Can you fire a worker who is moonlighting for a competitor?

You've gotta be kidding me!" That was Maintenance Foreman Pete Maddock's reaction upon learning that Mechanic First Grade Mel Jarmon was employed part time by one of the company's competitors across town.


You've gotta be kidding me!" That was Maintenance Foreman Pete Maddock's reaction upon learning that Mechanic First Grade Mel Jarmon was employed part time by one of the company's competitors across town.

"Hey, gimmie a break," Jarmon pleaded. "My daughter's starting college in the fall; I need the extra dough."

"I sympathize with your problem. But the company has a strict and clearly stated policy about being employed by competitors. No dice."

"I can't see what difference it could make. I'm only a carpenter. It's not like anyone's gonna tell me company secrets or expose me to confidential stuff."

Maddock shrugged. "I don't make the rules. If you want to moonlight that's up to you. But get yourself a part time job with a noncompeting company."

"But -- "

"No buts. It's either them or us."

Jarmon refused to give in. "I know my rights. We'll see about that."

Question : Can Jarmon be forced to make an either/or choice?

Appleton's verdict: Plant Engineer Fred Appleton supported the foreman's mandate. "There's a good and valid purpose behind that rule," he told Maddock. "It makes no difference what part-time job an employee holds. In the competitor's plant he sees and hears things. He's in a position to ask questions he shouldn't ask, and answer questions he shouldn't answer. You can tell Jarmon the option holds: Either them or us."

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.