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The Moonlighter Ronak Shah Curtin University

The Moonlighter The Moonlighter

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Ethical Dilemma They are always limitations and boundaries under which all places like organization, home, institution, authorities and other places try follow and maintain. The purpose of boundaries is to maintain a balance in doing the right thing and not, that is what brings about Ethics. In this case we take a look at ethics in the business scenario. They are multiple code of business ethics which has been prevailed in the society, In this case study we look at the ethical issue of “Moonlighting”. Zagante Technology boss Melanie walks into her office on a Sunday night and finds one of its lead programmer Jeremy working on his own personal projects (Bronwyn Fryer 2002). The Ethical dilemma

In this twenty first century where the economic condition is in the critical state, increasing unemployment, shrinking work hours and declining benefits and other issues as well. Moonlighting is the more than one job by an individual. Putting the employees into the condition to work more than one job not only the reason mentioned above but also there are several reasons like experiencing different jobs, meeting with their increasing expenses, paying off debts and couple of reasons. In simple words the act of working more than one job or multiple jobs at the same time by the individuals is called moonlighting1. The person who does moonlighting entitled to be a “Moonlighter”. Moonlighter is now become an ethical dilemma. Most of the organization hired their employees on full working hours. But some organization hired their employees for part time. In this century people are facing more concerns regarding their finance, and for the fulfilment

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Ziss, Jonathan S.”When Moonlighting Becomes Your Problem”, Pennsylvania Cpa Journal; Spring2012, Vol. 83 Issue 1, (2012), P1-2, 2.

The Moonlighter of their issues people start working more than one job. For looking at this scenario there are two perspective one from the employee and other from employer or organization.

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The Moonlighting would be a challenge not only for employers but also for the employees. From employer’s perspective employees expectation shows up may be as “prepared, present and prompt”. On the other hand if employees are managing multiple jobs, for working more than one job this issue like poor attentiveness, lack of sleeping, transportation glitches and fatigue can be the issues. Because of multiple jobs their performance may found mediocre for their work, whereas the employee who works with full concentration on a single job. Since employer has a right to terminate those employees or moonlighter due to moonlighting their performance, attentiveness and dependability may found in the declining manner. There are commonly two practices found in the organization first those employees who welcome moonlighting and other who against the moonlighting both have their own reasons as the employer who is offering moonlighter to work, focusing their project which are normally unusual and short-term and employer in such circumstances saving their benefits and other considerations as compare to the full time employer the moonlighter are the cheaper and flexible too. On the other hand the employers who are strictly avoid the moonlighting because they want their employees to put all their concentration to their assigned work which is full time or primary job. These kinds of employers have maintained the policies against moonlighting. Moonlighting is now become an ethical dilemma as there are more adverse effects and other than that fewer benefits, which could be short term. The same situation in this case study highlighted about the issue of moonlighting2. Similarly in the case study an employee is working with more than one job, and employer or the organization has no policy which supports the work

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Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Kimmel, & Jean, “Moonlighting Over the Business Cycle”, Economic Inquiry, October 2009, V. 47, Iss. 4, (2009), Pp. 754-65

The Moonlighter of moonlighter. In the case study there are certain other ethical dilemmas as well for instance employee for the primary job working their other or secondary job work at the place of their job which ethically itself dilemma and misusing the infrastructure of primary job place or employer instead of working their assigned task. Whereas the main ethical dilemma in the case study is moonlighting not only highlighted the issue of moonlighting but also suggested the policies.

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Contrast and Compare the Utilitarian, Libertarian, Deontological and Virtue Ethics Perspectives on the Dilemma Ethics is the topic which remains in social discussion as well as in professional. Moonlighting may beneficial for the employees but most of the time employees overlooked the ethical issues regarding their jobs which is not only unethical but some nonprofessional too. Whereas ethics are concerns there are multiple ethics like Libertarian, Utilitarian, virtue and deontological ethics. Comparing and contrasting these ethics as these ethics are appropriate and can be suitable, depending upon the situations which ethics may fits into such circumstances. Taking about these ethics we have utilitarian ethics focuses on the consequences against the action which can be taken place, focus oriented on the good for majority of the people instead of approaching the bad initiatives without focusing of the majority of people, as in this ethic the lesser number of bad consequences also minimizing the results, which can be negative for the people. Libertarian ethics promotes the right of human and their work also perusing that other should not hold the right to go against with it, believing that to respect other rights without interference into their work. In working place, employee hired as per their own will, voluntarily signing the agreement/contract under such obligation which they need to fulfill, without going against them, in contrast with the utilitarian ethics here focus is more on the rights, other than their consequences.

The Moonlighter Deontological ethics focuses on the rules or works under certain guidelines which need to be followed because of this ethics we can work more ethically as per the parameter settled down

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initially. No is allowed to disobey such ethical or moral action. It regulates as a rules, because rules binds the people to act accordingly. The most different ethic is the virtue ethics, this ethics refers to the outcome of the act by driving agent of their moral behavior, it prefers that persons own moral behavior about the happening. Instead of focusing the consequences and society and also it’s not relying on some rules as deontological ethics does. Being professional the reputation of the employee must not be sustain at risk. Well reputation means more responsibilities and for making the image for lone term the employee should consider their act and responsibilities and act accordingly. By moonlighting employees may increase their income in short run but contrary in long run they are losing it, this is the fact that employees are working in more risky condition as they normally have full time jobs but additionally working on side projects, being moonlighter as example is mentioned in the case study. The reason for moonlighting is genuine now a day; there are multiple reasons for moonlighting. Depending on the situation of the businesses or the situation where their needs meet sometime employees intentionally working as moonlighter and sometime employment requires pushing down the full-time or permanent employees. Moonlighters are working related and unrelated jobs too which make them tired etc, and posing some ethical issues. For instance if an employer signed/hired an employees with agreement under confidentiality of job and employee does the job in the same industry under the different employers, which may be the rival of that primary employer. Another example can be quoted if a lady is working the permanent job in the day timing as a teacher and in the night she is working as a striper. These are the

The Moonlighter examples may fits to understand the perspectives of employee and employers as well3. Taking the first example as an employer does not allow the employee to work for other since he has already hired and giving him all the consideration against work/job. On the other hand the same person working undercover for the other employer and serving his skills and experience with in short period of short run income without getting all the consideration which primary employee already giving him, ultimately affecting his/her performance from the employer’s perspective contrary employee may enjoying the considerations from both the sides. But in the short run only for long term it’s indirectly affecting the future of the employees of the same industry in a way increasing more competition and unemployment and other adverse effects4. In a broader perspective polices can be make for the betterment for the employees and employer and most important for the industry by giving the appropriate benefits and consideration to the employees so that they cannot go for moonlighting. It is very difficult but not impossible to maintain the balance between these approaches. Make use of proprietary skills and knowledge could cause legal and ethical problems. The same in the case study discussed as most of the people performing their side work other than primary job at place of primary job, which is not actually appropriate, morally and professionally must not be considered as ethical or legal act. Similarly as Jeremy Hicks did in the office as utilizing the property of primary job for other project assigned by outside the organization when the things could not be done in the day light he utilized the office in the night if Sunday

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surprisingly to see his boss in the office and deliberately lied to her as he wanted to have some rest and peace by getting away from baby. Melanie thought that he is very dedicated towards his work
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Parham, Janis N, Gordon & Stephen P, “Moonlighting: A Harsh Reality For Many Teachers”, Phi Delta Kappan, Feb2011, Vol. 92 Issue 5, (2011) P. 47-51
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Biglaiser, Gary; Ma, Ching-To, & Albert, “Moonlighting: Public Service And Private Practice”, Rand Journal Of Economics, Winter 2007, V. 38, Iss. (2007) 4, Pp. 1113-33

The Moonlighter but facts are different he is just making other work to meet the deadlines instead of focusing his primary job and working in the bad condition even not sleeping the nights and working in the office at Sunday night imagine. Although he was not working for the same industry but the moonlighting is affecting his primary job responsibilities for long-term basis he must not be

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performed as he used to perform. As an employee hired for the job and assigned to perform his job descriptions by all means without diverting hi/her concentration or activities which may reduce his performance, he must has to do the assigned task rather than adopting other techniques to get advantages from the job illegally or unethically.

Ethical Perspective Identification, Explanation and Justification Since it has been declared that Jeremy is moonlighting, but this declaration is not spreading in the organization yet, Melanie keep supporting as much she can focusing both Jeremy and Zagante’s concerns, since she has decided initially to research on moonlighting and found some issues as well and their consequences. As she found the Jeremy is working in the organization by utilizing their technology and other assets of their firm for moonlighting, with her skills and dedication with work in the right direction towards firm and their projects, when she found that Jeremy is moonlighting she initially researched and ask her seniors about the policy, when she came to know that there is a policy in Zagante which is against the moonlighting5. She did a favour to him and did not recommend for the promotion but also do not spread this news in the firm for securing the Jeremy as he was creative and well performer. After this entire situation she found the solution for him in the form of low interest loan, for supporting him financially and approaching him to avoid the violation of policy of their firm. Jeremy was not the only employee for them she

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Fryer, Bronwyn, ,“The Moonlighter” Harvard Business Review; Nov2002, Vol. 80 Issue 11, (2002) P33-41, 10p,

The Moonlighter would taking the decision very rationally at her best. She was almost brought the solution for him to avoid moonlighting and helping with the best possible ways, but Jeremy reluctant to work as a moonlighter and not concerning about the firm’s policy and other workers. He thought that he is

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working and has a right to work as moonlighter, which was wrong approach once he was violation the company’s policy and on the other ways which unethical and illegal as per the policy6. In this case study as there was already the policy presented which is against the moonlighting, since deontological ethical approach would be the best for this case as already there some rules and regulation introduced under which every employee lies. Nobody is allowed to go unethical; he/she should fulfil the requirement as per the code of ethics7. The same deontological ethics would be continued with some strong action or more check and balance so that no other can even think or able to perform, by making some restriction upon the system and screen of them must be filtering through the help of softwares. Amendment can be done for issuance of financial support so that these situations should not be arising in future. And make such relationship of job satisfaction by all means and probe their employees to maintain their reputation as best they are must not considered unethical.

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Kusterbeck. S, “Moonlighting Residents May Risk Errors, Lawsuits”, Ed Legal Letter , 2007

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Stinson Jr., John F, “Moonlighting: A Key to Differences In Measuring Employment Growth”, Monthly Labour Review; 2007, Vol. 110 Issue 2, (2007), P30, 2p

The Moonlighter End Notes

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1. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Kimmel, & Jean, “Moonlighting Over the Business Cycle”, Economic Inquiry, October 2009, V. 47, Iss. 4, (2009), Pp. 754-65 2. Biglaiser, Gary; Ma, Ching-To, & Albert, “Moonlighting: Public Service and Private Practice”, Rand Journal of Economics, Winter 2007, V. 38, Iss. (2007) 4, Pp. 1113-33 3. Fryer, Bronwyn, ,“The Moonlighter” Harvard Business Review; Nov2002, Vol. 80 Issue 11, (2002) P33-41, 10p, 4. Kusterbeck. S, “Moonlighting Residents May Risk Errors, Lawsuits”, Ed Legal Letter , 2007 5. Parham, Janis N, Gordon & Stephen P, “Moonlighting: A Harsh Reality for Many Teachers”, Phi Delta Kappan, Feb2011, Vol. 92 Issue 5, (2011) P. 47-51. 6. Stinson Jr., John F,”Moonlighting: A Key To Differences In Measuring Employment Growth”, Monthly Labour Review; 2007, Vol. 110 Issue 2, (2007), P30, 2p 7. Ziss, Jonathan S.”When Moonlighting Becomes Your Problem”, Pennsylvania Cpa Journal; Spring2012, Vol. 83 Issue 1, (2012), P1-2, 2.