Austin City workers will have new rules about disclosing 'secondary jobs' this Spring

Starting March 1, city workers here Austin will be subject to a new and improved "secondary employment" policy.  

Otherwise known as a "moonlighting" policy obviously the city prefers the first title.

Employees will have to notify their supervisors about any secondary jobs they might have.

"You know a lot of large cities do this, a lot of large employers do it.  At least some jobs at the State of Texas for example, you're required as part of your employment to fill out a form early on," said District 9 City Council Member Kathie Tovo.  

Tovo, who also sits on the Audit and Finance Committee, says city staff will start the training soon.

"It allows for Human Resources personnel to evaluate whether or not particular kinds of employment are in conflict with a person's responsibilities for the City of Austin," Tovo said.

Austin's Human Resources Director Joya Hayes tells Fox 7 by phone, there are already rules on the books prohibiting city employees from having outside jobs that conflict or interfere with their city duties...this policy creates a city-wide procedure for reporting second jobs to their superiors.  

Hayes says an employee will submit a form to their department's HR team and the department will evaluate whether it conflicts.  To maintain the employee's privacy, Hayes says a worker's supervisor will know they have a second job they just won't know what it is.

On a separate but similar note, a city Public Works employee recently resigned after being investigated by the City Auditor.  The auditor concluded that employee was using his city computer and e-mail account to do things related to an outside job as owner-operator of 2 food trucks.

Hayes says the new "secondary employment" procedure is not a result of that incident (this has been in the works for years) but she says it will provide some clarity to employees about using city resources for outside work.  Once you sign off on the training you acknowledge that you understand before you're held accountable for it.

Tovo points out everything city employees use from phones, to their's a city resource.

"It's supposed to be used in the public's interest, for city business not for personal business.  It's very important to continue to monitor that and to make sure that all employees understand what that means and abide by that policy," Tovo said.