Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, partner at the Federal Practice Group, outlines what federal employees can do to make additional money, and why you should check your agency’s rules before applying for an interim job.
Furloughed employees are looking for sources of income until they receive their back pay. Some workers are selling possessions or holding garage sales, while others are looking for jobs. However, individual agencies have individual regulations, some of which prohibit outside work. Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, partner at the Federal Practice Group, says that government employees should check their agency’s ethics standards before pursuing a side job. “[Some employees] are required to seek prior approval for any kind of outside engagement or employment, but they have not done already done so and they don’t have the approval and they don’t have the ability to get that approval because their agency is closed. Those employees are in a really tough situation because the potential outcome for violating these ethical rules could be discipline up to and including removal. It can also include criminal punishment up to five years, prison, including a fine. It is a very serious risk for those employees who don’t already have prior approval. My advice to them would be If you have to absolutely earn income to make sure that it doesn’t conflict with your official duties. Check your agency supplemental regulations that there are requirements that you engage in outside employment.”