The city of Dayton has started requiring its employees to disclose any other jobs they have to determine if the outside work has a conflict of interest.
Previously, the city’s procedural process allowed city employees to determine on their own — without knowledge or input from city administration — if their outside employment conflicted with city policies or law, a city spokesperson said.
The policy has been revised to require employees to notify their departmental directors of any outside jobs so city administration can determine if a conflict exists, the spokesperson said.
The city has issued letters to employees over the past couple of weeks related to the revised policy, and employees can be banned from outside employment or moonlighting that violates the city charter, said Toni Bankston, city spokeswoman.
“This change protects employees from accepting positions that are legally barred, or which directly impact the city employee’s position or a city contract, or is otherwise inappropriate,” the city said in a statement.
Starting earlier this year, city of Dayton employees, many of whom have side jobs and businesses, have been required to fill out disclosure forms identifying outside employment activities, said David Duwel, a local attorney who learned about the policy change during a dismissal hearing for one of his clients.
According to the city’s old rules, employees had to figure out on their own if their other jobs were appropriate given their public positions, Duwel said.
“Employees no longer have to interpret … I think it made perfect sense to get a handle on this and do it this way,” Duwel said.
Duwel said the city is well within its legal rights to place restrictions on where else their employees work.
“Any employer can require that you identify to them if you are working someplace else,” Duwel said. “Can they prevent (you) from doing that work? … Yeah, sure, it’s not violating anything.”
About one in 16 workers in Ohio hold multiple jobs, and some public employers give their employees the right to moonlight at other places.
But public employees who juggle multiple jobs must be careful to avoid running afoul of the state’s conflict of interest and ethics laws, said Susan Willeke, spokesperson for the Ohio Ethics Commission.
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