Almost 5% of U.S. workers held more than one job in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is not unusual for school employees to have a second job, particularly during the summer. For instance, the recently retired superintendent of the Ticonderoga Central School District, John McDonald Jr., has spent every summer working as a tour boat captain for the Lake George Steamship Company.
“That’s my 30th year there,” he recently told the Press-Republican newspaper. “It’s a fun job.”
But some outside employment by school employees can result in allegations of a conflict of interest or other improprieties. For instance, amid attendance record discrepancies involving a school employee who allegedly had an employment relationship with a school vendor, a school district recently asked a county district attorney and the state comptroller to investigate.
This article examines relevant laws that affect school employees who “moonlight.”
Conflict of interest laws
Frequently, school attorneys are asked about a situation in which an employee has secondary employment and whether any conflict of interest exists which would prohibit such employment. By statute, New York only finds a prohibited conflict of interest when a municipal officer or employee has a contract with the municipality. Even in some of these cases, the contract between the employee and the district may not be prohibited if any of the exceptions of General Municipal Law section 802 apply.