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I am in sales for a financial institution that provides access to the world’s markets. I have a prospect who wishes to use these services to run his proprietary trading algorithms. I benefit since I will earn a percentage of commissions generated from his trades my employer benefits since they receive the bulk of the revenue. The prospect wants me to sign an NDA so that he can freely discuss his algorithms in order for me to guide him on best practices and choices related to my company’s product offering. The NDA does not reference my employer, only myself. Do I need to disclose to my employer if I sign this NDA?
Asked on May 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
Based on what you write, there is nothing disloyal in you signing the NDA, discussing the matter with the prospect, or pursuing this course of action, since you employer will also benefit and receive the bulk of the revenue. Since there is no disloyalty to the employer and no use of their resources for your gain, not their gain, you can sign without being legally required to disclose to them. Bear in mind, however, that unless you have an employment contract protecting your employment, you are an "employee at will" and may be terminated at any time, for any reason; therefore, if your employer becomes aware that you did this without disclosing it to them and is unhappy about this, they could legally terminate you.