Ridout Barron


Is moonlighting ground or employment termination?

Any one of many circumstances can cause financial hardship that might force Alberta residents to seek additional incomes. Those who are fortunate enough to secure a second job may resolve their economic issues. However, in some cases, employers do not approve of employees moonlighting with other companies. Does that give them grounds to consider an employee's termination?

This will depend on different factors. If an employee's work performance is adversely affected by the second job, the employer will have reason to disapprove. He or she will be entitled to issue a warning if that employee is late, tired or absent on a regular basis. A warning will give the worker the chance to improve his or her productivity, which might prevent termination.

The type of job and the industry in which an employee chooses to moonlight may also be contentious. On the one hand, it could be in the same industry as the regular job, or with a competitor -- causing a conflict of interest. If there is a non-compete clause in the worker's employment contract, he or she might have problems. On the other hand, if the day job requires an employee to maintain a professional image of dignity and honour, moonlighting at a strip club would not be acceptable.

Jobs are not easy to come by, and members of the Alberta workforce may pay careful consideration to the type of second jobs they accept. Those who face termination by their employers in their daytime jobs may benefit from consulting with an experienced employment lawyer. Such a professional may assist with resolving the issue out of court, but he or she will be ready to litigate if necessary.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "Can I be fired for having a second job?", Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on June 2, 2017

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Ridout Barron
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