If I write a novel while working at a high school, can a district take credit for the novel?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2019

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If I write a novel while working at a high school, can a district take credit for the novel?

I was having a conversation with another teacher and she said that if a teacher writes a book or discovers something, that the school district can take credit from the novel or discovery is this true?

Asked on October 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there is no contract setting out what happens in this case, then the school district would only be entilted to any "credit" or compensation if you did the work 1) during school hours; and/or 2) using school resources, including their computer, server/system, etc. To oversimplify a complicated topic, you can't use your employer's resources or do your own work when you are being paid by them (i.e. during work hours) without them thereby obtaining some rights to or interest in what you did. 
But if the novel was done on your own time, using your own resources--then no, the district has no rights to it, unless you'd signed a written contract giving them rights in this situation.

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