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  • Writer's pictureS. Anne Marie Archer

Can My Employer Fire Me for Working Two Full-Time Jobs in the Same Role at the Same Time?

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is important to consult with legal professionals for guidance on specific legal matters. Results on engagements and online courses may vary, and a successful outcome is not guaranteed.

In today's evolving workplace, especially with the rise of remote work, the line between personal and professional life can blur significantly. One contentious issue that has surfaced is whether an employer can fire you for holding two full-time jobs simultaneously, particularly if they are similar roles. The short answer? Maybe. Let's delve into the complexities of this situation and explore what you can do if you find yourself navigating these waters.


Why Is This a Problem?


1. Potential Conflicts in Senior Management

If you are in a senior management role, working two full-time jobs simultaneously is particularly risky. Senior positions often come with significant responsibilities, including overseeing sensitive company information and making strategic decisions. Juggling two roles can be seen as a conflict of interest, and employers may view it as a breach of trust and loyalty, leading to termination.


2. General Employee Concerns 

Even if you're not in senior management, your employer may still have grounds to fire you. Holding two full-time jobs can raise questions about your commitment, productivity, and the potential for conflicts of interest. This is true across various levels within an organization.


How to Push Back if You’re Facing Termination


If you find yourself in the position of being terminated for holding two full-time jobs, here are a few strategies that might help your case:


1. Check for Written Policies

Examine your employment contract and the company’s handbook. If there is no written policy explicitly prohibiting working multiple jobs in a similar role, this can be a critical point in your defense. You could argue that you have not violated any specific terms of your employment.


2. Prove No Compromise of Confidentiality

If you can demonstrate that your dual employment did not compromise any confidentiality or company secrets, this might mitigate the employer's concerns. This could involve showing that your work for the other company did not intersect in a way that could harm your primary employer.


3. Highlight Precedents

If you can provide evidence that other employees in similar roles have worked multiple jobs without facing termination, and the company was aware of this, it could help your case. This suggests inconsistency in how the policy is enforced, which could be used to argue for your continued employment or at least a fair severance package.


While these strategies might not guarantee you keep your job, they could leverage your position in negotiating a better outcome, such as a severance deal.


How to Avoid This Issue Altogether


Preventing these problems from arising is always better than dealing with them after the fact. Here are some proactive steps you can take:


1. Disclose at Hiring

When you are hired, be upfront about any other jobs you hold. Explain why you don’t believe there is a conflict of interest and how you plan to manage your responsibilities effectively. Transparency from the start can build trust and set clear expectations.


2. Consider Consulting Roles

One way to balance two jobs is by taking one of them as a consulting role instead of a full-time position. This can help delineate your commitments and might be more acceptable to your employers.


3. Be Honest and Open

The most crucial step is to maintain honesty and avoid deceit. Keeping your employers informed about your employment situation and any potential conflicts is vital. This not only safeguards your job but also your reputation.


Looking Forward


As employees gradually return to physical workplaces, the phenomenon of holding multiple full-time roles might decline. However, during the pandemic, this has become a notable issue, especially among executives working remotely.


Navigating dual employment can be tricky and risky, but with the right approach, you can protect yourself from unwanted consequences. Always prioritize transparency and consider the potential implications for your career and reputation.

Remember, if you believe your employer is violating your rights at work, it may be grounds to seek a negotiated separation with severance and cash out of that workplace.

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This online course also equips you with strategies and tactics needed to identify, document, communicate, and ultimately request your exit from a discriminatory hostile work environment.


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For more tips about navigating and escaping difficult HR situations,


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HR is not your enemy, but they are definitely not your friend, I am.

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