Can I Work Two Remote Jobs at the Same Time?
Having a second job, also known as moonlighting, means having another job, whether it’s a full or part-time one, outside of the working hours that your first job takes up. Plenty of people work second or even third jobs to earn extra money or explore other career options, and with the expansion of remote work you might be tempted to pick up an additional job, but you may also be wondering if it’s legal, ethical or worth the time, energy and potential risk.
Can I Work Two Remote Jobs Simultaneously?
Wage growth for most Americans has been pretty flat for decades and with rising costs of living many are finding that having one job just isn’t enough. It’s not unusual for employees to seek what are usually part-time side gigs like selling crafts on Etsy or driving Uber while working full-time. While some need the extra income, others may enjoy the challenge. Whatever the reason, working multiple jobs is a bit of a gray area legally and ethically, but it is possible to do it “right”.
Overemployment is not a new revolution. There’s a big difference between an employee who works full-time during the day and also works at night as a waiter/waitress or writes blogs in their off time to make extra income and one that works two jobs simultaneously, double billing their time to two different employers. In 2021 Overemployed.com launched as a “community that helps professionals earn a double income and achieve financial freedom”, basically cheating the system by getting two full-time jobs, and working part-time at each to double their pay.
Working multiple jobs is not for faint of heart and requires both planning and discipline. Maintaining a work-life balance is essential and splitting your time between two full-time jobs especially, juggling multiple calendars and meetings might lead to burnout. Working two full-time jobs, including remote work, is also widely considered unethical as you’re lying about dedicating your working from home hours to the job. Also keep in mind potential tax implications with additional income streams.
Is it Legal to Work Two Remote Jobs?
It depends entirely on your company’s policy and the contract you signed when you began employment. There’s often a disclosure about working for a competitor, disclosing information or soliciting customers or vendors from the employer. If you don’t respect the terms of employment, you could be subject to liability. In most cases, you don’t have an obligation to tell your employer that you’re taking a second opportunity, however we suggest you remove any possible misunderstandings by being as transparent as possible.
As a general rule, unless you’ve signed a contract that prohibits you from taking a second job, there’s no law against working for more than one company. That doesn’t mean, though, that your employer can’t terminate you for moonlighting or if your performance and work quality go down. Aside from government workers, U.S. employment is “at will” meaning either party to an employment relationship can end it at any time, for any reason, however an employer won’t terminate you from a job provided you’re meeting expectations.
If you’re considering additional work, remember there’s also significant legal and contractual differences between independent contractors and employees. Employees receive greater protection under the law and are paid the net amount after taxes are taken out while contractors are responsible for paying their own taxes. Employees and independent contractors’ work is also different. Employees are often carefully supervised while contractors may have more autonomy.
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