I've constantly heard people having multiple jobs at the same time, Given flexible working hours and workplace from both employers, is it OK for one person to have two full-time W-2 jobs at the same time?

I've done quite some research online and most people say as long as you are capable of handling both jobs, you are fine, is that right? Any legal implications here?

Also, how about tax and social security taxes implications?

[EDIT] This is in the U.S. and I'm specifically wondering about two full-time W-2 jobs, not one full-time, one part-time/gig/side hustle.


  • 3
    Though it is implied here, but it's still better to add the country in your question. – Sourav Ghosh Feb 1 '19 at 6:38
  • 2
    is it OK for one person to have two full-time W-2 jobs at the same time? - Why wouldn't it be OK? Many people have more than one job. Full time, part time, etc. Could you technically and legally have 2 full time jobs (in the USA)? Yes. Are there any legal or tax implications? Well... you'd pay income taxes related to both jobs but otherwise what implications would/could there be? – joeqwerty Feb 1 '19 at 6:43
  • 2
    What is W-2 job? I think I'm missing context here. – Mołot Feb 1 '19 at 8:17
  • It's a USA thing. @joeqwerty why not post your comment as an answer? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Feb 1 '19 at 8:52
  • @Mołot A "W-2" is a tax form you get in the USA from your employer if you're working. All serious, i.e. paid, jobs have it. – Dark Matter Feb 1 '19 at 12:53

Could one person hold more than one W-2 jobs from two different employers?

Yes, of course. In the US you need one W2 for each job that you work as an employee (unless you make less than $600). Could be multiple at the same time, part time, full time, sequential, etc. Each employer will withhold all applicable taxes as prescribed by local law and this can be adjusted (if needed) by submitting properly sized W4s for each job.

This isn't trivial math and you may end up over or underpaying but at the end of the year that all gets reconciled through filing your tax returns.


Legally, there is nothing wrong with it. Quite a few people hold two, or multiple, W-2 jobs at the same time.

About taxes, it will vary state-wise so you should seek an accountant.


Could you? yes! Should you want to? Absolutely not!

I work 2 full-time jobs and a part-time job due to personal financial circumstances and count the days until I can stop doing so...The toll on your health, family and friends is definitely not something you can just disregard. If this is USA related and the question is legal, then you should ask this on the legal exchange instead.

In the UK, you can technically get around the working time directives by signing the opt-out sheets for the 48h a week working limit, but there are other things that are taken into account but again...that would be a legal issue which you would need to ask there instead...

  • @cdkMoose The question specifically asks about two full time jobs. – thursdaysgeek Feb 1 '19 at 16:56

In the USA you're placed in a tax bracket that determines how much you owe the IRS/State. It's about total income, how much withholdings you put in, then determine if there is anything you have to pay or if the IRS/State has to give you any money back. There are deductions that can be made such as if you're single, etc that puts you in a higher or lower tax bracket. It's not a "penalty" as some people see it but a consideration of your holdings to make sure you don't have to pay anything come tax season.

Simple software like TurboTax does it all for you. You simply input the numbers and out comes how much the IRS/State owes you or how much you owe them. If you want to know your tax implications, then head to a CPA before you get a second job. Factors like if you own a home, single income, children, etc all determine where you are placed in the tax bracket.

If you get a second job, you might be placed in a higher tax bracket. It's taxed by each bracket you make for example first 20k is taxed at X, then from there it's taxed at Y, etc. By getting a second job you might be placed in a higher tax bracket such that you have to pay more taxes or give a higher withholding. None of us can tell you how or if you should so you should ask a CPA.


Having two full time jobs does cause some complications.

1) Some employers don't want you to have a part-time 2nd job. They would not want you working a 2nd full time job. That would be 80 hours a week.

2) Social security. Both will withhold social security. They won't stop until you reach the maximum with them. That means the combination could exceed the maximum. The excess will be refunded in April the following year. Don't even ask them to stop partway through the year, they can't until you hit the maximum with them.

3) 401K. The limits are for the combination of accounts that you have with all your employers. So if they have matching make sure that you get the matching for both before you hit the annual limit.

4) Insurance. Pick one employer, don't get insurance from both. Pay attention to the costs, limits, and deductibles. Don't exceed the limits for an HSA or Flexible spending account.

5) Income taxes. Pay attention to the W-4 forms for having two jobs. It is easy to have too little withheld.

  • the insurance one is a good point - some places may require that you carry their insurance, in which case your other insurance may be affected because now you technically are in a "co-insurance" situation - best be sure to double check all that – NKCampbell Feb 1 '19 at 21:06

I will start by making an assumption that what the OP is asking here is 'can I hold down two full time salaried positions at the same time'.

So this gets real tricky. When you are a salaried employee, especially an exempt salaried employee, it is assumed by your employer that you are giving ALL your time, attention, and talents to them.

Lets say it's even a bit more complicated and you are in a creative field. Now you create this amazing logo for company A and company B finds out you made this logo for company A, they may have a legal right to that logo now. This gets into a lot of strange employment law, but really centers around how in the US anyway a salaried employee is essentially working FULL TIME, as in 24hours a day, for the company. Some companies will go so far as to put this in your employment contract even and it can be pretty onerous in some cases I have seen about limiting what you can and cannot do.

Now if your situation is a bit more mundane and you are cog in the wheel of machinery working 8 to 5 and then working 6 to 2 in another machine you might be OK. You could in theory, even with significant contractual limits say work a 'day' job as a creative (engineer designer etc.) and then work as a barista, bar tender, ticket taker, whatever, on the nights and weekends. It really is very specific to your situation.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .