Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do you know? Do you need a moonlighting policy?

moonlightingMoonlighting is when an employee works a job other than their primary job. In today’s world, for example, many people find it necessary to work second or even third jobs just to get by. Assuming you want to permit employees work a second job, it is best to have a policy in place to address how it affects your business.

Such a policy should, at a minimum, address the following issues:

  1. Interference with primary job. The main purpose of most moonlighting policies is to set out your expectation that employees will treat their work at your business as their primary job and will not allow other jobs to interfere with the performance of the primary job. You should make it clear that you expect the employee to put your job first.

  2. Conflict of interest. Above all else, you need to protect your business. A conflict of interest policy can help ensure that your employees don’t work for a competitor while working for you. You should also consider the potential impact – positive and negative – of an employee working for a customer or vendor. The same should also cover confidential and other proprietary information.

  3. What about leaves of absence? Employees should not be able to work a second job while on a leave of absence – medical, for example – from their primary job.

  4. Approval of employment. Consider including a clause that requires approval of any outside employment. In implementing such a clause, however, be sure to do it fairly and equitably across the board, and avoid any appearance of preferential or discriminatory treatment.

You do not have to permit employees to hold other jobs. If you do, however, consider putting a policy in place to set expectations up-front and to give you the protection you need should an employee’s outside work interfere with your business.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.