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Ethics - Seeking Other Employment

I'm looking for a part-time job to earn more money. Is there any problem with this?

No, but there are rules that may apply to you if you are looking for a job, whether it is on a part-time basis or whether you are planning to leave the Government for a full-time position.

First, you need to know whether the person or company that you are considering working for could be affected by projects or other matters in which you participate as a Government employee. If the prospective employer could not be affected by your official participation, then the rules do not apply. If the project could affect your prospective employer, then you may need to stop working on that project, before you begin making any contacts with that person or company.

These rules may apply to you sooner than you think. Depending on the circumstances and the type of prospective employer, even sending out a letter and resume could trigger the requirement under the Standards of Conduct regulation that you avoid working on any project that could affect that prospective employer. Discussing a position with a potential employer may restrict you by criminal statute (18 USC 208) from working on Government matters that affect that employer.

Talk with an ethics official before you look for a job, whether full or part-time. He or she can advise you about the rules on seeking employment. If you are thinking about taking a part-time job, you must obtain permission from your supervisor and concurrence of your ethics official beforehand.

Looking for a Job

  • A company that is regulated by Todd's agency has asked him if he would like to talk about possible employment. Unless he responds by rejecting the invitation, Todd is seeking employment with that company and cannot work on Government matters that would affect it.
  • Bernie has told a private company that he needs some more time to think about the company's job offer. As long as the offer is pending, Bernie cannot work on Government matters that will affect that company.
  • Diane has written to the personnel office of a company that her agency regulates, requesting only that they send her a job application form. She has not begun seeking employment simply by asking for an application, and she may work on matters affecting that company until she submits the application.
  • More than two months have passed without a response of any kind since Claudia sent an unsolicited letter and resume to a company that is a party to a proceeding before her agency. Because of this length of time, Claudia is no longer considered to be seeking employment with the company.

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