What is employee moonlighting?
Employee moonlighting is a situation in which an employee works more than one job. Usually, the moonlighting employee has one full-time job and one part-time job, though some use the term to refer to any situation in which a person works for more than one company. Most moonlighting situations that may require an employer to develop a moonlighting policy occur when the moonlighting employee has a “primary,” usually full-time position, and a “secondary,” or part-time position.
Examples of moonlighting
Moonlighting can take many forms. Consider these examples of employee moonlighting to help you determine if any of your employees are moonlighters:
- Pat works full time for your company in the customer service department, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Pat teaches youth ballet classes at a local dance studio from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Jamie works as a teacher at your middle school. On Friday nights and on Saturdays and Sundays, they wait tables at a local restaurant.
- Ryan works as a salesman at your business full-time. Four days a week, they work as a telemarketer from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Considerations for whether you need an employee moonlighting policy
Most employee moonlighting situations are fine for the employee and their employers. There are some situations, though, that don’t work and may require you to implement a moonlighting policy for your business. Consider these circumstances when deciding whether you need a policy for moonlighting employees:
- Fatigue:Depending on the hours of the employee’s second job and the nature of the work, they may be too tired to perform their job duties for your business.
- Hours:For hourly workers in particular, their second job may limit the number of hours they’re available to work for your organization.
- Distraction:Some employees may get distracted while working for you by tasks associated with their other position, reducing their on-the-job productivity.
- Conflict of interest:In some cases, the employee’s second job could be a conflict of interest for your company.
Should you notice these factors reducing moonlighting employees’ work performance and productivity, it’s time to consider implementing a moonlighting policy. Strong moonlighting policies focus on defining your expectations for employees while working for your company rather than limiting what they can do outside of work. For example, a term in your moonlighting policy might be that employees must be available to work during specific hours every week.
Non-compete policies vs. moonlighting policies
Non-compete policies or agreements may share some similarities with moonlighting policies, but overall they’re different documents.
Non-compete policies are legal documents, signed by both the employee and the employer, that prohibit the employee from working with or providing information to their employer’s competitors. Non-compete policies or agreements are most common for senior company leaders or others in positions of power who may have important internal knowledge about the company rather than entry or mid-level employees.
Moonlighting policies are usually not separate signed agreements between the employee and employer, but rather part of the company’s collection of employment policies, usually contained in the employee handbook. Moonlighting policies routinely describe the circumstances in which an employee may or may not have a secondary job, whether the employee needs to seek approval before taking a second job and specific industries, companies or roles in which the employee cannot hold a second job.