Are Your Employees Moonlighting?

This is an important question that many responsible employers are asking.  Moonlighting or having a second job is more than common in the last few years especially in the tech space.  Should you care if they are working a second job or three? While the country has definitely recovered from the 2009 Recession, the new wealth hasn't necessarily translated to individual salaries of the average person. No surprise, people adjust. Many have cut back in their spending, but still many more are now working an extra job part-time to produce additional income or to get ahead financially.

Should it matter how your employees spend their time away from your place of business?

Determine how an employee's moonlighting affects the operation of your business. Does it impact the employee's performance or attitude?  Does the employees seem unusually tired, don't have the same enthusiasm for their current role as they used to, or even if they don't seem like their normal self.  Is your employee less effective as a result of the hours being devoted to another job?  Are they working in a manner that compromises company secrets or helps a competitor?

If the answer is "yes" to to any of the questions above, then it needs to be corrected. However, if not, an employer should think twice before getting into an employee's private life.


What does this mean for you as an employer?

Does it violate a no-compete agreement?

If the moonlighting work is not in a competitive business or in danger of your employee divulging trade secrets, they are most likely not in violation of any non-compete agreement. If you are not sure where or what they are doing outside of your company, it may be time for a meeting to discuss it and review any non-compete agreement. 

Is their quality of work suffering? 

If you have found out that an employee has started moonlighting and you are concerned about their work quality this is another reason to have a meeting to discuss what they are doing, what hours and how they plan to handle the extra work. 

How can you support them?

Discussing their reasons, shift and type of work will give you an understanding of how you can help support them. This shows that you care about them as a person as well. 

Can you prevent employees from moonlighting?

In order to keep your employees from moonlighting, you can exert some control over how the employees spend their hours of off time is to add non-compete clauses to the employment contract. This will prevent the employees from accepting a similar job from another employer. These clauses must be reasonable, and can't be too broadly written or a court may find them too unreasonable to enforce.

Conclusions to be reached if your employees are moonlighting:

Many times the experience and knowledge a worker gets through a second job, frequently part-time and project-based, can pay long-term dividends for the original employer with greater knowledge and skill output. Employers who find out about moonlighting should first look into it objectively instead of negatively. A brief discussion can find that maybe the employee is just looking for a bigger challenge and is ready for a higher level of demand. That in turn could be through a new position in the primary company and, if successful, better pay for the worker too. Just ask first before making a judgment.

If the moonlighting becomes a problem, the first thing to look at is job performance, unless moonlighting is in violation of a specific provision of the employment agreement.  If the performance is unacceptable, then disciplinary action is in order.



About nexus IT group

nexus IT group Was Voted 2013's Best Young Companies to Work For -  Those of us that call nexus IT group home know it is an influential and energetic center of motivated individuals with a passion to serve. The recent headlines touting our progressive culture have come as no surprise. We recognize the caliber of business partners, leadership, and industry knowledge that define nexus IT group. We work and live it every day.

However, a resounding, "I didn't realize that” echoes through our hallways as newcomers learn more and engage with our culture. And those still on the outside have yet to discover all that we have to offer. 

nexus IT group provides comprehensive technology staff augmentation services in the enterprise, medium, and start-up space.


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