Your Employee Has a Side Job

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Your Employee Has a Side Job

An estimated 57 million Americans are pursuing side jobs and that number is growing.  Employees have a right to do what they want when not working, however, side jobs are a stressful and controversial issue for employers.  Working a second job may be just fine, as long as the employee is still effective and efficient in performing the duties of the primary job.  However, if that is not true or if the employer risks loss of confidential information, customer information or intellectual property, there could be a conflict of interest.

Employers have a legitimate business interest in knowing when an employee’s outside activities involve a conflict or a potential conflict with the employee’s duty of loyalty to the employer.  Employers should evaluate whether the outside activity involves:

  •      •a competitor or an activity that is a conflict with the company’s business;
  •      •interferes with an employee’s duty to the company; and/or
  •      •interferes with the employee’s regularly scheduled or expected work hours.


In California, employers are not allowed to simply prohibit employees from having another job.  But, companies can place restrictions.  No moonlighting policies should be tailored to restrict second jobs with competitors, customers, or other restrictions related to a potential conflict of interest.

With the move away from traditional office spaces, implementation of flexible hours, more focus on work/life balance and the competitive hiring landscape, it is more difficult than ever for an employer to know with confidence if an employee is engaging in behaviors or activities that could be problematic or competitively harmful to the business.

While employees are protected by privacy rules when engaging in certain lawful off-duty activities, it’s a good time for companies to set some parameters around what the company can tolerate in regard to outside employment and adopt an official policy to ensure everyone at the company has knowledge of what is expected.  Be mindful of your state laws protecting employees who engage in outside work, when creating these policies.

Here at Epps & Coulson, LLP we understand you may have questions regarding employee outside employment.  We are available to advise and help you implement policies to protect you.  Contact Dawn at:

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is considered advertising under laws of some states.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these

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