Vicksburg sets policy against employees ‘moonlighting’

Published 11:27 am Tuesday, April 7, 2020

City of Vicksburg employees on emergency administrative leave under the city’s emergency declaration could be fired if they’re caught “moonlighting” when they are normally scheduled to work.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a policy prohibiting city employees from taking second jobs while under administrative leave.

“The employees have been on the front line and they have demonstrated their commitment to the city in providing the services,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “Ninety-nine percent of them are coming to work; 99 percent of them are doing what they need to do.”

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Vicksburg, he said, is one of the few cities paying employees to stay at home under the declaration.

But, he said, if an employee is working at another job “at the time you ought to be on your (city) job, you, if I have anything to do with it with every fiber in my body, are going to be fired.”

The board March 18 approved an emergency plan requiring city department heads to designate some workers as essential employees and staggering other workers’ schedules.

Under the plan, essential hourly employees would be paid time and a half for hours worked during the emergency period, and non-essential hourly employees who did not work would be paid regular time.

If non-essential employees worked during the period, they would be paid time and a half.

Salaried employees would be paid their regular salaries.

“The city expects you to be home and available for work if needed,” according to the policy.

“This is not a time for you to go and work at another job or be out and about unless you are going to the grocery store or other essential business,” Flaggs said.

If city officials learn an employee is working at another job during the emergency leave period when they are usually scheduled to work, disciplinary action, including firing, will be taken and the administrative pay for that day will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck.

“If you cut grass for the city and I find you are cutting grass for money on somebody else’s property (during working hours), if I have anything to do with it, as God is my witness, you’re fired,” Flaggs said. “We’re not going to pay you twice.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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