Research shows that about six out of each 100 employees you have will moonlight, or work for another employer. The practice has become common due to the high cost of living in some areas, which require some to work two jobs just to make enough to get ahead. While it has its benefits, it also presents challenges, both for employers as well as their employees. Below are some steps for effectively managing moonlighting employees.
Employer Concerns Regarding This Practice
There are a number of problems that can arise as a result of moonlighting. For one, employees who work two jobs will sometimes be tired, and won’t display the same level of productivity as they would if working for a single employer. Additionally, the second employer they work for may be a direct competitor, and there have been cases where employees would steal data or materials from one to supply the other.
Establish A Strong Policy Regarding Moonlighting
Every employer, large or small, should have a policy regarding moonlighting, and it should be published in the employee handbook. When drafting this policy, there are a number of factors which should be considered, such as whether you will prohibit it completely, or only for competitors or certain job positions. If you will allow some moonlighting, will you also require your employees to provide overtime? You will also need to consider what you will do if your employer becomes injured while working at their other job, and how it will impact their benefits.
If you’re not going to allow moonlighting at all, it may be difficult to attract quality talent, especially if the salary you offer is not attractive. People need to make a living, and with inflation driving up the cost of housing, food and energy, few people are going to work for someone who doesn’t want to pay them a good wage, and yet still expects them to exclusively work for them, it just isn’t realistic. So if you’re going to completely prohibit moonlighting, then your salary and benefits must be excellent, allowing employees to live comfortably. You can also require employees to gain the approval of management before getting a second job.
Know Your State Laws
Don’t draft your moonlighting policy until you’ve reviewed the laws of your state. Some have regulations which restrict the control employers have on their employees seeking a second job. Furthermore, some states have enacted privacy laws that further prohibit employers from firing employees based on behavior they display at another place of employment, unless they’ve compromised company secrets or transmitted data which is proprietary. Different states will have distinct rules regarding conflict of interest, so it is essential for employers to familiarize themselves before drafting their moonlighting policy. It may also be helpful to seek legal counsel to ensure that the wording of your policy is tight and that it can protect you from potential liability or litigation.