Moonlighting- conflict of interests

Generally we will find that there are no regulations against moonlighting. Obviously that makes it legal. But there may be ethical reasons against it. These considerations usually involve our relationships to our employer; an obvious example concerns conflict of interest.
We may be helping a competitor more than our employer, and for less overall money. We may inadvertently betray the trust and confidence of the company we work for. If there is any possibility of a competitive crossover, however remote, the answer is – Don’t.

Conflict of interest is only one aspect of ethics in moonlighting. A second consideration is efficiency. The picture of a moonlighter, red-eyed and shaking from fatigue due to the work chores performed the night before on a second job, is familiar in business circles. The white color worker involved into much off time work may not be able to perform up to standard at his primary job, even tough he is not a danger at a punch-press machine or on an assembly line. Fatigue may impair his mental efficiency.

There is still another consideration the moonlighter must explore. The family situation may deteriorate because the moonlighter may frequently be absent from home. The moonlighter’s spouse may suspect another woman or another man. All kinds of bad environmental hang-ups can develop. The moonlighter can become alienated and unstable and thus even less likely to work at peak efficiency on the job.

A fourth consideration is called on the job cheating. Suppose we are moonlighting and simply cannot get in time to our regular job. The temptations great to telephone our fulltime employer t tell him we are sick and plan to stay home. We really are not sick at all, but simply unable to get to our primary job because of another commitment. In many work situations, an employee who is out because of illness draws sick pay. Note what is happening. We are drawing sick pay for a fictional illness. In addition to sick pay from our employer, we are also drawing pay from our moonlighting, for the same time. This is unethical and decidedly immoral.

All these considerations must be handled individually by everyone who moonlights. It is always wise to look closely into the situation to be sure that we won’t be committing one of the four common sins of moonlighting.

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