Hidden Costs of Off-Duty Assignments: The Financial and Emotional Toll
Officers often seek work outside of their on-duty shifts to make extra money and serve the community. These opportunities often include city events and security details. While many of these off-duty jobs are from reputable vendors, financial and emotional issues can arise from poorly organized schedules and invoicing. Lack of proper insurance coverage can also lead to long-term debt and incredible stress for the officers and their families.
Fees and Late Payments for Off-Duty Assignments
Many agencies use in-house administrative resources to schedule off-duty assignments. Others outsource administrative and payroll duties to an off-duty management program. Payment, however, can become an issue if your off-duty program does not prioritize timely payments. Officers may end up waiting several weeks to get paid for their jobs due to late payments by private employers.
Another problem for off-duty officers includes fees to access their money on time. Off-duty police officers show up for jobs and then get charged to get their paychecks. This happens when an off-duty management program uses a third party to process payments. The cost of outsourcing falls to the officers or agencies. If an officer needs to work off-duty to earn additional income, the last thing they need is an extra fee. Late payments cause unnecessary stress, especially if the money is needed for bills or emergencies.
Police officers work a variety of off-duty assignments with varying degrees of risk. A serious injury can result in missing not only future off-duty work but also on-duty shifts. Officers often do not realize they may not be covered by worker’s compensation from their police department when they work off-duty. An injury that causes them to miss work can result in a significant loss of income without insurance coverage for the off-duty hours.
Unexpected Medical Bills
Along with missed work, injuries bring medical bills that may quickly contribute to financial problems. Officers working off-duty assignments are expected to protect the public the same way, whether they are working on or off-duty. They wear the same uniform, carry the same weapons, and often drive the same vehicles. The insurance coverage, however, is not the same. On-duty benefits do not carry over to off-duty assignments. With no workers’ compensation, officers may incur excessive medical debt.
When officers respond to disturbances during extra-duty assignments, liability may present a problem. If an individual commits a crime or causes a disturbance, the off-duty officer steps in to remedy the problem. These situations may also involve innocent citizens. If someone gets hurt during a conflict, liability coverage becomes necessary. Without liability insurance, officers may end up with legal fees or expenses for injury to others. Off-duty employers need liability coverage, as well. An off-duty management company covers all parties, including agencies, officers, and off-duty employers.
Insurance that covers accidental death and dismemberment is pertinent for officers with families. Disruptions that involve firearms during off-duty employment carry the risk of death. If an officer is killed during extra-duty employment, the family may not be able to access benefits, leaving them with debt and other financial struggles. Families have enough emotional stress after a loss, and financial insecurity only adds to the trauma.
Law enforcement agencies have a lot to handle on a daily basis. An off-duty administration program can lighten their load and lessen the risk for officers working off-duty or extra employment. A comprehensive administrative solution, such as Off Duty Management, provides workers’ compensation and liability coverage if officers choose to work an extra-duty job. Insufficient coverage leaves officers at risk for a variety of financial and emotional complications. Contact us for more information about our efficient off-duty solution built to protect officers, agencies, and the community.