Can I get fired for having a second job? 

I’m not a magician but if you are reading this you are likely threatened by having a second job.

 Or you want to secure a second job but want to be clear whether you can get fired for having a second job? 

So here’s the truth; 

If you are moonlighting then there’s a chance your Employee will fire you for probable cause. Don’t get your heart rate up just yet. The US Bureau of Statistics conducted research and revealed 4.9% of workers had more than one job. 

Most employers don’t mind their employees working a second job as far as it doesn’t affect their productivity. 

Working multiple jobs or side hustle is an honest way to make a living. There’s nowhere your rights are protected like in the United States. I’m an immigrant and trust me, it’s hard out there in the world than in the US despite what the media tells you. 

Can Your Employer Fire You for having a second job? 

Here are some reasons your employer might fire you; 

At-will Employment  

Are you an at-will employee? 

If yes, it’s within your employer’s right to fire you. At-will employment is a legal right that allows your employer to fire you if the reasons aren’t illegal. 

For example, in situations where you are racially profiled or report wrong practices, it’s unlawful to be fired. 

Most American states allow at-will employment except Montana. It’s only among few states that protect employees from being fired when there’s no legal cause. 

Some states have laws against employers taking legal actions against their employees on legal off-duty activities. You should know that the laws vary from state to state. 

Despite 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. 

What is at-will employment? 

It’s a written agreement by employers that require employees to sign an agreement that they are employed at will.

The content of the letter is usually held in the employment contract, or any acknowledged terms of agreement between both parties. 

An at-will agreement means you can be fired at any time for any reason aside from some unique situations like racial profiling. 

Reasons why an Employers will stop you from Moonlighting? 

Moonlighting would hardly get you tired given the circumstance that recruitment is time and cost-intensive.

Why would an employer want to fire you given the former situation? Well, it fits reasonably well into some of the points mentioned below; 

Productivity and Efficiency       

There’s so much a man can handle. Taking many jobs at once would require a lot of energy. Imagine working across multiple jobs 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 job and heavily cost your employer’s business. 

Working for a competitor 

It’s not a crime to work two jobs. 

If there’s a conflict of interest by working for a direct competitor, there are chances you may be considered as 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 must choose a niche that is in an entirely different niche. This will save you a lot of troubles ahead and the last thing you will need is a dispute between you and your employer over problems that can be avoided. 

 Why you should tell your employer you have a second Job 

To be honest, the thought of your employer disapproving of your second job is disheartening. The feeling of rejection is quite a blow and most employees prefer to hide their second job to avoid conflict. 

Is it a wise course of action? 

No, your employer should know if you are moonlighting. Even if you were in their shoes you would love employees to be transparent. The fact is most employers will not have a problem with an employee working a second job if it doesn’t compromise performance at work. 

Different companies have policies about moonlighting. Some companies 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 likely allow you to keep the second job. 

However, not all companies are lenient and may have laws against moonlighting in their terms of service. You should know right from the start about these laws to avoid problems ahead. 

What Should Do If I’m Fired For Moonlighting? 

If you are fired for an illegal activity carried out while on the first job there’s no point suing. However, if you are fired for working a second job on sketchy grounds, seek the counsel of an attorney. 

States with off-duty conduct law mean you can sue your employer who treats you differently than other colleagues or abuse you. The lawyer will look into the situation and advise you on the next step forward. 


Finally, 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. 

You have to let your employer know when you need a second job. When you get it make sure it doesn’t affect the output of your first job. Do that and you will be fine. 

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