Does my employer have the rights to ideas I develop or work I do outside of the hours I work for them?

UPDATED: Aug 7, 2012

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Does my employer have the rights to ideas I develop or work I do outside of the hours I work for them?

I did sign a document, which I interpreted as stating my company had the rights to anything I developed while being paid by them. The work I have been doing is outside of the hours they were paying me for, and (for the most part) unrelated to the work I do for them.

Asked on August 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you contractually gave your employer the right to any ideas or work you do outside of employment, that is legal. Therefore, to answer your question, you need to take the agreement you signed to an attorney who can review it with you, to determine exactly what rights you gave up.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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