Is it legal to have two full time jobs?

How working two jobs impacts your taxes

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite topic: taxes. Employers withhold payroll taxes—and you pay income taxes—according to state laws. If your new boss hired you under the assumption that you’re a California resident but you’re actually in New Jersey, one or both states’ revenue departments will have some questions for everyone involved.

The coronavirus pandemic has only made everything more complicated. According to a detailed CPA Journal blog post on the subject, some states have temporarily decided not to tax people working for out-of-state companies if they’re only working from home because of the pandemic; others have not. Some of those temporary exemptions have already expired (or will soon), but some are indefinite. It’s a whole mess.

So what does all this mean for you? Maybe nothing—but maybe something bad. Here’s how the CPA Journal put it:

Is it possible that states could have contradictory rules, creating a double tax situation for many employees? (Spoiler alert: yes.)

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This applies to all remote workers, but if you’re trying to juggle two jobs without either finding out about the other, it’s extra important to make sure you’re not unwittingly violating tax law in the process. If you’re not sure, consult a CPA or tax attorney who knows the law in your state (or states).


Conflict of Interest

If you signed an employment contract with your primary employer, taking on another part-time or full-time job may present a conflict of interest. For example, working a second job for a competitor is likely to be a conflict of interest because you have access to your primary employer’s company records, practices and other insider information. Your primary employer wouldn’t want to risk letting its proprietary information get in the hands of another company.

Also, the secondary employer shouldn’t want to risk its reputation by the perception that it is privy to a competitor’s information. For example, if you work for a recruiting firm that assists clients with resume preparation, your primary employer may not look favorably on you if your second job actually is your own resume-writing business. Even if your second job doesn’t jeopardize your standing with your primary employer, maintain your integrity as a loyal employee and consider the optics of working a second job that leaves others to speculate whether you have compromised your ethics or principles. Some companies prohibit employees from engaging in moonlighting activities; check with your human resources officer to determine if you’re even allowed to work another job.

Are You Still Reading? You’re Ready To Work Two Remote Jobs At Once

It’s OK that these questions are flying through your head. Start planning. Ask the community.

Let me be upfront. Everyone’s situation and risk tolerance are different. For those tired of working under the yoke of layoffs and promises of promotions, the two-job hustle is for you. Having two jobs gives you the income security to take risks and achieve the outcomes you desire. In many ways, Overemployed is a counterculture movement and American Dream, except now globally available and accessible.

In addition to the added financial security, having two jobs will sharpen your technical and professional acumen, making you more valuable in the gig economy later on. All of this is to say, the pros outweigh the cons, especially for inexperienced and mid-career professionals. What’s the worst that could happen? Ok, so you get fired and need to look for another job. Oh wait, you’re already a pro at landing remote jobs!

What About the Gig Economy?

Potential conflicts of interest may arise if you’re considering working as an independent contractor as well. With the gig economy gaining popularity by the day, or by the service, working a second job doesn’t mean you are working for another employer. Gigs or independent-contractor-type work for projects or on-demand services are essentially jobs that let you be your own boss, dictating when and where you want to work and how much you want to work. While gigs are famous for making work portable, if you have a steady primary job, the allure of gigs that permit you to work from anywhere may not be the appeal factor. But working on-demand jobs, such as driving for Uber, can present other challenges as a second job. For example, if your primary job requires you to be on-call, if you’re driving an Uber passenger, it could be difficult to immediately report to your primary job.

Factors to consider before deciding to Work two full-time Jobs in Canada

Here are some factors that require your consideration if you want to work two full-time jobs in Canada.

  • Taxation
  • Your health status
  • The moonlighting policy of your employer.
  • Considering the conflict of interest.

What are the legal and HR issues of working twojobs?

There is recognition that collecting a salary from two employers is questionable, with Price comparing getting caught by a manager to being found cheating on your partner. But he remains adamant that “it’s all perfectly legal”.

However, this is how Slater and Gordon employment lawyer Jo Mackie sees it. She claims there are many “liabilities and tricky issues” associated with taking two salaries. Although unable to comment specifically on US employment laws, Mackie adds: “The number one issue would be misleading your employer because of the duty of trust and confidence that you have between employee and employer. Often if that’s broken then it’s a sufficient reason to terminate a contract.”

Attempting to work more than one full-time job is a sure fire way to achieve burnout

The second issue relates to exclusivity clauses and conflict of interest, as the second job is likely to be with a competitor in the same industry. Lastly, Mackie points to the working time regulations, which applies to the UK and countries in the EU and limits workers to 48 hours a week, unless opted out of. Although there is no limit on the number of hours employees aged 16 years or older may work in the US, employees must receive overtime for any time worked over 40 hours within a week.

Sarah Beaumont, director of HR at Hunter Adams, agrees that concealing a second full-time job from an employer could potentially be a breach of contract, but adds: “From an ethical perspective, if an employee is being paid for the same time by more than one company they are deceiving one, if not more, of their employers.”

If an employee is found to have deceived their employer, an investigation and disciplinary action would likely follow and could culminate in dismissal for gross misconduct, Beaumont claims. “Legalities and breaches of contract aside, attempting to work more than one full-time job is a sure fire way to achieve burnout,” she adds.

For Price and other members of the overemployed community, this may prove little deterrent – the secret, after all, is not to get caught. He accepts that one of his employers would probably let him go, if they found out, but adds: “I would tell people to go and get the jobs that your skills can command. If it’s five jobs then go for it, I would take them all.”

Written by Sam Forsdick ,


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