Employee Asks Boss To Reimburse The Private Investigator She Hired Herself To Find Out If A Co-Worker Is Moonlighting At Another Job

And you thought your co-workers were nosy tattletales...

employee spying to see if a co-worker is moonlighting  D-Keine / Canva Pro

We've all worked with a colleague or two who simply cannot and will not mind their own business. 

However, a story a boss posted on Reddit about a prying employee goes to another level, and management professionals are urging the boss to fire her. 

The employee hired a private investigator to find out if a co-worker was moonlighting at a second job.

Given the economy, it's not exactly surprising that lots of people are working more than one job nowadays. 


One recent study even showed that the number of people moonlighting, sometimes referred to as "polyworking," doubled from 2021 to 2023 — a sign of the times, if there ever was one.

RELATED: Employee Facing Termination For Using A 'Mouse Jiggler' To Appear Active At Work While Doing Four Jobs At Once


We can probably all agree that unless there's some sort of non-compete clause in one's employment contract, what a person is doing to make extra scratch — or anything else they're doing on their off hours, for that matter — is nobody's dang business. 

Suffice it to say the worker in this boss's Reddit post vehemently disagrees. She was so convinced a colleague was somehow cheating the company by working a second job that she hired a private investigator to dig into the colleague's affairs — and did so on her own dime.

The employee now wants to be reimbursed for the private investigator because she helped save the company money.

It all began when an employee had medical issues and went on short-term, then long-term, disability pay. The boss wrote that the worker was supposed to be back after three months, but their disability term kept being extended.

"I have no issue with them being on medical leave," the boss said, but a new junior employee right out of school clearly does. 


"She told me she has some unusual expenses she'd like me to approve," the boss wrote. "She's skeptical of the other team member actually being disabled and has hired a PI in the team member's state to look into him and see if he's actually disabled or if he's moonlighting at another job or something."



Given that this is not only potentially discriminatory but also actively and utterly INSANE, the boss was left shocked. "I did NOT ask her to do this, and I was not pleased to hear it," the boss wrote, calling it "creepy," which is saying the least. 

When the boss demanded an explanation, the worker simply said, "My job is to make the company money, and he's costing the company money, so I want to be sure it's for good reason. I would hope you would do the same for me if I'm on leave."


RELATED: Woman Forced To Go Into The Office To 'Collaborate' With Coworkers Realizes She's The Only One Not Working From Home

The boss was perplexed about what to do, but fellow management professionals urged them to report and fire the employee.

Never has a person more badly needed to hear the words "mind your own business" screamed directly into their face with a bullhorn. But the boss was so shocked by this bizarre overreach they were at a loss as to how to handle it. 

"I admonished her a bit and told her to pull the plug on anything she's doing now and that she will not be reimbursed for this," they wrote. "I guess my question is, is this a termination-worthy event?"



Fellow management professionals nearly all responded with a resounding "Are you kidding? Of course it is." One C-suite-level professional wrote, "Talk to HR immediately. If I were your boss and found out about this and you didn’t bring it to me or HR, you would be on a PIP in addition to the person being fired."


Others pointed out that aside from being astonishingly unethical, this is also a potential legal liability for the company—this kind of surveillance and intrusion into someone's personal life could rise to the level of an illegal invasion of privacy by the employer under state and federal employment law, and that's before even delving into the rules of federal laws like HIPAA and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 



In the end, the boss agreed to follow everyone's advice and escalate the issue immediately, but it left them perplexed, to say the least, especially given the employee's continued insistence on being reimbursed. 

"I'm not sure why she cares," the boss wrote. "She just needs to do her job and not worry about others." 


That's good advice for all employees, whether they're delusional enough to hire a PI or not. 

RELATED: Computer Company Sets New Standard By Saying Fully Remote Workers Are No Longer Eligible For Promotions

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.