The post went viral Friday after Bell revealed that Canopy, a mid-sized software company based in Utah, recently fired two engineers who were secretly working two full-time jobs simultaneously. Overemployment has surged during the pandemic, and some say it can earn them as much as $600,000 a year at a time of record inflation and rising housing costs.
A Linkedin post shared by Canopy CEO Davis Bell is sparking controversy for shedding light on the growing trend of “overemployment,” or secretly working two remote jobs at the same time.
“To me, this is not a fun new social trend,” Bell wrote. “It is a new form of theft and deception, and not something an ethical, honest person would participate in.
In an interview with Insider, Bell said comments of this nature misrepresent his company’s situation, adding that one person upset by the post even called his cell phone and said she hoped the CEO “dies in a car accident.”
The post drew reactions from various corners of the Internet, including the Reddit community “antiwork.” Some users argued that tech CEOs like Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk are praised for working at multiple companies at once, while regular workers are punished for doing so. Others speculated that engineers may be working two jobs to make ends meet.
“Big-paying engineers from big tech companies coming to Utah because we now offer this remote work experience and getting hired and not working, that’s not ideal anywhere,” he said. “But it’s really detrimental to a mid-sized or very small technology company.”
Bell added that it’s not accurate to compare these particular employees to low-income people who pick up extra retail or night shifts to pay for basic needs like food and clothing,
“This is someone who works for a very, very large technology company, so you know they’re getting paid well there,” he said, noting that the laid-off engineers made between $130,000 and $140,000 at Canopy in addition to their other full-time jobs. “I think it’s pretty clear that they were just looking for an additional income stream without really working much.