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ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17097
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I need to talk to someone in reference to a conflict of

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I need to talk to someone in reference to a conflict of interest
JA: Has any conflict of interest been documented or proven?
Customer: No
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: full time employer but working somewhere else part time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have a copy of ethic policy, was given an ultimatum from full time employer, however, full time employer went to part time employment to ask employment status of the employer can they do that?

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. So to be clear, you're wondering if your full time employer can legally go to your part time employer to inquire about your employment? And what would be the conflict of interest that you are concerned about?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
However the policy states that I am entitled to work part time with a competitor as long as it's not the same position.

And can you tell me what state this is in?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.

And does the policy state that they won't contact other employers, etc...? Are you asking about whether or not you have a conflict of interest, or if it's a conflict of interest for the employer to do this?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Do I have a conflict of interest

Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

The first thing that you need to know is that Virginia is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion. And they'd could still legally seek information from other employers. Creepy, weird, unethical, maybe, but it'd still be legal.

As far as you having a conflict of interest, A conflict of interest arises in the workplace when an employee has competing interests or loyalties that either are or potentially can be, at odds with each other. ... A conflict of interest causes an employee to experience a struggle between diverging interests, points of view, or allegiances. So if the part time employer competes with the full time one, and you are put in a position where you have to do something that necessarily harms one, to the benefit of the other, then that would be a conflict of interest. So if you're taking a client away from one to go to the other employer, even if you honestly feel that it's better for the client, that'd be a conflict of interest. Does that make sense? It's where you have divided loyalties essentially. But the point is that the employer can call the other employer to ask about that, as there's no law restricting either the inquiry by the full time employer or a disclosure by the part time employer.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Customer: replied 28 days ago.
If the full time employer ethic policy on outside employment states factors for consideration include similarities of position and job responsibilities (ex: I'm a full time overnight stocker, however I'm a part time cashier at other company), similar associate may not work for a supplier if they have influence over the supplier's product or business with the full time employer. It also states that I may operate and work a side business as long as it does not create conflict of interest with their work at full time employment. This means the side business cannot interfere with my responsibilities as a full time employee or similar in nature to my role there, benefits from the use or assets, supply products to the full time employer or receive negatively on the employer. So it the policy contradicting itself?

I don't think that the policy is contradicting itself. One is saying you can work for someone else, and another is talking about you starting a business (think an extra cashflow business you run out of your home).

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