As you can remember, I have walked away from my former employer, whom we'll call Sid. I got everything that I need, except my back wages and correcting my Certification of Employment on account that Sid got the company address wrong.

Right now I have a new job from a woman whose business partner was Sid's client. His business partner, whom we call Brent, was so dissatisfied with my former employer's deliverables, he cancelled the project and gave it to my new boss.

As the project is back into the design phase, there isn't a decision yet who to include in the project.

My new boss, whom we call Kayla here, knows that I have worked with the project she got from Brent. Kayla knows that I resigned from my last job because I wasn't compensated well, and she believes Sid could not give Brent the deliverables because Sid just lost the employee to continue it for him. Me.

I have no idea how much of the project Sid turned over to Brent. But secretly testing my copy of the project's mobile client in my home I found out that the API endpoints are still working. My former company's endpoints still work. This pissed me off because having a domain means that Sid still has money. Money that Sid should have been paying us with. In our law employee payroll is number one priority.

This also has me worried. We outsource our APIs for all our projects. And if we don't do it ourselves for this project my team might find themselves compelled to establish communication with my former boss whenever we have a problem with the API.

I don't want to talk to Sid, and especially not coordinate with Kayla. Sid has a reputation for slandering his former employees. Sid claimed to have fired three of my former colleagues for not doing their jobs. But when I asked them, they told me that they will not give Sid their work for the said payroll cycles until he pays up. That is perfectly legal in my country, as non-compensation is grounds for the aggrieved party to refuse submitting their deliverables.

But I can't tell Kayla that the wrong way, otherwise I'll just come across as bitter at Sid. And I don't know how to tell her, or if I should tell her.

That being said, I do not want to accept the project until the API is completely turned over to my current company, or otherwise outsourced to another software company. It's probably okay for my former boss to find out that I'm with someone who took their project, but just to be on the safe side I don't want him to know where I work now. Just until I find out what kind of references he makes about me behind my back.

So, how do I subtly make my boss decide that I will not participate on the project until then? I know it's probably impossible, so if it is, then how do I handle Sid knowing about my employment with Kayla? Given Sid's reputation for slandering many of his former employees whom he didn't pay, I don't want him babbling nonsense to Kayla's ears. Or that even if he tries I want Kayla to believe me and not him.

I have the truth on my side. Kayla knows where Sid's new office is, and it's not the one Sid wrote on my COE. But I imagine I would have to do more than rely on that information.


  • 2
    This is not an issue to be subtle, or quiet about. Sit down with your manager and explain just what sort of person Sid is. Explain that your company needs to distance itself from him pronto. If you keep quiet you'll just have to live with the consequences.
    – AndreiROM
    Jul 12, 2016 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


"Sid" has a bad reputation in the industry. Providing insights on his chicanery is definitely a good idea. Since "Brent" is already dissatisfied with "Sid", alerting "Kayla" to a potential vulnerability (the API) is definitely the right thing to do. "Brent" should have no problem with that as he took the project away from "Sid" to begin with and would want to know if "Sid" could cause trouble down the line.

Go, warn your boss. The thing about people like "sid" is that they have reputations too, to the point where a bad word from him is as good as a compliment.

It sounds like you are firmly ensconced in anti-Sid territory, so don't be afraid. A personal example from my history is a bank tried to block my mortgage. However, that bank had such a bad rep, my mortgage company ignored their derision and granted me the mortgage.

You've been through tough times, but you slayed the dragon by getting out. Don't give him any more thought outside of warning your current employer that he has the API


I feel you should re-think your approach.

There is a very old saying: "The world is run by the people who show up."

If you don't get involved early on, you will not be able to sway key decisions, such as the one you're talking about: Ownership of the API.

Also, the API is a middle layer. Who has control of the back-end if the API is still in "questionable" hands? There's a critical component here you're leaving out (in my opinion).

However, I still say you should lay all this out for your new boss, including the potential problems of not getting control of the API. You can't withhold your services over something your boss can't control, and the issues with your old company aren't your new company's problem(s).

  • As far as technology layers are concerned my former company holds the back-end. I have never heard of companies making APIs and outsourcing the back-end for it. So can I strongly suggest to my boss that she should take the entire API and back-end too? My immediate supervisor complains a lot about waiting too long for his API requests to be completed by our current third-parties. Jul 12, 2016 at 19:27
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    Trying to be subtle here is the wrong approach. Nobody will take hints that you don't want to work on something. Hinting in the business world is generally a poor approach.
    – HLGEM
    Jul 12, 2016 at 19:28
  • OK, you said it's back in the design phase. Why are you not throwing everything out from the old company? That seems to be the client's wish, or did I miss something? Jul 12, 2016 at 19:29
  • @HLGEM - I'm not following your comment's meaning? I didn't think I recommended being subtle. I recommended jumping into the middle of it. Jul 12, 2016 at 19:30
  • @WesleyLong some modules are thrown out, and some are added. Some stayed, including the couple of modules I worked with. Jul 12, 2016 at 19:32

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