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Why Some Companies Frown on Employees with Second Jobs

Updated on November 20, 2014
When working a second job, sleep often interferes with work
When working a second job, sleep often interferes with work | Source

Second Jobs Sometimes Create Problems

The cost of living is high everywhere. The tight economy has caused increased living expenses. Family or medical needs, household issues, high food costs, automotive repairs and gas needs, make it more difficult to make ends meet. During a demanding financial economy, an employee may need a second income.

The inability to pay for things that were once affordable forces people to look for an extra income. Families need enough income to pay for the rise in expenses, such as college tuition. Those expenses will force an employee who has a full time job, to obtain a part-time job, also referred to as moonlighting.

Many companies understand and are sensitive to their employee’s need for a second income. At the same time, companies have issues about an employee working two jobs. There are companies that outright forbid full time employees to have a second job. If pressed to keep a good employee, the company may require the employee to get written permission from them with conditions before working at a second job. If allowed to work at a second job, the company also usually forbids an employee from working that job by using the primary companies’ sick time.

An employer may be concerned that your second job may compete with your primary job. There may be concern that you will use information from your primary job on your second job. If an employer does allow second jobs, you may be restricted as to the nature of the job. The first job, or even the second job, may require you to sign a no-compete clause form. Or, this may be included in your employee manual that you may be required to sign before you begin a job.

There are companies that may frown on supervisors with second jobs. A supervisor is supposed to be an example of company expectations. Which means, being available all the time. A supervisor is responsible for being accessible for emergencies at the primary job. Also, to be the one to fill in when an employee is absent for the day. The company expects the supervisor to work on special projects, which may mean overtime work.

The burden of working a second job doesn’t always fall on the employee. The company where the employee works his primary job may have to carry that burden as well. Here are some issues for the primary job that sometimes happen when an employee takes a second job

* If your employee manual forbids you from taking a second job while on a leave of absence, someone in the company must monitor that situation

* There may be a conflict of interest if the second job is in the same field as the first

* The use of the primary cell phones going off all day for the employees’ second job issues. Or, the employee must carry two cell phones for both companies

* An employee may leave the primary job early to get to the second job on time

* Occasions when an employee can’t work overtime on the primary job. A special project may come up, requiring you to stay after work for a few hours for a week or two. If you have a second job, you must tell your supervisor that you can’t stay. If you are considered a necessary member of the team, not being able to participate will not go well at your primary job evaluation

* You consistently get to work late to your primary job because of fatigue from working your second job. Or worse, you use your primary job’s sick time to sleep off your second job’s fatigue

* Fatigue or burn out from the work hours at a second job hindering your primary job. Falling asleep on your day job as a result of working a second job hinders your ability to do a good job or ability to stay focused during the day.

* Given these issues, a company could be concerned that the second job could become the first job. One could legitimately ask, which job does the employee consider their primary job? To which company does the employee consider his or her main loyalty?

When looking for a job, if the interviewer doesn’t mention the company’s moonlighting policy, you should ask. You need to decide whether or not the new job would infringe on a second job should you need one. Expect the interviewer to ask if you plan to give up your second job if selected. You need to make that decision before the interview.

The company may have you sign an employment contract where it expressly forbids its employees from working a second job. It may be included in the employee manual, which you may also be required to sign.

Some employees still get a second job, thinking they will not be caught. True examples of employees found un-expectantly working at a second job are:

  • An employee called in sick, and was found working the same day at a large variety store as a cashier during her regular work hours;
  • An employee entrusted to work in the field was found working as a cook in a famous restaurant during his day job;
  • A building cleaner whose buildings were dirty was seen and discovered leaving his job early to go to his second job;
  • Another building cleaner was found sleeping in a basement he was responsible for cleaning, behind a large water heater. He was exhausted from working two jobs.
  • Employees at a testing company where they use a computer for their job are monitored. If an employee begins to do work unrelated to the job, someone interrupts the computer, and reminds the employee that he or she is only allowed to use it for the company’s work

A company has the right to expect an employee’s devotion during work hours. Similarly, the second job expects the same thing. An employee should expect to be terminated because of the inability to serve two companies satisfactory. In the above cases, four out of the five employees from several different companies were terminated immediately as a result of the negative impact the second jobs had on their primary jobs.

Mistakes happen often when you're fatigued from working two jobs
Mistakes happen often when you're fatigued from working two jobs | Source
If you're tired, you can't be of good use to your frst job or your second one
If you're tired, you can't be of good use to your frst job or your second one | Source

Problems with a Second Job

The burden of working a second job doesn’t always fall on the employee. The company where the employee works his primary job may have to carry that burden as well. Here are some issues for the primary job that sometimes happen when an employee takes a second job:

* If your employee manual forbids you from taking a second job while on a leave of absence, someone in the company must monitor that situation

* There may be a conflict of interest if the second job is in the same field as the first

* The use of the primary cell phones going off all day for the employees’ second job issues. Or, the employee must carry two cell phones for both companies

* An employee may leave the primary job early to get to the second job on time

* Occasions when an employee can’t work overtime on the primary job. A special project may come up, requiring you to stay after work for a few hours for a week or two. If you have a second job, you must tell your supervisor that you can’t stay. If you are considered a necessary member of the team, not being able to participate will not go well at your primary job evaluation

* You consistently get to work late to your primary job because of fatigue from working your second job. Or worse, you use your primary job’s sick time to sleep off your second job’s fatigue

* Fatigue or burn out from the work hours at a second job hindering your primary job. Falling asleep on your day job as a result of working a second job hinders your ability to do a good job or ability to stay focused during the day.

* Given these issues, a company could be concerned that the second job could become the first job. One could legitimately ask, which job does the employee consider their primary job? To which company does the employee consider his or her main loyalty?

When looking for a job, if the interviewer doesn’t mention the company’s moonlighting policy, you should ask. You need to decide whether or not the new job would infringe on a second job should you need one. Expect the interviewer to ask if you plan to give up your second job if selected. You need to make that decision before the interview.

The company may have you sign an employment contract where it expressly forbids its employees from working a second job. It may be included in the employee manual, which you may also be required to sign.

Some employees still get a second job, thinking they will not be caught. True examples of employees found un-expectantly working at a second job are:

  • An employee called in sick, and was found working the same day at a large variety store as a cashier during her regular work hours;
  • An employee entrusted to work in the field was found working as a cook in a famous restaurant during his day job;
  • A building cleaner whose buildings were dirty was seen and discovered leaving his job early to go to his second job;
  • Another building cleaner was found sleeping in a basement he was responsible for cleaning, behind a large water heater. He was exhausted from working two jobs.
  • Employees at a testing company where they use a computer for their job are monitored. If an employee begins to do work unrelated to the job, someone interrupts the computer, and reminds the employee that he or she is only allowed to use it for the company’s work.

A company has the right to expect an employee’s devotion during work hours. Similarly, the second job expects the same thing. An employee should expect to be terminated because of the inability to serve two companies satisfactory. In the above cases, four out of the five employees from several different companies were terminated immediately as a result of the negative impact the second jobs had on their primary jobs.

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