Employee Moonlighting: A Guide For Employers

To use a cliche, times are hard. Many employees now have to work additional jobs (aka moonlighting) in order to make ends meet.

businessman sleeping on his laptop

If you are the principal employer of such employees, there may be issues for you to consider. Should you ask the employee not to work additional jobs or should you ignore it?

Employees who work additional jobs may place a burden on their primary employer. For example, employees who work stressful evening jobs may be too tired to perform their duties the next morning. This can cause a decline in productivity and might be a basis for developing a moonlighting policy to guide your employees.

In order to develop policies against moonlighting, you must focus on issues that would affect your employees’ productivity. Do not try to regulate their off-duty conduct as this is often illegal. Your policy should focus on creating noninterference with your employees’ productivity.

Your moonlighting policy should address the following issues:

Interference with the principal job

Conflicts of interest/competition

You should explain to your employees that you expect them to treat their work at your company as their main job and they must not allow working at any other secondary jobs reduce their productivity at your company.

Another important point to consider when formulating a moonlighting policy is the issue of conflict of interest or competitive business.

For example, if you run a book keeping company, you would not want your employees to also provide accounting advice on the side as this means they are steering business away from you. Also, you won’t want your employees to work for a competitor or supplier.

Many companies require that employees should get approval from the company before taking on additional jobs. This is a useful addition to the policy. However, your policies should not be too restrictive.

If your employee moonlighting is affecting your business negatively, then you must protect yourself by clarifying issues with them and working with an attorney to develop a moonlighting policy.

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