In today’s economy, it is not uncommon for people to have multiple jobs. For many, a secondary job is how they can supplement their income and gain experience in different fields. This can help them support themselves and their family and gain better employment.
However, the rise of second jobs has raised questions about the legal implications of holding more than one job. How can your first employer react to you having a second job? Depending on your contract, they may be able to use it against you. For more information or help, you should talk to the employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany.
Can You Be Fired for Having a Second Job?
The short answer is yes, you can be fired for having a second job. Most states are at-will employment, so technically, someone can be fired for any reason at any time. Sometimes, employers even have legal grounds to sue or otherwise penalize you for having a second job.
One of the main considerations is whether or not your employment contract restricts you from holding multiple jobs. Some employers may include clauses in their contracts that prohibit employees from taking on additional work without prior approval.
In this case, if you violate your contract by taking on a second job, your employer may have grounds to terminate your employment. It is important to carefully review your contract before seeking additional work.
Justifications for Firing Someone with Multiple Jobs
Aside from contractual restrictions, there are other potential justifications for an employer to terminate someone with multiple jobs. One common reason is a conflict of interest.
If one of your jobs involves competing with your employer or engaging in activities that could harm their business, your employer may have grounds to do more than terminate you. They may be able to accuse you of sabotage. This is especially true if the second job directly interferes with your duties and responsibilities at your primary job.
Another reason for termination could be related to performance issues. If holding multiple jobs affects your ability to perform well at your primary job, it can be a legitimate reason for your employer to terminate you.
Common Conflicts Between Primary and Secondary Employment
We have several examples of situations where your first and second jobs will come into conflict.
- One glaring conflict arises when the second job compromises the quality or quantity of work delivered at the primary job. This could mean missed deadlines, frequent tardiness or absences, or decreased productivity.
- Another conflict includes working for a direct competitor, where confidential information can potentially be shared across employers. Imagine working for two rival tech companies and being able to share trade secrets or proprietary information. Even if you never would, the fact that you have the opportunity to can lead to serious legal repercussions.
- A third common conflict would be scheduling conflicts. If the hours of the second job overlap with the first job or leave you with insufficient rest, it could affect your performance and availability for primary employment.
To avoid losing one job due to having another, it is important to communicate openly and honestly with your employer. If you are seeking additional work, be transparent and discuss it with your employer beforehand.
You should also make sure that your second job does not interfere with your primary job and that you can fulfill all of your duties and responsibilities. Additionally, it may be helpful to keep clear boundaries between your two jobs and avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
Disclosure of Secondary Employment
Legally, no requirement mandates an employee to reveal their secondary job to their primary employer. The reason you would have to is if you signed an employment clause that mentioned it.
Being transparent can help avoid potential conflicts of interest or work-overlap issues that might arise.
Contact the Employment Law Attorneys at Barrett & Farahany For Help
Having a second job can serve as justification for firing someone in certain circumstances. It is important to review your employment contract and communicate openly with your employer to protect yourself from any potential legal issues.
Remember, honesty and transparency are key when it comes to maintaining multiple jobs while remaining in good standing with your employer. So, be cautious and make informed decisions before taking on a second job.
If you have been fired for having a second job or are unsure if you are allowed to when you feel you need one, contact the employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany for a consultation.