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300 Wipro Employees Fired For Moonlighting. Let’s Talk About It.

Updated: Jan 11

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction

  • About Wipro

  • What is Moonlighting?

  • Should You Have A Policy Against Moonlighting?

  • Policies Of Companies On Moonlighting

  • Difference Between Non-Compete Policies And Moonlighting Policies

  • Final Words

  • FAQs


After 300 of Wipro’s employees were fired for moonlighting, a heated debate started all around the world. Many giant tech companies against moonlighting have started reminding their employees to go through the company policies and employment contracts again. In fact, some like Infosys even issued a warning that if an employee accepted a second job during or after working hours, they risked being fired. Let’s take a look at what happened and what is moonlighting all about.


Wipro has taken a strict stance against employees who moonlight by firing 300 employees as a result. According to Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji, the company recently learned that 300 of its employees were moonlighting and working for rival companies. He added that such people had no business working for the company.


A man fired from his job leaving the office with all of his things
For some companies, moonlighting can lead you to get fired

About Wipro

A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, Wipro has over 250,000 dedicated employees serving clients across 66 countries. Wipro Ltd is an India-based world’s one of the leading tech companies. Wipro was named the Top Employer in North America for 2022 by the Top Employers Institute in The United States, Canada, and Mexico.


A leading provider of outsourcing, consulting, and information technology services, Wipro Ltd. develops and integrates solutions. It operates through the Information Technology Services and Information Technology Products segments. Wipro was ranked No. 2 and No. 1 in the IT industry in Newsweek's Green Company Global 500 listing.


What is Moonlighting?

Check out this video that explains what is moonlighting and how it takes up jobs.



Working two jobs concurrently is known as moonlighting. Moonlighting, according to US Legal, typically refers to when a person works a second job outside of regular business hours. As a result, a person could work a regular 9 to 5 job as their main source of income while also working another job at night to supplement their income. Because moonlighters frequently work for less money and are more flexible with their schedules than regular employees, some employers encourage it.


In other words, moonlighting is the practice of working multiple jobs on top of one's regular job. The term "moonlighting" refers to the practice of working for other organizations while putting all of one's attention into one's primary place of employment, typically without the knowledge of the employer.


Some employers might have rules that forbid their staff from taking on additional jobs. These regulations may be the result of problems like conflicts of interest, poor work ethic, or improper use of an employer's resources. A restriction on federal employees, which forbids them from receiving income from more than one federal government source, is an illustration of a prohibition against moonlighting.


Should You Have A Policy Against Moonlighting?


The majority of the time, employers are usually fine if their employee(s) moonlight. This, of course, is a different case. For example, if an employee works for your company for the week and waits tables at a restaurant on the weekends for whatever extra income they can get, you might be fine with it. However, there are some circumstances that don't work and might necessitate the implementation of a moonlighting policy for your company. If you are seriously thinking about an official policy, you can consider these factors -


  • If an employee moonlights, they may be too exhausted to perform their job duties for your company, depending on the hours of their second job and the nature of the work. If you have a problem if employee fatigue or loss of their productivity, you ought to feel the moonlighting policy is in your favor.

  • For hourly workers, in particular, their availability for your organization may be constrained by their second job.

  • Some employees may become preoccupied with tasks related to their other jobs while working for you, which will lower their productivity. You need to ensure that your employees are not distracted.

  • In some circumstances, the employee's second job may present a problem for your business. The Wipro incident that we talked about above is an example of this Conflict of interest due to which many companies are against moonlighting.


Policies Of Companies On Moonlighting

Some businesses have policies regarding moonlighting due to these factors. For instance, a business might outright forbid moonlighting. Employees may be required to notify their manager or the HR division of any outside employment so that the company can decide whether to permit the second job. Some businesses adopt a more constrained strategy, forbidding only outside work that could create a conflict of interest or compete with the business.


Your ability to moonlight, especially for rival companies, may be restricted if you and your employer have a non-compete agreement. Several states, including California, forbid non-compete agreements. However, a court will typically hold you to the terms of a reasonable non-compete, which includes a promise not to launch or work for a rival.


Difference Between Non-Compete Policies And Moonlighting Policies


Non-compete agreements are formal contracts that must be signed by both the employee and the employer. They forbid disclosure of information to the employer's rivals. They are more frequently used for senior company executives/individuals in positions of power who may possess crucial internal knowledge about the company.


A company's collection of employment policies, which is typically contained in the employee handbook, includes moonlighting policies rather than separately signed agreements between the employee and employer.



Final Words


Moonlighting is not illegal, and only a small percentage of companies have policies against it. The main reason companies don't like moonlighting practices is due to the potential for conflicts of interest, among other things. If you are seriously thinking about an official policy, you can consider these factors.


Moonlighting is a stressful situation to be in. For example, if you're an employee in a software company and you moonlight for another company as a web developer, you could face major problems. Your employer might not be happy that you're taking on additional responsibilities, especially at the same time as you're supposed to be working for the company full-time.


On top of that, you could face problems with your employer should you get caught moonlighting. The company might not like the idea of having an employee who is also working for another company and make decisions that could negatively impact the company's reputation. Not only are you potentially giving up your chance at a full-time job, but also you run the risk of getting in trouble with the company that you work for.


So, if you are thinking about moonlighting, talk to your employer and make sure he or she is okay with it before you jump into the deep end of the pool. When you work for a company, you need to know that your employer has a set of rules and policies.


FAQs

Q. What if I get fired for moonlighting?

A knowledgeable employment attorney should be consulted if you feel that your dismissal for working a second job was unjustified. You probably don't have a strong case if your second job puts you in direct competition with your first job or causes a conflict of interest.


But if you were treated differently from other employees or your state has a law against off-duty conduct, you might have a case otherwise. A lawyer can assist you in sorting through the evidence and determining your legal options.


Q. Is moonlighting unethical?

Moonlighting typically doesn't raise ethical issues. In most cases, a person who works multiple jobs can do so successfully without having an adverse effect on either themselves or the company. But in some circumstances, there might be a moral dilemma. An instance of this is when an employee works in a comparable position or role for rival businesses. The employee may feel anxious in this circumstance, and one or both businesses may experience data breaches involving confidential information.


Q. Should I inform my employer if I have a second job?

The policy of your company and the agreement you made with your company will determine exactly how to respond. Most of the time, you are under no obligation to inform anyone at your current job that you're accepting a second job offer. But it is better to talk with the employer or HR just in case your company has a policy against moonlighting.


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