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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6739
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have been heavily recruited to work in technical sales by

Customer Question

I have been heavily recruited to work in technical sales by two companies. I have already accepted one of these jobs and considering taking the second in addition to the first job.

Both jobs are heavily commission based but both have a base salary. One of the base salaries is erased if my commission exceeds the base, which is almost guaranteed as it is very low. So essentially no base for one job. Not sure if any of that matters.

The reason for taking both jobs. First is I need the money. They are in the same territory so I could do both jobs at the same time. The products do not compete with each other, but the customer groups are identical.

I feel that having both jobs would help with both jobs by introducing me to more people. People interested in product A may also be interested in product B and vise-a-versa.

Question: Is it legal to work two jobs at once?

I am the only representative in the state for both companies so I will never be caught. I do not want to tell either company as I know they would say no.

Questions: Two car allowances? Two cell phone allowances? 2 gas allowances? 2 computers? 2 iPads? Can I take all of this legally. I do not want all of it but I do not want to get anyone suspicious.

Taxes! If I claim zero allowances for both companies will this be alright. I expect to make $80k for each job for a total of $160k. Will the companies find out through my taxes?

More info:
I am hired "at will" for both companies.
"Classification: Exempt Hours: Core hours are Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00; or as mutually agreed"
I am worried that I will be working both jobs simultaneously! But as I stated earlier, the customer groups are the same so talking with a customer really is working for both companies as I will be pushing both products.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

There is nothing illegal per se about working two jobs and obscuring your dual employment from each employer.

However, a concern arises where you are agreeing to work specific "core hours" for each employer and those core hours conflict. This would be in contrast to a sales position which had no stated hourly requirement and allowed you to work purely at your own leisure. In the latter scenario, there would be no conflict because neither employer has an expectation that you will allocate specific hours of your day to the advancement of their company's interests.

In the former scenario, however, where you are agreeing to "work" set hours, an issue arises with regard to misrepresentation. Specifically, if you are agreeing to work "core hours" of 8:00-5:00 , that creates an implied assumption that you will devote 100% of that time to the employer paying you for those core hours. If you have two employers paying you for the same "core hours," this creates an inherent conflict and, at least arguably, an intentional misrepresentation to each employer that you are devoting your fullest efforts to the sale of their product.

Let me put it another way:

It's not illegal to have to jobs and to not tell either employer about the other. However, where an employer is paying you with the implied or express assumption that you will devote SPECIFIC hours to the advancement of their business, and those hours conflict with the specific hours you are promising to devote to another business, then each employer is arguably not obtaining the full benefit of their agreement with you. That potentially would open you up to a lawsuit for breach of contract, misrepresentation.

Would such a lawsuit be successful in court? It's hard to say. You could argue that the "core hours" were merely suggestive of your schedule, not binding, and that you put in additional time that gave you employer their "benefit of the bargain." Assuming you generate sales at each position, you could also argue that no actual damages have been sustained because you fulfilled the duties of each position and met the expectations of each employer.

In short, the sort of arrangement you describe would not be without legal risk. However, you would have arguments in defense of any legal action, and it seems unlikely that either employer would ever come to discover your dual employment.

To qualify everything above, I am not your attorney, and so I cannot tell you what to do. I am simply providing information with regard to the hypothetical situation you have posed. The arrangement you are considering involves some legal risk, though perhaps that risk is minimal. How you choose to proceed is up to you.

With regard to the allowances, it would not be illegal to claim both to the extent that expenses are actually attributable to the discharge of your duties for each position. What I mean by that is, you likely need a phone to close sales for each business. Having a phone for each job, and using each phone to close sales, would entitle you to reimbursement for the cost of that phone pursuant to the provision governing allowances in your contract. Mileage reimbursements are a bit more tricky, especially if you are selling for both companies at the same destination. you would need to split mileage between both companies--you cannot double dip.

Neither company will have access to your tax filings and so they will not see how you are declaring the reimbursements or your wages for each sales job.

I hope that you find my assessment helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions. Have a great evening.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6739
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the fast and clear response. It is exactly what I thought and I will have a big decision to make. Core hours 8-5 or as mutually agreed is tricky. I do not feel like I will get caught so I am not too worried but I do not want to get sued for past wages.


 


Thank you and any other information you can provide would be great, but I am satisfied with this very simple answer and will give you highest ratings. $40 down the drain, but worth the peace of mind.


Thanks again.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
John,

I am very glad that you found my response helpful in deciding what to do. I cannot think of anything further to add off hand, but if you have any further questions I am more than happy to address them for you. Just let me know.

Have a great evening.

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