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Taking a side job...good or bad?

In this economy many workers are disgruntled. In some cases, they are doing the same job for less pay. I recently was on assignment with a photographer who took a wicked pay cut. He's desperately looking for another source of income. In other cases employees hours have been cut back to part time and they need to make up the salary difference. Does that make it okay to moonlight?

Lawyers suggest employers let their workers know that you expect them to disclose and clear any potential moonlighting issues before undertaking such jobs. If you disclose it to the boss, does that make it okay?

Just yesterday, The Miami Herald reported that the Miami-Dade Mayor had allowing his chief of staff Denis Morales to moonlight as a police trainer in Panama while on paid leave.  Is it just a sign of the times? Or is Morales really doing something wrong?

Would you consider it wrong to use your vacation time this month and pick up a retail job during your time off? And there's the group of people who start their own businesses on the side, using up their spare energy and coming to work exhausted. It may be good for the employee but you can bet the employer suffers. Is that okay?

Michelle Goodman has raised the topic on her blog the Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Should you tell your boss you are moonlighting? Her conclusion: It depends.

Let me hear from you. When is it okay to moonlight?