I'm a software developer and I am concerned about a specific limitation on my contract that says:
The employee shall not, without the consent of the company, during the continuance of this agreement be directly or indirectly engaged, concerned or interested in any capacity in any other trade, business or occupation, except that you may hold up to 5 per cent of the issued securities of any company if such securities are listed on a recognized investment exchange
I know that this is a standard restriction on most contracts, and maybe I'm overcautious here, but I'm still not sure if I would have issues if for e.g.
- I contribute to open source projects
- I work on a personal project in my free time, which could potentially give me some additional income.
For both cases, let's assume that:
- My other projects are worked strictly in my free time, and are not affecting my performance in my day-time job
- I'm working on completely different markets and technologies, so there is no competition or conflicting profits with my main job
- I'm not using libraries or tools that were developed and/or belong to my Company.
Now, if I was working in Evil Corp, so there were crazy financial risks, low ethics, and overzealous lawyers, I guess they could exploit this rule if they wanted to take me down. But for a normal company there should be no problem. Right?
So my question is :
Do you think I might have to inform my employer and ask for a consent to work on such projects? Am I taking a risk by not telling them? Or would I just make things worse my drawing unnecessary attention over me, or even looking stupid?
Disclaimer: I'm not seeking for a legal advice here. Just wandering what is the ethical or smart or normal way to go.