And I had no idea that, as you report in the paper, some agencies require officers to wear their uniforms while working off-duty for private employers. Here are 11 of their most interesting cop lingo terms and what they mean. Secondary employment activities for police officers may have negative outcomes both for officers and their employers. It seems like police resources shouldn’t be allocated based on who can afford to pay for them. So even though the employment contract is only between the private employer and the officer, in order to approve the off-duty employment, the agency wants to be indemnified so if the officer does get sued, the private employer will pick up the tab. v. To work at another job, often at night, in addition to one's full-time job. In 2013, the actor explained how everything changed: “Thank God Cybill Shepherd got pregnant. Require employees to inform management if t… It may be the case that [the allure of] off-duty employment attracts higher-quality officers than the police could otherwise hire. What kind of work are most of these officers doing when they’re hired by private companies? It might require them to take reports of crimes that occur in the apartment complex when they’re available to do so, so instead of sending an on-duty officer to deal with a noise complaint or a vehicle burglary report, the off-duty courtesy officer is called and sent instead. In fact, part of the reason why private employers hire them is that they’re perceived as more official than private security guards. Right. The police officer who’s working off-duty for a private employer represents the state. A private employer hires an off-duty officer because of their public authority, not just because of their personal characteristics or their qualifications. Learn more. So while the information that I have is a good start toward understanding how big this phenomenon might be, the takeaway is we actually don’t know. I’ve gotten this reaction a lot while talking to people about this phenomenon. Moonlighting definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Home > Posts > Wage and Hour > Moonlighting Police Officers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says Sixth Circuit. Following a bench trial, the district court concluded that the off-duty officers were independent contractors vis-a-vis ODPS because they “simply were not economically dependent on ODPS and instead used ODPS to supplement their incomes.”  The district court also held that other of ODPS’s security workers—those who were not off-duty police officers—were employees of ODPS.  Both parties appealed. A recent survey of policing in America shows hundreds of thousands of officers put in millions of hours every year moonlighting. When I did work for a private employer I don’t think I ever made less than $30 an hour. Obama is right about 'defund the police.' Some of that might be bouncing at a nightclub, but some of it might just be standing by at a party. So in a very real sense they represent the arm of the state. But it could also be the case that off-duty employment decreases officer wages because the agency doesn’t need to pay officers as much to attract the level of applicants it wants. Because, again, it’s not just their skills they’re being hired for. Follow Proskauer’s wage and hour blog to stay current on the latest developments. And 62 of those, almost 50 percent, do not track the number of officers who do it. This moonlighting policy template (or outside employment policy) is ready to be tailored to your company’s needs and can be a starting point for setting up your employment policies. For me, I would get off work at 2 o’clock in the morning on Friday or Saturday nights and then I’d go work for two hours at the nightclub as it was closing down. In fact, one of the stories I open the article with is about an officer who was paid by a security company that had been hired by a neighborhood. Fundamentally it doesn’t line up with our intuitive conception of what policing is. Look it up now! You’ve thought about this for longer, so maybe you can tell me: What is it that feels intuitively wrong about this? It just strikes me as crazy, though I’m not sure I can totally explain why. This second job can vary significantly based on your professional nature and any relevant certifications you may have. That’s generally the emphasis—security. Teachers, firefighters and police officers who are eligible for pensions and Social Security may receive reduced retirement benefits. Before I read your paper, I had no idea that police officers were allowed to do off-duty work for private employers while wearing their uniforms and carrying their service weapons. Most departments allow off-duty employment. In St. Louis, such moonlighting deals may be a response to a downsized public police department that is little more than half as big as it was in 1970. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. By subscribing to our blog, you acknowledge that you have read our. Learn more. On the degree of skill required, the court credited the officers’ trial testimony that the tasks they performed required little skill, initiative, or training.  The court was less persuaded by ODPS’s argument regarding the high degree of skill and training required to become a licensed police officer, noting that this factor does not concern the skills possessed by the workers, but rather the degree of skill required for the rendering of the services.  That ODPS engaged non-sworn officers further supported the conclusion that the work did not require the high degree of skill that sworn police work can require.  The court determined that the facts favor employee status. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Proskauer is a leading international law firm focused on creating value. One scholar, a historian, published a paper about English police services in the 1830s, and it described the officer’s salary as a “retaining fee.” It wasn’t really where the officers made their money—where they made their money was someone would call in a burglary and say, “my stuff has been stolen” and the officer would say, “well, how much are you offering to recover it?” And then the officer would collect that reward. This is in exchange for reduced rent? Crime & Justice Moonlighting police leave body cameras behind Police officers gather outside AT&T Park before the San Francisco Giants' baseball … In most places, are police officers taking this work to line their pockets, or are there places where the public pay is so low that this is really the only way to earn a decent living? The higher-income neighborhoods that have a higher tax bracket pay more, but most of the policing happens in the lower-income neighborhoods. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of secondary  And while the ability to control one’s schedule may, in some circumstances, allow more efficient workers to maximize profits, ODPS’s workers had no such opportunity. They’re in uniform, they have a badge, they have a gun belt. The short answer is no. Images by Romaniaboy/Thinkstock, moodboard/Thinkstock, and Jupiterimages/Thinkstock. I think that, and developing more information about how agencies are handling off duty employment, is the next step. Cases evaluating whether moonlighting police officers are employees at their second jobs often stumble on the “permanency” factor and the semantics of the “economic dependence” issue. It runs the gamut. Many police officers moonlight in their off-duty hours, and this little-discussed practice raises a number of thorny issues. To assess the permanency of the relationship, the court examined both its length and its regularity, noting that independent contractors “often have fixed employment periods and transfer from place to place as particular work is offered to them, whereas employees usually work for only one employer and such relationship is continuous and indefinite in duration.”  By contrast, the court observed, that a party works for more than one company is only “one factor of many to consider in determining whether a worker is economically dependent” upon one of those companies: [W]hether a worker has more than one source of income says little about that worker’s employment status.  Many workers in the modern economy, including employees and independent contractors alike, must routinely seek out more than one source of income to make ends meet. Production of Die Hard conflicted with shooting for Moonlighting, meaning Willis was initially forced to reject the part. The police officer who’s working off-duty for a private employer represents the state. If we go all the way back to the original modern police force in the 1830s and ’40s, officers commonly got paid through private sources for doing their public work. The neighborhoods that pay for most of the policing in a given city are not the neighborhoods that are on the receiving end of most police services. I knew officers sometimes took off-duty gigs, working as bouncers or security guards. It can mean keeping employees who would otherwise leave, especially if they’re moonlighting to make enough money to make ends meet. Stoughton sent survey questions to about 400 police agencies at the state, county, and city levels, asking them about their policies regarding off-duty work and the amount of time their officers spend doing it. Liability is a huge issue. So when you have private businesses, neighborhoods, even potentially private individuals hiring police, it cuts against that general approach of police as a public good that serves all of the citizenry without regard for anyone’s ability to pay. Officers are absolutely using off-duty employment to make extra money, but it’s also true that officers are, in many places, pathetically underpaid. But in some ways, it’s the same idea of officers trading on their public authority. But the idea that they’d be in uniform is shocking to me. When cops moonlighting as private security guards screw up, Chicago taxpayers pay for the lawsuits. The defendant, Off Duty Police Services (ODPS), contracts with businesses in and around Louisville, Kentucky, to offer private security and traffic control services. All rights reserved. Close. What I can give you is the data from my survey. These dress codes exist at nightclubs and other places in this country. For residents, moonlighting may mean working as an independent physician, outside of the scope of your residency training program. As an employer, you have very little ability to dictate what your employees can and cannot do during their off hours. They may have a marked police vehicle with them. A moonlighting network Nationally, as many as 40 percent of officers moonlight in some capacity, a recent survey of 162 law enforcement agencies suggests. This might include responding to noise complaints in the apartment complex. 29. Cops who want to create a long term financial plan might consider putting their energy into a business rather than just moonlighting for money. Here are 11 of their most interesting cop lingo terms and what they mean. In addition to New York, we have offices in Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Paris, São Paulo and Washington, D.C., as well as Boca Raton, Newark and New Orleans. Businesses that are not engaging in rigorous self-examination of their relationships with independent contractors are missing a potential opportunity to reduce their legal—and therefore financial—risk. Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. There are officers who work a day shift and get off at, say, 5 p.m., then they go home for a little while and then go work five or six hours at their off-duty jobs in the evenings. The statistics from the agencies that responded to this survey suggest that around 80 percent of agencies allow officers to work in uniform while off-duty for private employers. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. Photo illustation by Slate. Well, that’s exactly what happens. As to the degree of control exercised by ODPS, the court was less concerned with the control the company exercised than the control it retained the right to exercise.  The court noted that the workers were subject to ODPS policies and procedures, non-compliance with which could result in discipline (a “time out,” or period of no work) or complete termination of the relationship.  The court also noted that ODPS set the rate at which the workers were paid; told the workers where to go for the job, when to arrive, and whom they should contact when they got there; periodically checked in on the workers at the work site; and imposed dress and grooming standards.  ODPS argued that it did not supervise the day-to-day performance of the workers, but the court countered that “such close supervision is not necessary to establish control.” The court found the facts not to break cleanly in favor of employee or independent contractor status. How much of that is on the officer, how much of that is on the city or the county that employs the officer, and how much of that is on the private employer? Copyright © 2020, Proskauer Rose LLP. At the outset, the Court of Appeals noted that ODPS “built its business around the security and traffic control services provided by its workers,” and therefore “[t]here is no doubt that the services offered by ODPS’s workers are integral to the company.”  The court rejected ODPS’s argument that it is merely “an agent between its customers and independent … officers.”. That’s consistent with the numbers we have from earlier research, which is very limited—there was research in the mid-’80s where one criminologist and a group of academics who were studying the private security industry tried to identify the extent of off-duty employment. The defendant, Off Duty Police Services (ODPS), contracts with businesses in and around Louisville, Kentucky, to offer private security and traffic control services. ODPS provides some of these services by engaging sworn, off-duty police officers who—when they’re not working for ODPS—are employed full time or otherwise by a law enforcement agency.  ODPS classified the workers as independent contractors, and did not pay them overtime wages or keep the pay and hours records required by FLSA regulations.  The U.S. Department of Labor sued ODPS. I tend to agree. Rep. Kevin Brady, R … With 725+ lawyers active in virtually every major market worldwide, we are recognized not only for our legal excellence, but also our dedication to client service. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. 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