired if there is no conflict of interest and your second job doesn’t interfere with your duties. But you have to let your employer know when you need a second job. When you get it, ensure that it doesn’t affect the output of your first job. Do that and you will be fine.
Moses Dzarmah is the founder of Grocerycorridor. Having worked in the grocery store for almost all his life. His colleagues called him the grocery hermit for his knowledge around the field that’s encompassing. Almost disturbing that he’d know every nitty gritty part associated to grocery stores. I decided to pen down as my colleagues will endearingly say with a slight mockery “wealth of experience”.