Can a City Employee Be Fired for Holding a Second Job ?
In City of Easton v. Am. Fed'n of State, County & Mun. Employees, 562 Pa. 438, 756 A.2d 1107 (2000), our Supreme Court vacated an arbitration award that reinstated an employee who had been terminated by the City for holding a second job with another employer and submitting time sheets to both employers to collect double pay for hours actually worked for only one of the employers.
The parties' collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in that case provided that an employee could be immediately dismissed for willful misconduct or neglect of duty, which resulted in significant adverse consequences to the City.
The Supreme Court noted that, in interpreting the term "willful misconduct" in the CBA, the arbitrator failed to take into account that the City "did not and could not relinquish those powers which were essential to its ability to properly discharge its various functions, including the power to terminate those employees who steal from the City itself, or steal from others while working for the City." 562 Pa. at 447, 756 A.2d at 1111.
The court further noted that the fact that it was unclear which employer had been the victim of the theft did not command a different result, noting that it failed "to see how any government agency could ensure proper discharge of its official functions if it lacked the power to discharge employees" who committed a theft against the government employer or a third party while they were working for the government agency. Id. at 449 n.6, 756 A.2d at 1113 n.6.