What can I do if my employer, a police department, enacted a new policy that says we can no longer work part-time for another police department?

UPDATED: Jul 23, 2015

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What can I do if my employer, a police department, enacted a new policy that says we can no longer work part-time for another police department?

Can they do that? Do they have the right to say what kind of work I do on my own time?

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, that is perfectly legal: unless there is a written employment contract (including a union agreement; see below), employment is employment at will; that means, among other things, that employers are not obligated to employ, or retain in employment, any one; it is completely voluntary on the part of employers to employ anyone. Since it is voluntary to employ someone, an employer may set any terms or conditions it likes on employment; those terms and conditions may include no outside work (or no outside work for certain other employers). The employer may fire anyone who violates its terms or conditions such as, in this case, working for another police department. An employee who does not wish to work under those terms or conditions may seek other employment.

However, if there is a written employment contract, including a union or collective bargaining agreement, the employer may not do anything which violates or contradicts the contract; review any such contracts to see their effect, if any, on this situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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