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Employer Telling Me What I Can't Do!?!

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 15th, 2019 4:26 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 28, 2012
180 posts
38 upvotes

Employer Telling Me What I Can't Do!?!

A little bit frustrated to find out that my new employment contract states that I can't carry on any business activity, other employment or consulting outside of my job. This is a unionized job and it is a great opportunity but I'm surprised that they're allowed to do this. What if I have trouble making ends meet for X, Y, Z reason and decide to work part-time on my weekends. Not sure how that's related to my job....

Anyone know if it can be enforced or is it actually just an empty clause that if they tried to enforce, I would be able to fight back??
22 replies
Newbie
Jan 15, 2019
62 posts
40 upvotes
If it's in the contract you signed, then yes, they can uphold that policy.
Member
Jun 2, 2012
323 posts
303 upvotes
NORTH YORK
Does it allow you to work with their permission?
Deal Fanatic
Sep 23, 2007
5061 posts
1158 upvotes
First lets talk intention. This clause is not that uncommon. The concept is:
1) you focus on your main job. A side job distracts and usually makes you perform worse in the main job. I know from experience.
2) Working another job may create a conflict of interest if the other company is a competitor or otherwise have a conflict of interest with your existing company
3) Confidentiality. Not every company appreciates you leaking company info and processes, WHILE employed.
4) As a consultant you might be a risk in poaching existing customers.

I would also add that if you don't like the compensation, then why accept the job offer? Then go find something more suitable. I don't think it is morally acceptable that you sign a contract in good conscience if you have an issue with some clauses in it.

With all this said, let's talk enforcement. Even if you work another job or have a consultant gig, companies are hard pressed to catch you. Detection would not be for years probably if you are cautious. Obviously you shouldn't be volunteering any hints that you have something on the side. Then...even if discovered, the company has little recourse. To take this to court would likely be a hassle and not worth the $$$, unless you somehow managed to cause serious damage. Worst case is you are simply terminated for breach of contract, and it seems quite fair to me.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2013
1833 posts
1048 upvotes
Durham
Why did you not read this before signing? Since you are reading it now, take a look if it has clauses about working for a competitor within 2 years of leaving the organization.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12223 posts
8631 upvotes
Edmonton
First off, I'm not a lawyer, and I've never played one on TV.

Having said that, I'd be surprised if such a general clause could/would be enforced if it came down to a court case, and you weren't working in your employer's market/business, or hitting up your business contacts for your other work. So if you worked in an engineering company as an engineer, and you decide to take on side work fixing phones in your basement, I don't think it would be enforced. If, however, you were running a side business as an engineer providing structural drawings for people doing renovations, and it was in competition with your employer, then I could see you potentially being in conflict. I could also see trouble if you're bugging your coworkers with your latest MLM, etc.

Basically, keep your personal life separate from your work life, and be respectful of your employer's situation.

C
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2014
3452 posts
6424 upvotes
Laval
aspen300 wrote: This is a unionized job
Talk with your union rep since they should help you in this situation, since they most likely agree to these term in there union contract with the employer
Penalty Box
Jul 21, 2019
346 posts
652 upvotes
Sounds like you are making good money, why would you need a second job anyway?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2007
1514 posts
1781 upvotes
BC
What level of the organization are you working at and are you dealing with confidential or sensitive information/intellectual property? Such language is common for those that are but only if they are “reasonable” and limited to what is reasonably necessary for the protection of the business.

A blanket restriction for all employees at all levels is not enforceable in court. I don't know what your employment contract specifically says but I would talk to a union rep for clarification if you're unsure.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35620 posts
21677 upvotes
Center of Universe
At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you breach the contract, as they will terminate you with a different reason.
Just do what you have to do.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 8, 2007
5112 posts
1303 upvotes
General clause. Most require that you get approval in advance, which is really just so they are made aware. They may squawk if your intent is to set up a separate competing side business or if with a competitor, but no one cares if you’re an Uber driver or have a home Reno side business.
Hydropwnics wrote:"TodayHello is a certified hustler and original gangster."
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
4492 posts
3321 upvotes
The fact that someone who is not eligible to work in Canada, LIED about it in the application, and then sued the company once they found out a) he lied b) he is not eligible to work in Canada and rescinded the offer and WON ($120K in DAMAGES), I say you have nothing to worry about. :rolleyes:

I know this is not on topic perse, but my point is contracts and laws are becoming rather meaningless when people can find silly loopholes that undermines them...is common sense is no more.

https://business.financialpost.com/opin ... -even-hire
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 23, 2009
5062 posts
2249 upvotes
I would guess that it's mostly to stop you from poaching from the company and to also ensure that you work your best hours for the company.

I am pretty sure that there are studies indicating that productivity declines sharply beyond a certain amount of hours worked per week.

The numbers worked doesn't reset on Monday, so ultimately your overall productivity (including the hours worked for the unionized workplace) will suffer.

Of course, you probably can get away with it for some time, but ultimately it will impact your output. Unless of course you are a robot and can operate at peak performance at all times.
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1367 upvotes
Bay Area
hierophant wrote: The fact that someone who is not eligible to work in Canada, LIED about it in the application, and then sued the company once they found out a) he lied b) he is not eligible to work in Canada and rescinded the offer and WON ($120K in DAMAGES), I say you have nothing to worry about. :rolleyes:

I know this is not on topic perse, but my point is contracts and laws are becoming rather meaningless when people can find silly loopholes that undermines them...is common sense is no more.

https://business.financialpost.com/opin ... -even-hire
Leftist pandering FTW. :rolleyes:
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
4492 posts
3321 upvotes
arkane wrote: Leftist pandering FTW. :rolleyes:
Does this really need to be made political? So sick of the right-left wing straw man arguments.
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1367 upvotes
Bay Area
hierophant wrote: Does this really need to be made political? So sick of the right-left wing straw man arguments.
OK

Virtue signalling gone mad FTW
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 29, 2008
3552 posts
714 upvotes
hierophant wrote: The fact that someone who is not eligible to work in Canada, LIED about it in the application, and then sued the company once they found out a) he lied b) he is not eligible to work in Canada and rescinded the offer and WON ($120K in DAMAGES), I say you have nothing to worry about. :rolleyes:

I know this is not on topic perse, but my point is contracts and laws are becoming rather meaningless when people can find silly loopholes that undermines them...is common sense is no more.

https://business.financialpost.com/opin ... -even-hire
He was eligible to work in Canada.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
4492 posts
3321 upvotes
random pattern wrote: He was eligible to work in Canada.
How so...source?

From my understanding ( and I could be totally wrong) - but you need a work permit to work in Canada if you're not a citizen or PR (he isn't either) nor did he have a work permit so how is he eligible? Yes, the company could have hired him, which would have given him a work permit but why cannot a company choose to give preference to a Canadian citizen or PR first...isn't that better for Canada and Canadians overall? Not sure how that's discrimination - seems more like common sense to me.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 29, 2008
3552 posts
714 upvotes
hierophant wrote: How so...source?

From my understanding ( and I could be totally wrong) - but you need a work permit to work in Canada if you're not a citizen or PR (he isn't either) nor did he have a work permit so how is he eligible? Yes, the company could have hired him, which would have given him a work permit but why cannot a company choose to give preference to a Canadian citizen or PR first...isn't that better for Canada and Canadians overall? Not sure how that's discrimination - seems more like common sense to me.
He had a post-grad work permit. What he lied about was his eligibility to work in Canada on a permanent basis. I think the law should be more nuanced, but it’s not and Imperial Oil asked a discriminatory question when they asked if he was eligible to work in Canada on a permanent basis - that gets to discrimination on the basis of citizenship, something which isn’t permitted. They should/could have simply asked, “are you eligible to work in Canada?”
Member
Mar 20, 2006
455 posts
198 upvotes
A lot of people do side gigs and I have never seen anyone getting in trouble because of that. If you are doing something that causes conflict of interest then you should check it out with the HR and bosses. If you don’t want them know you could try finding a coworker who is already doing it and clarify your concerns.

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