Archive for Sunday, September 22, 1991

MOONLIGHTING OK WITH LOCAL COMPANIES

September 22, 1991

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Lawrence companies, acknowledging that second and third jobs are often necessary for families to make ends meet in the 1990s, are helping to bring moonlighting out of the dark.

Not one local company contacted in a random survey last week said it did not allow employees to moonlight. In fact, all of the companies said they have no policy at all as long as their employees' other jobs don't interfere with their main job.

Margaret Ostronic, personnel representative at E&E; Specialties Inc., a local company that designs and manufactures displays, said, "We know people have second jobs" but that's not a problem as long as the employees still perform up to par.

Employees at E&E; Specialties aren't required to tell their supervisor about other jobs, Ostronic said.

That's the same way Sallie Mae handles moonlighting. Elaine Nelson, assistant vice president of the student loan processing center, said it's OK for employees to work second jobs as long as they don't present a conflict of interest. For example, a Sallie Mae employee would not be allowed to work for one of the company's vendors, Nelson said.

BARRING a conflict of interest, Sallie Mae employees are free to explore other jobs.

"We recognize that sometimes employees need a second job," Nelson said.

Moonlighting hasn't been a problem at Hallmark Cards Inc., said Bill Glover, human resources manager. Again, employees there are allowed to take second jobs as long as they can handle the extra workload.

Glover said employees aren't required to tell their bosses they moonlight but that "they usually volunteer that information."

If an employee's performance was not stellar if he or she was falling asleep on the job, for example the employee and his or her supervisor would sit down and talk about the problem. Glover said.

Glover said supervisors try not to put employees on the spot about second jobs when there's a problem.

"We won't necessarily say, `Hey, it's your other job,'" he said.

Although Glover said he didn't have a good handle on how many employees have second jobs, he figured more people moonlight these days, especially parents raising children by themselves.

TRENT WAGNER, employment coordinator at Packer Plastics Inc., said as long as employees continue to show up for work, it's acceptable for them to enhance their income through a second job.

"There's no problem with that here," he said.

Asked about what kind of situation would make Packer Plastics rethink its policy, Wagner said it would be a problem if employees were falling asleep or showing up late for work.

"Falling asleep, that's definitely a safety problem," Wagner said.

Ray Hummert, city clerk, said city employees may moonlight as long as their performance doesn't suffer as a result.

"If a person's coming to work and they're not able to perform adequately, obviously that's a potential problem," Hummert said.

Another problem Hummert mentioned would be if an employee took on a second job that involved the city.

"AT TIMES, contractors have hired our employees," he said, adding that it would be a conflict of interest if a city employee was hired by a contractor to work on a city project.

Although it's not required, city employees, like Hallmark workers, often tell their supervisor that they have a second job, Hummert said. No formal record is kept about employees' others jobs, he said.

"Most of the approval is done verbally," Hummert said.

Hummert said he couldn't recall a case in which an employee's poor job performance was due to a second job.

"I don't think we've ever been able to attribute that to another job," he said. "We try not to presuppose that that's why it's happening. We just try to identify the inappriopriate behavior."

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