Heads Up! Employees must disclose and obtain prior approval if they own, manage, or participate in the day-to-day operations of any outside entity that performs work closely related to their UO duties.
You are an employee in Campus Planning & Facilities Management who has a second job at Lane Forest Products, but you only work on weekends when you are not scheduled to work at UO.
Is this a problem? No. Under UO policy, such a position is presumed not to substantially interfere with your duties to the University of Oregon.
Rather than working for Lane Forest Products, can you, as a CPFM employee, set up your own weekend lanscaping business? Yes, for the same reason stated above.
Can you also use idle CPFM equipment for your weekend landscaping business? No. This can violate state ethics laws (use of official position), because you have avoided the personal cost of buying the landscaping equipment, thereby receiving personal gain because of your UO position. Without permission, this is prohibited. It does not matter that such equipment is not being used by UO on the weekend. But for your position as a UO employee, you would not have avoided the expense of buying or renting the CFPM equipment.
A professor in the History department was recently hired to teach multiple sections of their specialty, Latin American history. The professor is also a talented web designer. To make some extra money, they enter into an outside consulting agreement with a company to design its website. The extra work is keeping the professor up very late at night, and to meet the company's deadlines, they have been using office hours to work on the website. The professor’s students have been complaining that the professor is falling behind with grading.
Is this a problem? Yep. The professor has a conflict of committment. Employees must make sure their outside interests do not interfere with their university responsibilities. The professor is also misusing University resources to work on outside activities for private financial gain, which is prohibited use of official position.
You teach a class at UO. You also run a yoga studio and want to boost your consumer base by providing students extra credit for attending classes at the studio. These classes are not free, and you expect students to pay to attend.
Is this a problem? Yes. This would be the unauthorized use of official position to improve the customer base of your personal business.
You are a graduate employee who decides to edit manuscripts for profit on the side due to the skills you have gained through your position at UO.
Is this a problem? Probably not, with a couple caveats. The outside activities of student employees or graduate employees, even if related to their work for UO, are exempt from the prior approval requirement so long as the student/graduate employee is (1) not making private commercial use of University resources (e.g., supplies, facilities, equipment, records, and intellectual property) (use of official position); (2) not using non-public information available to them as a University employee to obtain a private financial benefit (use of official position); and (3) their outside activity does not substantially interfere with their duites to the University (conflict of committment).
Even if the activity does not require prior approval, you should also be sure that when you are engaging in outside activities you comply with other University policies, including but not limited to the Policy on Inventions, License Agreements, Educational & Professional Materials Development, Patents & Copyrights.
A psychology professor at UO also runs a successful therapy practice. To save time and for the convenience of some of their clients (many of whom are UO students), they often hold therapy sessions in their UO office.
Is this a problem? Yes. It could be a violation of the use of official position because public employees may not use their official position for private financial gain. This includes the use of UO resources or equipment for a private business (e.g., seeing clients in their UO office) and using their UO position or resources to solicit clients for their private business. For example, using the UO department's printer to print flyers advertising the therapy practice or making a plug for the therapy practice in class.
This scenario could also pose a conflict of committment if the therapy practice is substantially interferring with the professor's duties to UO. For example, if the professor was unavailable for office hours for their students because they were tied up with clients for their private therapy practice (even if those clients happen to be UO students).