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Can I be fired for having a second job?

Some people decide to work at two jobs, either because one job won’t cover all of their bills or for other reasons. This is also known as moonlighting.

What if your employer doesn’t like the fact that you work at two jobs? Can you be fired?

Often, the issue is not as straightforward as it seems. There could be a lot of factors that decide whether your boss has a right to fire you for your second job.

Does your second job impact your work performance at your daytime job?

There is nothing specific in the law that forbids a person from working at two jobs. However, things become more problematic if a second job affects the job performance of a worker at their first job.

Employers have the right to terminate their employee if the employee’s conduct and performance is not up to par. In other words, if the employee is frequently absent, late or the employee’s productivity suffers then the employer has grounds for dismissal. Normally warnings will precede the termination, so that the employee has a chance to correct their behaviour.

Is your daytime job in the same industry as your second job?

This could be highly problematic in terms of your second job. If you work for a a competitor in your second job, then it’s likely there will be a conflict and your employer may terminate you.

Some employment contracts can restrict an employee in terms of a second job and some may not. However, many employment contracts contain a non-competition clause, which preclude an employee from working for their the competition.

If the employee works for their employer’s competitor while being employed, then it’s likely the employer will have more of a case against the employee.

What kind of second job do you have?

Though that ties into the above topic, if the second job is not in a highly-competitive environment and is actually in a different industry that should make things less problematic, right?

That depends on what it is you do in your second job. If you work in a profession in which image and/or maintaining the honour and dignity of the profession is extremely important, then it’s likely that a side-job, such as an exotic dancer, will not go over well with your employer.

If you are working in a second job and have concerns that your second job could be problematic for your primary job you may want to consult an employment lawyer.

Read more:

The trouble with moonlighting

Workers Rights in Canada