In an employment contract or "handbook", what's the proper interpretation of wording such as - "not to engage in activities / must notify HR about activities that may be in conflict with the duties of the employment, including other employment, personal business ventures..."
This is something I've seen in many contracts/handbooks and doesn't seem to be company specific.
Does the wording imply that ANY outside interest is a potential conflict of interest so must be notified? Or only IF this is the case.
For the sake of an example - I develop (program) credit card processing software, my outside interest is knitting baby clothes which I sell on etsy. (I adapted this example from the one listed in the comment, it isn't my exact situation but is similar. I would be "selling" a particular product, but it's a more unusual one which may be identifiable)
To my mind that isn't potentially in conflict, as it's a totally unrelated business, with no potential to "poach" customers, done in my own time, etc. But it's that word "MAY" that gets me.
Edited to add: as a related question, can "precedent" (other employees already known to do outside etsy etc) be used if they get difficult about it?
I'm not already doing the side business, but about to start.