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County denies request to ban employee moonlighting
Nash County Commissioners denied a request last Monday that would prohibit employees from working second jobs while out on leave.

The request came from Sheila Freeman, Human Resources Director for Nash County. Freeman requested that language be added to Nash County’s Family Medical Leave, Worker’s Compensation and Leave Without Pay policies that prohibited employees from working second jobs while out on leave. The amended policy also stated that if the leave was due to family illness, outside employment was also prohibited during normal business hours.

“This proposed amendment is centered around two concerns,” Freeman said. “One, outside work possibly contributes to or prolongs injury or illness of a Nash County employee and we are responsible for that either under our medical insurance or worker’s compensation. And second, the ability to supplement one’s income while out on work reduces the motivation to return to work.”

Freeman said Moore, Scotland and Rowan Counties were adopting similar policies.

Several commissioners expressed concern over prohibiting employees from working second jobs, especially in cases where the second job was crucial to meeting the needs of their family. Commissioner Mary Wells said it depended on the type of job. If it was a secretarial job answering phones, an employee may be able to continue to do that.

“It just depends on what the job is,” Wells said.

Commissioner Robbie Davis said there were a lot of employees with second jobs. He would be in agreement with the policy if something was written where it could be looked at on a case by case basis or at least consider an appeal process.

“As it is written, I just have a real issue with that,” Davis said. “Most people can’t make it on one income.”

In the end, commissioners voted 5-2 to deny the request. Commissioners Fred Belfield and Lou Richardson voted against the request.

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