Personal projects while being full-time

Apr 27 12 Comments

I heard that certain companies have written in the contract that they can claim ownership and sue you on any projects that you work outside of work hours or not. They also mention that you can’t work on open source neither. Is it true? If yes, which company? I heard Apple and Google do that. Anyone can confirm?

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TOP 12 Comments
  • Facebook d1sc0rD
    If you use company equipment or company trade secrets not even CA labor code can protect you. If you want to work on a project in your spare time and you’re at a big org (FAANG/etc) there’s usually an approval process on an internal wiki that basically lets a legal team evaluate your proposal to make sure there are no conflicts of interest that could open you or the company to liability.

    It’s not that all your IP belongs to them so much as they want to make sure you’re not sharing company IP unintentionally.
    Apr 27 1
  • Google / Eng FBFc57
    Afaik, moonlighting is protected by California Labor code.
    Apr 27 0
  • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
    Confirmed, more and more companies are doing it. I got an offer from WeWork and it had this stipulation in it
    Apr 27 0
  • Cerner / Eng Zenobia
    I thought this was only if you are using company’s assets for personal projects
    Apr 27 1
    • Indeed lndeed
      nope some companies contracts say anything you do while you’re employed by them.
      Apr 27
  • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
    Moonlighting law doesn’t protect when you say “hey I built this awesome <IP> that just happens to be a direct competitor for the company I work with” even if you did it on your own time with your own equipment.

    It gets even more tricky though when you say work at google search engine. But in your own time you built a phone app that’s a basis for some autonomous self driving vehicle tech. It’s not a direct competitor except... it is because Google is developing self driving tech too.

    Point is, it gets super gray area and it’s best to maybe discuss with your employer beforehand and know (while rare) you may have a fight on your hands
    Apr 27 0
  • Chase / Creative dotvector
    So like working for amazon as an engineer and selling on amazon as a merchant?
    Apr 27 2
    • Amazon oksureamz
      No you can sell on amazon as a merchant.
      Apr 27
    • Microsoft
      pingdong

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Amazon
      pingdongmore
      Amazon encourages to do so actually
      Apr 27
  • New thozhar
    If ideas are Soo cheap then why FAANG and companies fear execution. Because still 9/10 startups fail.
    Apr 28 0
  • New thozhar
    What it one have solid proof that they have been doing it before joining the company , and the idea is similar to the company. For example of a person working at FB came up with quora, but he had started quora even before joining fb.
    Apr 28 0