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What Is Moonlighting? How is it influencing the Indian Corporate Culture

What Is Moonlighting? How is it influencing the Indian Corporate Culture

Moonlighting has been a hot topic in the Indian job sector and some major Indian IT and tech firms have been cracking the whip on their employees for moonlighting. The issue of moonlighting has emerged as a big talking point after Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji flagged the issue on Twitter. "There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating - plain and simple,” he tweeted.


What is moonlighting?


Moonlighting refers to employees taking up side gigs to work on more than one job at a time. This trend is a common concept in the Indian job sector. Recently it is making headlines for wrong reasons after severe backlash from several IT firms. Companies have always opposed this practice, saying that employees doing multiple jobs can impact their productivity. An employee usually works for 8-9 hours in his primary job, while he takes another 4-5 hours for moonlighting.


What does the IT employees union say?

Pune-based union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has argued that moonlighting "is not feasible" for a number of reasons. "Aadhaar card and PAN card are now mandatory for joining any company. The government has also linked the Aadhaar card to the Employees Provident Fund account and each employee has a unique Universal Account Number (UAN) for the provident fund," Harpreet Singh Saluja, president of NITES, said, adding it is not possible for two companies to submit an employee’s provident fund contribution in one month.

Is it legal in India?


Indian laws do not define moonlighting. According to media reports, the laws stated below regulate dual or double employment to a certain extent. The Factories Act, 1948, restricts an employer from requiring or allowing an adult worker to work in the factory on any day on which they have already been working in another factory.


Expert views


Dr Arvind Singhatiya, founder and CEO,, said moonlighting is legally wrong from confidentiality and professional liability perspective. It breaches confidentiality and liability of the employer. An employee during the time of joining signs on dotted lines to maintain confidentiality of company data and resources. Moonlighting invites unintended liability for his employer that poses a serious risk. Hence, it is illegal for any employee.


As a resource, an employer may accept his role as a consultant or a freelancer to provide his service to multiple options. As a freelancer or consultant his legal engagement with the firm will be transparent and would not pose any legal or moral dilemma. Always read your freelancer agreement carefully to check that your act is not violating any of its clauses.

HIPAA Compliance Explained: Learn how to become HIPAA complaint

HIPAA Compliance Explained: Learn how to become HIPAA complaint

A HIPAA confidentiality agreement secures the protected healthcare information ("PHI") of clients and patients. These agreements derive their name from the United States' Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which mandates that patients' healthcare information remains strictly confidential. Thus, these agreements enforce an organization's obligations under the Act. Such duties mainly deal with the healthcare status of an individual and healthcare payment-related details. 

Healthcare providers sign HIPAA with third parties. Such third parties include but are not limited to, supply vendors, employees, contractors, volunteers, and even patients. While other agreements have different nuances, they each have some standard features. A patient's is confidential, so none of the information can be shared, collected, or used by whichever party acquires them. Furthermore, HIPAA mandates both civil and criminal action against violators: Offences attract a fine of up to $ 1,500,000 yearly, while "wilful offenders" may receive a jail sentence of upto 10 years. 



HIPAA agreements are mainly concerned with the protection of a patient or client's health information. Thus, anyone signing the agreement cannot use, share or record such information without explicit authorization. 

However, patients may also accidentally have access to the health information of another patient. In such cases, they will be covered by HIPAA and have obligations under it. 



HIPAA covers agreements with "Business Associates", which are defined as organizations that are not the other party and are involved in handling sensitive personal information. These are limited to organizations providing administrative, legal, accounting, consulting, management, etc. They do not include vendors of medical supplies, who may only incidentally have access to PHI.

Nevertheless, hospitals and clinics must also sign a HIPAA Agreement with their vendors. This agreement should clarify the nature of the relationship, i.e. a vendor is not considered an "employee" but a contractor. However, it should clarify that even if vendors incidentally or accidentally access the PHI of a patient/client, they are to strictly not distribute, use, or record this information. This requirement is materially similar to HIPAA Agreements for patients.




Volunteers are individuals who are involved in assisting the organization in a variety of ways. Most of them are very involved in the use of patients' confidential health information. As a result, they must sign HIPAA contracts. 

Most organizations that regularly deal with volunteers and students develop HIPAA policies. These policies usually lay out the HIPAA obligations of any student or volunteer involved with the organization. A policy makes these obligations accessible and clearly defined. 

Apart from the obligations mentioned in the above two sections, volunteers have additional obligations since they are more closely involved with health data:

  • The PHI or confidential information of any patient should not be altered or deleted to any extent

  • The use of such data should be restricted to the minimum possible limit

  • Passwords and other information that gives access to sensitive data should be securely handled

  • Any concerns regarding the integrity of PHI are communicated to dedicated individuals within the organization

  • Revealing such data or using this information is indefinitely prohibited, even post-termination. 


It is crucial to confer confidentiality onto an individual's health data. HIPAA made a positive step in this direction by making it compulsory for organizations to handle this information. A culture has developed around HIPAA where organizations take their obligations seriously, and a patient's information is protected. Health information is deeply personal, and it must remain protected.

A variety of stakeholders can be exposed to a patient's data. This can include volunteers and contractors, but also other patients. Each of these individuals must understand their obligations under HIPAA. The contract is an effective way to provide adequate intimation and enforcement. While patients and vendors have reduced obligations, volunteers and interns are exposed to more PHI and thus require more scrutiny. Nevertheless, the system is generally conducive to protecting patient privacy and confidentiality.

Terminated vs Fired - How Do The Two Terms Differ?

Terminated vs Fired - How Do The Two Terms Differ?

The two terms, Terminated and Fired, are used quite often in the professional world.  But there are some fundamental differences between these concepts. The two terms sound quite similar. They may even be used interchangeably by various people.  But it is important to know the difference so that we get enlightened about these terms. Knowledge about these terms will also let us know about the world of profession and business.  

The business world is full of uncertainty. There are a lot many things happening, here and there and we don’t have the best control over most of the things.  On the one side, employers are trying to address the issues of the employees and reign in the employee costs. On the other side, employees are trying to improve their work and seeking to maximize their earnings. The aspects of termination and resignation are frequently fleeting in the professional lives of employees which also significantly impact the employers.   

Also, read What are the legal compliances required for a Start-up?

Termination And Firing – How Do They Vary?

Termination -It Can Be Both Voluntary & Involuntary

Technically, termination is defined as the end of the employee’s service period at the firm or the company. This term ends can be categorized into two types, namely Voluntary and Involuntary Termination.  

Involuntary termination happens when the employer feels that the services of the employee are no more needed for the firm. So, the employer decides to remove him/her from the service. This is referred to colloquially as ‘being fired’ or ‘getting sacked’. Involuntary terminations are usually labeled as firings.

On the other hand, voluntary termination takes place when the employee himself/herself chooses to quit his/her job and this like he/she is resigning from the organization.

Besides, involuntary termination of services can be further divided based on the reasons for the termination.  One can get dismissed because of his/her incompetence, faux pas, or if the employee fails to stick to the firm’s rules and professional ethics.

You may also read Tax Exemptions: Know About Incentives For Start-Ups

What Are Layoffs?

Additionally, layoffs may happen when there is a financial downturn of the company. This downsizing is owing to cost cutting, which is usually done due to business & economic reasons. It has not much to do with the performance of the employee.  So, being laid-off doesn’t lessen your chances of procuring a new job. On the other hand, being fired does impact your prospects of re-employability.

The Importance Of Proper Resignation

It is very important to be very ethical and follow the formal, conventional mode and format while quitting a job. For instance, you should take time before you make any decision. It is generally stated that you should resign from your job only when you have a better job offer in hand.  

Below are a few crucial guidelines which you can consider while acting on your decision to resign:  

See to it that you are fully confident about your decision.

You should produce a written resignation letter before your boss/employer, which should come up at least a fortnight before your last day to work there.

Make sure that your line manager or supervisor and HR personnel are properly intimated about your decision to resign.

You should even fix a meeting with your manager to talk about your decision to resign, it should be at least a few days before you discontinue working there.

You should earnestly thank your employer for the opportunity he/she gave you by making you work there and also express gratitude for the valuable experience that you gained by working there.  

You should even propose to help the new person who comes there as your replacement.

Also see to it that you consummate all the ongoing projects before you discontinue working there after tendering your resignation.

When Should You Resign From Your Job?

There may be various reasons to quit the job. There may be personal reasons like going to study abroad, relocation and issues in the family and so on. Well, there are a few other reasons which may make you quit your job. They are as under:

One most common reason to quit your current job is that you are getting a better job placement somewhere else, which is likely to boost your career prospects:

You may feel that the working atmosphere is unfriendly & stressful.

You don’t like your job and feel you are not made for it.

You feel that you are frequently bringing negative energy to your home from your workplace.

The Termination Rules From The Employer

It is improper for an employer to just fire an employee. If they do so, they may incur legal and reputational issues, if they don’t follow the due process in the termination. Well, there are a few termination rules which the employers should abide by while they are terminating the service of an employee.

One month's notice in writing must be provided to the employee before termination.

The employer cannot fire an employee without placing a valid reason for the termination. ‘

A compensation should be paid to the employee by the employer which is around equal to fifteen days' average pay for every completed year of service.

An employee cannot be sacked by the employer due to his/her health issues.

A female employee should not be terminated when she wants maternity leave or as she is pregnant.

An employee cannot be fired by an employer without procuring mutual consent.

Besides, there are some guidelines to be followed while lying off your employees. The firm should mention the lay-off policies in the employment contract.

Well lay-off is carried out due to company’s downturn and it doesn’t usually consider employee’s incompetence. It usually takes in the policy of ‘Last In First Out’.  

You may also read Pro Bono Legal Service - Know About Free Legal Services

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