Can You Work Another Job While on Leave of Absence?
Taking a leave of absence from work for any reason can present difficult challenges. This can especially be true if you don’t have the money to pay for bills and living expenses while you’re away. Luckily, depending on the type of leave and your workplace, you might be able to take on a second job and still be eligible for all the benefits of a leave of absence, including pay.
Types of Leave of Absence
The first step to figure out if you can work a second job while on leave of absence is to understand the different types available:
- Vacation Leave: This is a leave of absence typically granted by an employer that allows the employee a preset amount of paid time off they can take during the year. This time can be used to take a break from work.
- Sick Leave: This leave is for employees who become ill or injured and need to stay home from work. Depending on the employment agreement, some employers might grant employees a certain amount of paid sick leave each year.
- Family Leave: A designated amount of time allowed of leave for those who need to take care of family matters, such as a medical condition or the birth of a child.
- Unpaid Leave: This type of leave is generally allowed for any reason, but is unpaid.
- Military Leave: This type of leave is available to those currently serving in the military and is coordinated with the US military and the employee’s employer.
Working a Second Job While on Leave
The first thing to determine is if the type of leave you’re taking is paid or unpaid. Unpaid leaves, of course, don’t prevent you from taking a second job. You’ll just need to make sure you don’t exceed the allotted amount of unpaid leave.
If you’ve taken a paid leave of absence, you’ll generally need to follow your employer’s guidelines for taking a second job. Employers may place restrictions on the types of jobs you can work, the amount of hours you can work, and the pay rate. Many employers could completely ban you from taking a second job while on leave, so it’s important to check those guidelines first.
If you’re still uncertain, you can look into the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that regulates time off and holidays, unpaid leave, and other labor laws. However, the FLSA isn’t necessarily binding, since some states and employers also have their own laws and agreements.
Before deciding to take on a second job while on leave of absence, be sure to read your company or organization’s policy on taking a leave and taking a second job. That way, you’ll be certain of your rights and the expectations set for you during your leave.
If you’re still unsure of how the policies might affect you, it’s best to speak with a supervisor or employee representative to discuss your specific situation.