Legal to work multiple jobs

Yes! It’s Legal To Work Multiple Remote Jobs

Got FOMO on Overemployment? Wondering if it’s legal to work multiple remote jobs? No more scaremongering. I’m here to tell you it’s legal and here’s why.

What does at-will employment mean?

First, if you live in the United States, at-will employment is the law. This means it’s a free market between employees and employers, so it’s legal to work multiple remote jobs. But watch out for the tax consequences!

UPDATED 8/30/2021: For UK and Canada, a notice period for termination is required by both employees and employers, and is typically spelled out in the employment contract. Thanks to our diligent readers who noted the discrepancy. While it’s technically legal to work two jobs at once in the UK and Canada, do consult a lawyer in your country and review your employment contracts to understand the legal risks.

Back to the United States. If you live in California, your remote jobs are presumed at-will employment. Don’t live in California? You’ll need to do some research on your own or consult a labor lawyer. BONUS: California has some of the most pro-labor employment laws, where employers don’t prohibit a second job or overtly terminate an employee due to a second job. You can learn about California’s Labor Code §96(k) or read this law firm’s blog advising employers on their moonlighting policies. The bottom line is we live in a free agent economy — it’s legal to work multiple remote jobs and sell your skills to multiple bidders.

The Labor Commissioner and his or her deputies and representatives authorized by him or her in writing shall, upon the filing of a claim therefor by an employee, or an employee representative authorized in writing by an employee, with the Labor Commissioner, take assignments of:

(k) Claims for loss of wages as the result of demotion, suspension, or discharge from employment for lawful conduct occurring during nonworking hours away from the employer’s premises.

California Labor Code Section 96 (k)

Can you get fired from legally working multiple remote jobs?

The short answer is yes due to at-will employment. But this is a cop-out answer. The truth is, you can get fired at any time whether you work just one or multiple remote jobs. Here at Overemployed, we argue you should work multiple remote jobs precisely because of at-will employment. There’s no implied lifetime employment anymore, not even at IBM.

Get the facts, read your employment offers and employee handbooks

Now that we’ve cleared up the legality of working two or more remote jobs, you should re-read all your employment offer letters. Pay particular attention to the wording in the conflict of interest section. It’s your choice to inform none, some, or all your employers you’re working multiple remote jobs.

Here at Overemployed, the community has embraced the “let the sleeping dogs lie” policy — keeping our heads down and mouth shut, especially when there’s no conflict of interest. We believe it is the most humane and ethical way to keep both sides happy. It’s human nature to dislike promiscuity, but we want to remind everyone there’s no reward for loyalty in the corporate world. So why should you date exclusively for work?

The biggest gotcha employers can impose on at-will employees is a conflict of interest policy. So don’t be a jackass and go work for competitors, contractors, clients, vendors, and the likes. Just be smart like the Overemployed community.

Overemployment in Tech is very common due to a lack of skills (perceived or real is debatable)

While I don’t entirely agree with the opinions expressed by the Grocery Guy, the same, general legal principles apply whether you’re bagging groceries or writing code. Like companies, we’re all driven to maximize profits. Take advantage of fast-changing landscape pf work and land multiple remote jobs.

Just make sure you’ve reviewed your local and state employment laws (again, sleep easy if you’re in California). And if necessary, consult a lawyer for what is a really small fee to have peace of mind. While we aren’t legal experts, we’re bullish that the laws allow us to create an Association of the Overemployed and turn the tide on the corporate exploits of our labor. Our goal is to keep adding partnerships and services to meet the needs of the Overemployed.

Need another opinion on a potential conflict of interest?

Send your employee offer letters and/or employee handbooks to me, Isaac, directly and I can get back to you within 24 hours with my non-legally binding opinion. And if you’re in New York, then you can grab a free 30-minute consult with Matthew Berman from Valli, Kane, and Vagnini LLP.

Curious to learn more from the community? Join us and find out.


  1. My friend told me if I work somewhere else for eight hours and then I go to another place and work eight hours they have to pay me time and a half I said no they do not she said yes they do because it’s against the law for you work eight hours in and go to another job and work eight hours

  2. This has probably been answered before, but if my code of conduct says we are not to “engage in outside work on conflicting responsibilities, interests, duties or loyalties for X.. must submit a written request containing pertinent info about the outside employment or activity to their manager/HR and obtain approval” do we actually request for approval or get away with it for as long as we can?
    Could we get in trouble for violating this (more than just firing) or get on any sort of black listing?

  3. I currently work for a health care company remotely , I was offered a position with Amazon (not a warehouse position, an actual corporate position) that is remote also. In the offer letter from Amazon it says I cannot have any gainful employment without letting them know. I want to keep working my regular job for a few months to earn some extra money and then leave and stay with Amazon. I’m afraid of doing so because I don’t want to get caught. Any advice?

    1. I am in a very similar situation. My J1 is Amazon but I don’t see anything around having multiple jobs in my offer letter. Where do you find the reference to multiple jobs with Amazon?

  4. Since the pandemic, and even prior to the pandemic, I would work multiple remote jobs. At each job, I was always told that I did great work. I kept my head low, and never told anyone that I worked for multiple employers. The point is I did my job, and did it well. One of the positions, I still hold. A few weeks ago I resigned from an employers to take another second job. I was supposed to be paid my final pay check the other day, and wasn’t paid. So I inquired about the payment. I was told that they were made aware, by a third party, that I was working for another company. I told them that that had nothing to do with my pay, and I demanded that I be paid. They stated that I had better let “sleeping bears lie”, or I’d have an issue. I checked the employment offer letter that I had signed with them; it did state about a conflict of interest, which there wasn’t any since the two companies weren’t competitors, and in different business sectors. The offer talked about breaching confidentiality, which I would never do, nor did I do. Their employee handbook never stated I couldn’t work for multiple employers. My fear is that someone is going to tell my existing employer, and I’ll have issues there. My current employer also doesn’t have any restrictions in their handbook. At this point I don’t care about the money. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do to prevent them from contacting my current company? Maybe a cease and desist from my attorney?

  5. Potential J2 occasionally will post new hire announcements on LinkedIn. I’m only connected to the President of J1 (direct supervisor). I’m not active on the platform. I’m thinking to remove that connection and suspend my account so J2 can’t link my name.

    Is there anything I can do to prevent J2 from sharing that information online?

  6. Thanks so much for all your info. Starting J2 Monday. Not same industry and in cali, remote jobs.. excited and nervous but I am hopeful to get a routine going and finally get some extra income.

  7. So, um, when you say don’t a jackass and work for competitors, would be a a contractor at company A working at financial institution b while also contracting for company c at financial institution d, is that just mega jack ass? Or does the contacting part provide a buffer?

  8. I had two jobs for the last year and I just got laid off from the one that provided my benefits.

    To start benefits at the one I still have, they are requiring documentation. But it doesn’t say what documentation. How do I handle this? They didn’t know I had the other job. I’m married with kids.

    How should I handle this?

    1. You should ask the company in the documentation. But there’s no need of documentation here. Probably the family member details to enroll.?

    2. Probably too late to help, but we need some more information. Most places use a third party to manage their benefits, so your “qualifying event” is simply that you lost your benefits at the other place, so show them documentation that establishes that. If this is indeed a third party managing the benefits and not your actual employer, no one will be the wiser. It will be the same as if you were on originally on your spouse’s benefits and they lost their job.

  9. In your opinion, do you think you can work 2 jobs being a recruiter? Also – how do you manage your LinkedIn page by having 2 jobs?

    1. I’m a Recruiter and I just landed my 3rd job. My first job didn’t require me to use LinkedIn for recruiting because of the type of jobs. The 2nd job requires me and my 3rd one will too. My 3rd one I’m just going to create a new LinkedIn account with my new work email and block everyone from that company. I blocked everyone from my first job from LinkedIn too.

    1. By definition, if a C2C you are NOT an employee and what you call an “employer” is really a “client”, big difference. They really cannot tell you what to do when it comes to whether you have multiple clients or not.

  10. Hey everyone I just have a couple questions. I am a designer and I have J1 and I just landed J2. I have the offer letter and I was wondering what goes on in the background check. They expect me to put in my two weeks so I can start in march.

    1.Would J2 know I have J1 in the background check?
    2. Would I have any issues working these two remote position even if they are in completely different industries? J1 being janitorial and J2 in retail industry.

    Any input would help. I am new to OE and my goal in mind is to do this for 1-2 months to get a feel of how it will go. Thanks!

    1. They won’t know unless you state it in the background for them to call and verify your 1st job.

    2. This is an old thread so I’m writing this in case others are reading this down the line:

      I just went through a background check for a J2 and inadvertently left off a job when filling out the background info. In my state, companies running background checks must deliver a copy if I request (which I did) – and I didn’t see anything in the materials finding that left-off job.

      That being said, that job was in 2011 (it’s 2022 right now), it was a contract, and moreover it was only for 3 months, so I don’t know what would have happened if it came up, maybe they wouldn’t have cared anyway.

  11. Job 1 is on W2 full time
    Job 2 could either be on a contract on full-time
    Would taking up a second full time job show up in future employee background checks?
    Alternatively, I’m thinking on opening a LLC and signing up for a contract job making collecting a 1099 for the second gig.


    Thank you!

    1. From a legal risk perspective, taking a J2 as a contract via LLC is relatively safer than a W2. Not a legal opinion, just the opinion of a person who has seen a lot of contracts.

      Make sure your LLC has business insurance coverage (for when you mess up on the job or cause a massive outage) and have a lawyer review your 1099 contracts.

  12. I’m impressed, I need to say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the problem is one thing that not sufficient people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very glad that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing regarding this.

  13. I tried Looking but couldn’t find: I have J1, J2 and looking for J3. J1 worked there for 7 years, J2 worked there for 3 years.

    What do I put on my resume to find J3? J2 is more managerial role, and I want it to be on my resume to get good $$$ in J3.

  14. Depending on the fine print and how the job is set up and the fine print this could definitely land some people in hot water. If an hourly employee and doing work for other job and caught… this is time card fraud.

  15. And here I thought I was so clever for even thinking of working two remote roles simultaneously. As usual I’m late to the party. No matter. I just got hired by a non-competing company doing stress-free content related work in CA which puts me at 2 full-time roles. After going through on boarding last week I am positive I could get a 3rd role and still do all my required work w/in the typical work day hours. Love this blog. And my lips are sealed.

  16. I have read through some of these replies and I have to say I find it amusing. You can always tell the ones who like to keep a poor person poor type of people. Now that jobs are becoming remote companies fear that people will work more than one job at the same time and actually pay their bills and not live from paycheck to paycheck keeping them in check to live a poor life. People like the ones responding love people who suffer, so they post things like you can’t do this and you cant do that. I read my companies disclosures and it states ” you can’t work another job because it violates this and that” It also states, “you are an at-will employee” meaning we can fire you at any time BUT “if you choose to leave the company you have to give a two-week notice” Heres the bottom line, I don’t have to do shit. If I work another job, its none of your business what I do as long as I do your work. “mind your own business and keep your mouth shut” (very much what’s wrong with the world today) People has got this idea that their opinions matter cause they can express them freely on the internet versus not being able to and getting their faces smashed in by a fist when they try to express their shit opinions in real life. Anyways I’m making bank right now juggling 3 jobs a day and that lawyer that posted above can really go get smashed.

    1. I completely agree with you! Just wrapped up three simultaneous remote contract positions. One of my previous employers found out and he didn’t hesitate to let me know how “disappointed” he was with me. Boohooo. Then, he says if he knew I had other jobs, he would’ve had to told me I had to pick one. Like.. excuse me? Why do you think you’re so entitled to me that I can give my time to only you and your company?!

      And, the other two jobs paid MORE. It must be nice to be so privileged that you can live off one income in New York City but alot of us cannot.

  17. I have a job in France and work remotely since Covid – this is under temporary residence to work legally.
    Additionally I have a job for a different company in the UK (Office Job ) in a different industry where I tend to visit the office every 10 days it is quite flexible.
    I pay tax in France (Remote job )and the UK (office job)
    I am preforming well in both – is there any risks here ?

    1. Hi There,
      I’m not aware of the labor law in the UK, but in France you can have two jobs if:
      – there’s not conflict of interest,
      – you don’t work work 49hrs in total (I know silly and kind of hypocrite…).
      It’s not per law and customary in France to work multiple jobs.

      All the best in your endeavours 🙂

  18. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog!
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  19. What if your new second employer is in the process of doing their background check while your still working at your current job? Your dates of employment will be something they verify. I think there might be a chance they find out you haven’t put in your two week notice and that could be a potential red flag.

    1. Most employers don’t do background checks after you’re started for obvious reasons (too costly to get it wrong). Therefore, employers do a background check after you accepted their offer but have not started yet. Typically, they require your consent to verify your current employer directly. Again, for obvious reasons, this consent is not given (if your present employer finds out, things get unpredictable), so the background checker typically just asks for proof of employment such as very first and present paystubs. By the way, this is how a normal job-hopping process occurs, nothing special about it specific to Overemployed. We also keep a primary job that shows on your resume and burner jobs that you leave off. That way, we play along with the background check game, because it checks out (punt intended).

  20. Hi,
    General question – if one or more of e remote jobs I am working is based in a different state from where I live, do the labor laws of the state where I live apply, or is it based on the company’s state?

  21. Thanks everyone for contributing to this. Very interesting to read. I just read my first company’s “Code of Conduct” agreement and it says that I must avoid conflict of interests and inform my employer of “employment in addition to [my] role.” Would this include independent contractor or just employee on W2?

    More broadly speaking I have these two questions:
    1. Assuming there is no conflict of interest. Is it safer (legally) or less worrisome to have your second job be an independant contractor (W2) or employee (1099)?
    2. How do people get “caught” when it does happen? Outside of gossip or social media, is there another way your employer can find out (i.e a background check)?
    All replies and thoughts would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance!

    1. Thanks, Double Dip Dreamer for your questions.

      1. Employers can legally go after you if they think their case has legal standing. Will they? Are you that big of a deal they’ll waste their legal team’s time? I doubt it. You’ll just get fired. So legally, two jobs are legal. It’s a matter of breaking a contract. Businesses break contracts with each other every day. Most get negotiated and settled. For average joes, that “settlement” is you get fired — worst case. Crazy as it seems, some managers and HR don’t want the spotlight or embarrassment, so they rather sweep it under the rug and make no mention of it and may even keep you employed.
      2. Check on Discord — we’ve a dedicated #failed-stories channel for it. Most that you hear in my opinion are urban legends or pure dumb mistakes from people who can’t keep quiet and stay low-key.

  22. Thank you for this great interesting thread! One question I have that I don’t understand why it is not being brought up is this: how can your employer even find out you have a second job? Can background check be done, or some sort of look-up? Or is the only way you can be “caught” from gossip or social media?

    Also does this depend on if you have two W2s, two independant contracts, or one of each?
    I currently have one W2 (software engineer) and want to get a second job and will choose either independant contractor or employee based on which is less worrisome.
    Any thoughts of feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!!

    1. Thanks for your question. First, of course, consult an employment lawyer for your specific country and locale. Nothing mentioned here should be construed as legal advice.

      For the US, the risk of getting “found” is so low if you just follow Rule #1 (and Rule #12) from

      Re background check, it all depends on what you consent to and what level of scrutiny your employers want or are willing to pay for. The extremes are 1) a top-secret security clearance which will cost employers tens of thousands of dollars, or 2) employers just want to do a criminal and public records check, not credit check required. So the short answer is it depends on your employer(s). Chances are low to get “found” after being employed because it costs money to run background checks, and if you’re staying under the radar, why would your employers run a random background check?

      Do risks of getting “found” exist? Yes. Is the probability of getting found worth the 2x payoff? I’d say yes. What’s the worst that happens if you get found? You get fired. But wait, you got multiple jobs — onto the next one!

    1. Wow. I think you hit the top OE guy that I know of in this platform. With 4 FT jobs, you must be hitting nicely into the 7 figure realm total compensation. Congrats.

  23. “the Employment Standards Act does not allow at will employment contracts in Canada”
    very easy google search. The first statement is wrong…

    1. I’ll update this post shortly to reflect these nuances for Canada and UK. Appreciate the quick feedback! Looks like a common mistake most US companies make when hiring in Canada and UK — which have more progressive labor laws might I add! It looks like Canada and UK has similar common law approach to give employee-employer a “fair” notice: Key point below:

      The History of Reasonable Notice
      Osgoode Hall Law Professor David Doorey recounted that about 150 years ago in England, a concern in early employment contract law was ensuring agricultural employers had sufficient labour to complete the harvest. As a result, the courts developed an implied term in employment contracts that employment was implied to last at least one year. On the other hand, a one-year contract also encouraged employers to pay workers through the agricultural off season, so that those workers did not become a social burden to their village. To that end, English judges made the common law such that employment contracts were only terminable by one party providing notice of termination of a length equal to the period remaining on the contract (i.e. one year or less). Most common law jurisdictions in the world followed this model as their courts developed, except one notable exception – the United States.

      Differences between the law of employment termination in USA and Canada
      In the United States (except Montana) an employee can generally be terminated for no reason and with no notice (i.e. severance) because it is an ‘at will” jurisdiction. However, Canada is a ‘common law’ jurisdiction. In Canada, unless there is just cause for an employee’s termination or the employee has an enforceable termination clause in their contract (that at least meets provincial minimum standards), the employer must provide reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. Calculating reasonable notice (also known as severance) is not a simple formula – it is an art developed over time by employment lawyers.

    1. Hi! This is great feedback. I’ll have to update this post specific to UK and Canada. That said, sounds like it’s not illegal to 2x in the UK, and furthermore, termination is even more stringent legally speaking. I’m sure like in the US, big corporations, with their army of lawyers, will finagle and skirt towards to edge of the law to terminate someone, if need be, like finding out you’re 2x-ing. The point of the article is no one is really “protected” and why these employment laws exist is to arrest bad behaviors — and they haven’t quite worked really because the burden of proof is so high and so is the legal costs.

  24. Does anyone have any ideas on how to work two full time Call Center jobs at the same time when you have to take calls all day on both jobs?

  25. I’m only commenting on the UK perspective, but this doesn’t seem workable for most employees and organisations.

    Most contracts of employment (contractors, freelancers, workers and any title or contractual status (i.e. zero hours) that is not an employee could do this) state a set number of hours (usually weekly and specified as Monday to Friday) that must be worked. How does an employee meet the contractual requirement to work a 37. 5 hour week Monday to Friday under two contracts of employment at the same time?

    Multiple (remote) employment could be possible in the UK with lower risk, but two or more sets of sustained full time overlapping employment (e.g. not contracting, or running down an old job – most UK jobs have statutory and contractual notice that is longer than 2 weeks) could be really difficult to maintain and report properly to the tax and social security authorities.

    I’m behind what you are doing and think your collective is great for people to maximise their time and income but I don’t think that it’s really as easy as suggested for certain countries, industries, sectors, or for most people who have a standard employee/employer contractual relationship with their main organisation.

    This working approach has been featured in a UK national broadsheet newspaper and this website referenced (hence my finding you, cool) and was written to suggest that everyone could be doing this, which perhaps won’t be the case for as many as may want to.

    1. yes agree with Ryla, contractual working hours in UK set at 7 or 7.5 so anything more than 2 jobs would be an immediate breach of contract as you could just about manage 14/15hours a day

  26. Dude I have a mouse mover that moves my mouse around for 4-6 hours in the morning when I “work”. I sleep until lunch time. Every work day is a Friday for me. I just have to get a certain amount of work done usually weekly, but mostly monthly. I usually get it all done late afternoon. The mouse mover keeps it so it looks like I’m logged in on Skype online and working away. My boss doesn’t bother me, nor can she know if I’m even awake. Once in a while I get a ping and it wakes me up. So for half of the 9-5 work day I’m literally unconscious. I’ve been doing this for months now, close to a year. It’s a full time job with full time salary. Instead of those unconscious hours I can get up and work a second remote job. For real, if my employer doesn’t know if I’m awake or sleeping… they certainly can’t find out if I’m doing another gig. I’ve gotten laid, drunk, and high, all on company “time”. Not a thing they can do to trace me, save from out a camera in my apartment.

    1. Where’d you get the mouse mover? I do something similar but with a misshapen clay egg mykid made in art class.

  27. All of the above args don’t take into consideration the fact that many working weeks are longer than 40 hours….

  28. I’m new to working two remote job gigs, and I did sign an exclusivity agreement with the new company. My first job is online education. Most of my work is done at night and weekends (excluding virtual department meetings), which may occasionally interfere with a full-time day job (I’m planning on taking my lunch hour to attend those meetings). So, am I violating the new agreement if I’ve disclosed the teaching job during my interview and it is not in the same industry as the second job? I find the language of committing time, attention, and knowledge exclusively to a company very unrealistic. I have small children, so wouldn’t they be considered a full-time job that devotes time and attention during the day? What is the worst-case scenario? The new employer expects me to quit the first job and fires me if I don’t do it? I’m not concerned about meeting the expectations of both jobs simultaneously.

    1. Without seeing the actual agreement you’ve signed, I’d say these agreements tend to not be enforceable in court and are standard big corporate lawyer talk to scare you from doing two jobs for your family, which isn’t illegal period. The exclusivity agreement is more of a commercial agreement between you and the employer, I’d think of it that way. What happens when you’ve a commercial disagreement? It either gets arbitration or settled out of court, if it even gets there. Simply, they’d just fire you. Oh wait, they could do that anytime already without reason, aka at-will employment. So go get two jobs, and then when a better third one comes along, now you fire your bad employer or boss by leaving them.

  29. If an employer catches you working another full time job and simply says you were stealing time ( you didn’t actually work 8hr a day for either of them ) – how is that not considered theft? How can you get out of that in court. You were stealing from one or the other if you were working 2 full time jobs remote at the same time , same work hours.

    1. Hi – none of my employment offers says “you must work 8 hours per working day” in fact they just say you will be available during working hours (however that’s defined). For global companies, that could mean 24/7 continuous operations, then I’d ask which of those 8 hours will you work? I mean, do you really work 8 hours on the dot exactly though? What kind of world is that now? It sounds like you’ve been “stealing” from your own life this whole time. #priorities

    2. I don’t know what this is in the US, but the UK definitely has “statutory laws”, which is basically a generalised 37.5 hours per week , with expected breaks etc. This is by law, if a company writes in the contract that they expect you to work loosely, then they basically implied that they want you to work extra hours and not be paid overtime. This is a get out clause… Contractors in the tech world is actually not “employees”. I know, cos i was one before.. and you are basically working as an independent company owner. Just that in the UK, we have laws which can allow us to work under someone else’s company… but this is unique and is not applicable to all countries or states in the US !! Don’t presume that just cos a loose generalised view that US, UK, or Canada follows Common Law that it means like for like. Contractors are basically suppliers. A supplying company who is part of the supply chain and that they have to have insurance to cover their work etc.

  30. You guys are confused. The duty of loyalty only applies to directors and officers of a company. All officers are statutory employees but not all employees (including engineers, secretaries, etc.) are officers.
    Even employees with titles such as “vice president” are not necessarily officers of a company, but simply just employees with a title.

    What’s worth acknowledging is your *contractual* obligations you agreed to when you signed up for employment. Even in at-will employment, you have agreed to additional terms & conditions as part of that employment. If the employee handbook says you must disclose a second job, then violation of that is technically a fireable offence, Same thing with any other policy.

    Then on top of that, if by taking a second job, you violate any policies in your employment terms that could be argued as having caused harm to the company, you are bringing upon yourself civil liability (read: they can sue you for damages to their business and it will have to come out of your personal savings and brokerage accounts).

    Also, if you have a main job that pays your bills and if fired, cannot be replaced even by two other simultaneous jobs, then you better think twice about taking on a second secret job for one very important reason: you main job’s terms probably also include intellectual property provisions that cover also what you create outside of immediate working hours. At that point, not only you are civilly liable to your main employer, the work product you create for the second employer is “tainted” and your second employer might have reason to sue you too.

    1. Under New York law, employees owe their employer a duty of loyalty, regardless of whether they are officers or directors. In our state, you can be employed pursuant to an employment agreement, which could potentially limit the right of an employer to terminate you. Alternatively, if you are an employee without a contract, you are considered “at will” which means either party can end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason (except an unlawful reason, such as discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, etc.).

      However, you may not be an “employee” at all! You could be an independent contractor. In New York, whether you are an employee or an independent contractor is fact specific and depends on a number of factors which – generally speaking – turn on the hiring party’s degree of supervision, direction and control over the hired party. Here’s an example of a recent case discussing these factors:

      Civil liability of a 2x+ employee to one or more of their employers *is* possible under a number of legal theories, including the “faithless servant” doctrine, breach of contract, breach of an employee’s duty of care/loyalty, unjust enrichment, theft of trade secrets, tortious interference, etc. This is one of several reasons why you should consult with an employment attorney in your state, preferably *before* you accept a second engagement. This can help you determine if you have protection from liability through, for example, a well-drafted agreement governing the terms and conditions of your relationship with the hiring party.

      Matthew L. Berman, Esq.
      Representing Employees Exclusively (in New York State)

  31. Yes an “employee” generally owes their employer a fiduciary duty of loyalty, but that begs the question: are you an “employee” or an independent contractor? The answer depends on which State you are in, and the nature of your work (typically your employment status will be determined by multiple factors that tend to focus on the scope of the employer’s control over the terms and conditions of your employment).

    However, even if you are an “employee,” the terms of your employment may be governed by a written agreement, which you should check carefully. If, for example, you are not “on the clock,” it may be possible for you to pursue dual employment without violating your contractual or fiduciary duties. You should consult an attorney in your State before you consider taking on a dual role.

    Matthew L. Berman, Esq.
    Representing Employees Exclusively (in New York State)

  32. Hi. I’m a labor lawyer in California and also a couple other states. I’ve been doing this area of law for 17 years at writing. Your advice above isn’t correct.

    I say this as someone with a pro employee view and also as someone who hates wasted time and the clock watching model of employment, which is greatly outdated.

    So here’s why your article is wrong. You owe your employer several fiduciary duties, including a duty of loyalty. Not working when you are supposed to work violates your fiduciary duties. Violating your fiduciary duties comes with serious consequences including your employer suing you for refund of all the wages you were paid during the time of your faithlessness.

    There’s probably also something in your handbook about disclosing any moonlighting. Failure to do that is what will get you fired if you are caught, regardless of whether you are at-will (public employees, some executives and unique professionals, employees with contracts, and union members, are frequently not at will).

    If you’re an hourly employee (as opposed to salary), staying on the clock while working for someone else is theft, which again could result in a lawsuit for refund of your wages (criminal prosecution is possible and I have seen it happen)..

    There are ways to work two or more jobs simultaneously without breaking the law or cheating people. But to make a blanket statement that you can be on the clock on two jobs simultaneously without legal consequences is not correct. You really don’t want to get caught and have your employer hire someone like me, because then you’ll be regretting making life decisions based on the anonymous advice of overconfident bloggers.

    1. Hi!

      Thanks for weighing in. While you claim to be “pro-employee” much of the argument you make here is basically “pro-big corp” while neglecting to weigh the “pro-employee” side. So let me try to do that.

      You state there are ways to work two or more remote jobs without breaking the law or cheating people. I wonder what laws are being broken here other than potentially breaking an employment contract? Is that a law or a commercial agreement? Please let us know what are the right ways you know of to 2x!

      Also, I don’t say there are no legal consequences. What I’m saying the legal consequences are minute and not re-enforceable. The low risks then make Overmeployed worth the risks itsef. I do hear these big corp lawyer scare tactics a lot, and why many are short-changing themselves from not being overemployed. Your statements gave me a chuckle because I had consulted multiple big law firm labor lawyers and partners on this precise topic and they all said the same thing — low risks, most employers don’t try to enforce because their lawyers know it pretty un-enforceable in court.

      Kudos and good point on non-at will employee and hourly employee. I’ll edit and re-state the article assumes you’re none of the above — which is like 99% of tech workers.


    2. Hi Isaac,
      I like your article and would like to connect privately for some advises.

      If ok to you please send me a “hello” email on [email protected]

      Best Regards,
      Muhammad Ansari

    3. Isaac’s article never mentions anything about “being on the clock” or having set working hours. And, that seems to be the only scenario you’re speaking to. So, I think it’s you who is wrong.

      Often, remote jobs are production-based and goal-oriented — of the “just get your work done and meet your goals” variety,\ — which means no set hours (aside from things like meetings, which are always scheduled in advance). Remote employers commonly tell new employees things like, “We are flexible in terms of scheduling. We don’t have set hours. This isn’t a 9 – 5. Just get your job done.”

      So, based on what you’re saying here about hours (and I still don’t understand why you chose to harp on that point when this article doesn’t even mention that), if you have two remote jobs, both are production-based and goal-oriented, and neither has set hours, having two full-time remote jobs is actually 100% legal.

    4. If employment is considered “at will”, salaried, and only subject to a code of conduct / handbook (no official binding employment contract), does the fiduciary duty or duty of loyalty still apply? Is a duty of loyalty even enforceable in court (much like some NDAs or non-competes)?

      In context of fiduciary duty – the handbook definitely covers it but my understanding is that the handbook (at my company, at least) is not legally binding, but is grounds for dismissal.

      I feel like these could only be grounds for a lawsuit if you go beyond company policy and violate (federal, state, local, regulatory) laws & CFR, if employment is at will.

      Appreciate any clarification.

    5. The employment contract probably says “such regulations as may be set out in the Handbook and any updates thereto”.

      Dear Anonymous Overemployee:

      Please be careful.


      1. Employment law is a well developed civil law specialty;
      2. There is clear legislation in most jurisdictions; and
      3. case law, interpretation so legislation is not easily available.

      There is an abundance of case law on issues such as “fiduciary duty” and “non-compete”

      If in doubt, please consult a lawyer. As they say “He or she who acts as his or her own lawyer has an unwise person for a client”.

    6. Yup. This guy is a lawyer. 100%. He is 100% right but also 100% wrong. He is right in theory per standard employment contracts but in practice, especially if you are just a lowly software developer or any IC, most companies wont even bother and they will just lay you off or worst case fire you. Best case, they would be like, keep working till we find a replacement. The demand for developers especially experienced ones is way way higher than supply. Unless you do something stupid like share private info between your companies, the risk is fairly low. You definitely are not doing anything criminal. Just contract violation which would likely result in your dismissal. Dont fear that.

    7. While I do agree with the risk is low NOW, it does not mean it will be low forever. It is possible they come after you once the shortage is over or you quit. No point in getting rid of you now if you meet the metrics they ask and they can get the portion you “stole” back in one lawsuit after anyway. At the very least, if I was the employer, I would just build my case and come after you once the demerits are at its lowest. It’s more cost efficient to wait than to sue you right away.

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