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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19168
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am currently working at Western Governors University as a

Customer Question

I am currently working at Western Governors University as a faculty member full time. The expectation there is 40 hrs/week of online instruction and I can schedule my hours at my own discretion. I signed a document stating that I would not seek outside employment for a yr however, my financial situation has changed and my husband and I are separated meaning I have to pay for an apartment in NY which is quite expensive. I have been offered a full time position at a local university as a professor. Now full time as a professor is not 40 hrs/week and it is not expected that I be there 40 hrs but it is considered a full time position. My requirements are to be there for the 3 classes I teach which is a total of 9 hrs/week as well as 3 office hours/week and 1 meeting every other week for 3 hrs. Anything else I may do on my own time. I wanted to be transparent so I asked my boss at WGU if he thinks this would be ok... he said he could not authorize me to do this. College level teaching does not pay well so I need both to pay my bills. If I went part time at the local college I would teach 2 classes and make 9000/semester but teaching 1 more class plus office hours and meetings bring my salary up to 62,000/yr for that position. Mt fear is that I accept and get fired from WGu and I do not want that because they treat me very well. I also do not want to be dishonest. Is there anything I can do to be able to take both. We have no union at WGU.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

Unfortunately no, there is nothing you can do to take both jobs and legally be protected from termination. Even if you had a union, it would make no difference. You signed a contract stating that you would not seek other employment during your first year. That is a legally permissible contract and one that a court would uphold as a reasonable basis for termination if the university decided to terminate you for breach of contract.

I certainly understand the financial hardships of teaching (I've done so myself) and while these are factual arguments that might sometimes persuade people to change their minds about things (like your college administration), they are not legal arguments with any power.

I wish I could tell you differently here, but courts have long upheld that an employer has no legal obligation to accept outside employment.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.