Can an employer tell you that you can’t have a second part-time job?

My pay was recently cut by quite a bit. They demoted me and moved me to another location. Now it takes three to four times the gas. I have to make up the cut in pay, so I went and got a part time job. Now they tell me it is not allowed. Can they do that legally?

Asked on October 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This action may well have been legal. The fact is that in an "at will" work relationship an employer has great discretion in setting the terms of employment. It can hire/fire, promote/demote, increase/decrease salary/hours, and impose just about whatever other conditions that is sees fit. This would include prohibiting an employee from taking outside employment. For the employee's part, they part can either abide by this prohibition or quit.

If you want to keep your job, you may want to follow yourr employer's mandate. otherwise you can be fired for this, any other reason, or no reason at all. Of course this all presumes that you don;t have an employment contact or union agreement that does not allow this action, this restriction is against existing company policy, or this treatment is due to some form of actionable discrimination.

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