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'[OT]Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete, & Inventions Agre'
2005\12\22@220548 by Aaron

picon face
A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a new
job -- which you really like and enjoy.  Now the HR guy comes to by, hands
you a couple sheets of paper, and says to review this Non-Disclosure,
Non-Compete, and Inventions Agreement that he forgot to mention and have you
sign.

Among other items, it contains the following 3 paragraphs...

"The Employee agrees to keep the company informed of his ideas and
suggestions towards the technical development of the lines of equipment to
be engineered, sold and/or managed by the Company.  Employee further agrees
that he will disclose promptly to the Company any and all inventions,
improvements, and developments, hereinafter referred to as "Inventions,"
conceived or made by the Employee during his employment, alone or in
conjunction with others, relating in any way to the business of the Company
or in which the Company may be interested, and that all such Inventions and
all information and records in regard thereto shall be assigned to and
become the exclusive property of the Company..."

"It is the intent of the Company that the Employee's sole remuneration be
for services rendered on behalf of the Company; it is not in the Company's
interest for upper-level employees to "moonlight."  Therefore, the Employee
should either arrange any taxable compensable endeavors for others through
the Company, or shall review his plans with, and have them approved by,
management before commitments are made, and the Company promises that such
approval will not unreasonably be withheld."

"In event Employee's employment is ended by either party, he has the right
to use the training an experience gained from his employment with company to
provide for his livelihood, except as reasonably limited by this Agreement,
with Company's customers, other customers in the industry, or in related
fields of employment; however, the Employee agrees not to work directly for
any competitor of the Company, nor indirectly as salesman, agent,
consultant, soliciting representative or sub-contractor, or in any other way
promote the sale, development, or use of a competitor's product, or
products, while he is employed by Company and for a two year period
following the end of his employment with Company."

What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?

Aaron

2005\12\22@222204 by Jinx

face picon face
> What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?

It should have been presented to you when or before you
started work. But seems reasonable. They are the conditions
of employment, so you'd either sign it or leave. Try to see it
from the employer's point of view. If there weren't agreements
like this, there might not be any companies to work for, it'd be
every man for himself

2005\12\22@222728 by Mauricio Jancic

flavicon
face
> "In event Employee's employment is ended by either party, he has the right
> to use the training an experience gained from his employment with company
> to
> provide for his livelihood, except as reasonably limited by this
> Agreement,
> with Company's customers, other customers in the industry, or in related
> fields of employment; however, the Employee agrees not to work directly
> for
> any competitor of the Company, nor indirectly as salesman, agent,
> consultant, soliciting representative or sub-contractor, or in any other
> way
> promote the sale, development, or use of a competitor's product, or
> products, while he is employed by Company and for a two year period
> following the end of his employment with Company."
>

I think that one is fair. How ever the usual time I arrange is 1 year...

{Quote hidden}

Mmmmm tricky... and besides "or in which the Company may be interested," is
a very open concept... it does not say that it should be related to "the
product".

> "It is the intent of the Company that the Employee's sole remuneration be
> for services rendered on behalf of the Company; it is not in the Company's
> interest for upper-level employees to "moonlight."  Therefore, the
> Employee
> should either arrange any taxable compensable endeavors for others through
> the Company, or shall review his plans with, and have them approved by,
> management before commitments are made, and the Company promises that such
> approval will not unreasonably be withheld."

Mmm it doesn't say what kind of job... it should specifically specify that
that applies to competitor companies or products, in my opinion...

Regards,

Mauricio Jancic
Janso Desarrollos
Microchip Consultant Program Member
spam_OUTinfoTakeThisOuTspamjanso.com.ar
http://www.janso.com.ar
+54 11 4542 3519

2005\12\22@225550 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
Aaron wrote:
> A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a new
> job

-snip-

> What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?
>
> Aaron

When I was young and hungry, I probably would have signed something like
this... I never had to so this is all hypothetical.  But when you have
few job choices, a wife, two kids and a dog, not to mention a mortgage,
you will pretty much sign anything.

That being said, I personally would not sign this one for several reasons.

1. They are pulling a total bullshit deal on you by not showing you this
at the outset.  That says to me that they want you.  They were afraid
you would not work for them if you knew about this.

2. Once when I actually did have someone ask me to sign something
similar to this, I refused.  That was the end of it.  No one came to
twist my arm.  I was doing a good job and they were not going to can me
for the sake of a piece of paper.

3. The last portion is not legal in many of the 50 states of the U.S.
In most states, they cannot prevent you from obtaining gainful
employment in your profession.

(No, IANAL; yes, ANYONE can sue you at ANYTIME for ANYTHING; but at
least in California, the courts take a dim view of these contracts.)

4. Finally: Self esteem.

In the end, Aaron, you must decide how to play your cards.  Do you like
this job enough to sign this?  Do you think you will ever have
circumstances that would put you in jeopardy of it?  Do you have other
choices for employment?

BTW, all this on my part is total guessing.  I am sitting by the fire,
enjoying life with a glass of wine.  But it is you who will have to live
with your decisions so don't listen too much to old farts like me.
Sometimes (often) it is required that we swallow our pride and just get
on with life.



2005\12\23@002002 by Mario Mendes Jr.
flavicon
face
First of all, I would not sign it, period.  They could either keep me
without signing it, or 2 let me go and risk being sued for firing me for
one of their mistakes, which was, not to let you know ahead of time of
all of their requirements for accepting the job offer.  Especially if
you left your last job to go work for them.  Yes, you'd have to pay for
a lawyer for this, but eventually, the court is more likely to side with
you because they _deceived_ you or did not make you fully aware of all
of their conditions for working there.  Having said that, they are
likely not to let you go if you don't want to sign it after 3 weeks
because it was their mistake; but I've been wrong before.

Second, it is complete bull manure to be subjected to not being able to
flip burgers at the local McDonalds from 9 pm to midnight if I wanted
to, if my work hours at this job are from 8 to 5.  I may sound extreme
and they are likely not to care about this, BUT it does make it clear
that it is up to the management's decision and not yours, and they COULD
decide that by working a second job until midnight you'd not get enough
sleep to perform your duties during the day and therefore say, "thou
shall not flip burgers after work hours".  On the other hand, if you
design top-secret satellites at Raytheon and you want to moonlight as an
electronic engineer in your own home based business, their worry would
is understandable.

I have never signed anything of this sort unless it explicitly said ONE
year (or less).  In my working career, I have only known of one place
that tried to sue anyone for this and it was NOT the individual that
left company A to go to work for company B, it was company A suing
company B which was a client of A and had a contractual agreement that
it would not hire any of A's current or past employees unless said
employee had not been working for A for a period of 1 year already.  The
reason for not suing the employee itself is that the courts are likely
to side with the employee because you can and probably will always argue
that you left A and was not offered a job anywhere else that would pay
you enough to pay your existing bills.  I'd like to make one thing clear
here, in every case I've known this to happen, the (employee) gave a 2
weeks notice and left company A making sure to let everyone know he did
not have new employment, yet.

One thing that comes to mind right away is this: you're a piclister and
as such you're probably inventing and making your own little gadgets all
the time.  Should you invent something that you'd like to sell one of
these days, you'd have to quit before you started to make these for sale
first, otherwise you could run the risk or the company suing you for
damages because you signed a piece of paper that said if the company has
any interest in it, it is not yours but theirs.  Also as a piclister
you're not likely to flip burger off work hours, but rather be inventing
things at those hours.

Anyway, in the end it is going to be up to you whether you really think
this job is worth it or not.  If this is your dream job you'll probably
not have an issue with it, but from your question I reckon this is NOT
your dream job and you have concerns about this.  I would not sign it.

Good luck.


-Mario
(an English as a 27th language person =)



{Original Message removed}

2005\12\23@004413 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Clearly, the company intends to drain an individual
mentally and creatively. The problem is that you are
unable to
sell you "ideas" to other parties eventhough they are
NOT
related to the company's product!

John





--- "Mario Mendes Jr." <.....marioKILLspamspam@spam@mmendes.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2005\12\23@005955 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Thu, 2005-12-22 at 22:05 -0500, Aaron wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I'm not sure about the country you're in, so what I'm about to say may
not apply to you.

First off, realize that no matter what the agreement says, nothing that
is "illegal" in the agreement is in any way binding, whether you sign it
or not. Why I say this is because the "all inventions belong to us"
clause USED to be in the contracts I saw, lately that clause is gone. I
haven't confirmed, but I've heard that it's a unreasonable clause: what
you do on your own time is your own business, and if you profit from it
there's nothing wrong with that, and the company has no right to
restrict you like that.

The second clause about "not allowed to work for a competitor" used to
also be in the agreement people at my company signed, it's not there
anymore either. I'm pretty sure that's completely a "no-no" where I am
from, it's completely unreasonable to restrict someone with a particular
expertise from seeking employment in that field with a competitor.
Engineering can be a very specialized thing, and if you're really good
in a certain aspect, it really is unfair to restrict you to "non"
competitors, and I doubt it would hold up, at least where I'm from.

Personally, when I got my first job, these lines were in the agreement,
I was a little concerned, but the job was very valuable to me, so I
signed it. Those agreements generally aren't cast in stone, but for some
companies they are. TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\12\23@013451 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On December 22, 2005 07:05 pm, Aaron wrote:
> A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a
> new job -- which you really like and enjoy.  Now the HR guy comes to
> by, hands you a couple sheets of paper, and says to review this
> Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete, and Inventions Agreement that he forgot
> to mention and have you sign.

--snip--

> What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?

Well, 1st, the HR guy said for you to review them, so tell him you are
going to review them. If it took them 3 weeks, I don't think they
should mind waiting a week for your reply.

If you took the time to type these things that disturb you, then you
have to decide if you want to accept them or live with them.
The agreement they handed you now is not cast in stone, so look at it
exactly the same way you would have if you hadn't accepted the work
yet, and remember, you are allowed to strike-out sections and
paragraphs as if you are negotiating a compromise which both you and
the company can be happy with (a middle ground - and try to look at it
from both your perspective and from the perspective of the company).
If they agree, then great.
If not, paper is cheap, and they can reprint a new copy again... in
which case, then you have to decide if you want to continue work there
or not.
I have given notice of excluding certain projects and stuff to a company
before I got hired with them, and it actually got their notice, which
sort of made them want me even more.
They also agreed with the exclusions.
Don't forget to have them make a copy printed for yourself in case of
later problems.

If they demand you sign, unmodified, then it's up to you to decide if
you want to continue there or not. Do what you think is best for your
circumstances, because whether the rest of us PicListers like your
contract or not... we're not the ones paying your bills at the end of
the month, you are!

If you want an opinion... I'd suggest you start looking for work while
still reviewing this paperwork because it is harder to say no if you
don't have other options, but will be easier to say "yes" or "goodbye"
if you have some possible options lined up.

2005\12\23@021545 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> "The Employee agrees to keep the company informed of his ideas and
> suggestions towards the technical development of the lines of
> equipment to
> be engineered, sold and/or managed by the Company.  Employee
> further agrees
> that he will disclose promptly to the Company any and all inventions,
> improvements, and developments, hereinafter referred to as
> "Inventions,"
> conceived or made by the Employee during his employment, alone or in
> conjunction with others, relating in any way to the business
> of the Company
> or in which the Company may be interested, and that all such
> Inventions and
> all information and records in regard thereto shall be assigned to and
> become the exclusive property of the Company..."

I *my* country I could just sign it, keep a copy, and hen when went to
court it would seriously *weaken* the employer's position, because he
forced something unreasonbale upon me. YMMV

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\23@041952 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Aaron wrote:
> A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a new
> job -- which you really like and enjoy.  Now the HR guy comes to by, hands
> you a couple sheets of paper, and says to review this Non-Disclosure,
> Non-Compete, and Inventions Agreement that he forgot to mention and have you
> sign.

Ask for time for your lawyer to review it.  Get a deadline for when it
has to be signed.  Ask if they'd like to pre-arrange a meeting after
you've had a day or two to review, saying that you have changes you'd
like to make.

Review it with an attorney.  Blackline the document appropriately,
making necessary changes.

Hand it back for review.

In the meantime, document ten different PIC projects you're "currently"
working on... you know, all the ones scattered across your workbench
that have been there for three years or so?

The blinky light thing for the Christmas tree, the remote control moving
dinosaur head for the nephew, goodness knows there are probably plenty
on any PICLister's bench!

Make sure you provide full CAD drawings, schematics, every technical
piece of information you have on them, and not a single sentence in
plain English about what any of them does.

Turn those in as your "current" inventions they need to review.

Distinctly mention that you'll happily provide quarterly updates on all
projects currently being invented, and any future projects, with a smile.

See if the requirement to sign suddenly and mysteriously disappears.

Also, continue doing an excellent job at work while waiting for them to
realize they don't want to pay the company lawyers to review your
documentation every quarter, of course.

Nate

2005\12\23@044428 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 22, 2005, at 7:05 PM, Aaron wrote:

> "The Employee agrees to keep the company informed of his ideas and
> suggestions towards the technical development of the lines of
> equipment to
> be engineered, sold and/or managed by the Company.  [...]

Standard.  Better than some, since it expresses interest only in ideas
related to the company's products.  It ought to be accompanied by a
request for disclosure of any existing "inventions" that you are
claiming
pre-date your employment...

>
> [no moonlighting]

I don't think I've seen one of those, though I vaguely require needing
permission to do things outside of my first job (which was granted.)


> ...the Employee agrees not to work directly for
> any competitor of the Company ...

(Is this in the USA?)  As someone mentioned, this tends to be illegal.
It also tends to be pursued only in really nasty cases involving the
upper echelons, especially in sales (bigwig sales guy moves to new
company and immediately starts bad-mouthing the old companies products
to all his old contact list...)


It might be worth asking what happens if you want to modify portions
of the agreement, but if you like the job and were planning spending
most of your efforts toward the new company anyway, it probably isn't
very important.  I haven't heard much about companies abusing this
sort of agreement, although there are occasional issues over wholesale
spin-offs where a significant group moves off to some new company with
an idea that could have been implemented at the first company.  (and
you KNOW how many internet startups are filled with ex-cisco employees!)

I don't think it's common for a company to show you the exact employment
agreement before you start, though if you're planning on doing outside
stuff it might pay to ask.  Stay at a company long enough and you'll
probably be asked to sign agreements that have been modified or newly
created long after your initial employment (like the "ethics agreement"
here that says we can't put firefox on the company-owned laptops...  
That
created quite a bit of ... heat on some internal mailing lists!)

BillW

2005\12\23@044814 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 22, 2005, at 9:44 PM, kravnus wolf wrote:

> Clearly, the company intends to drain an individual
> mentally and creatively.

No.  Clearly, the company hired a cheap lawyer or copied a
standard "employment agreement" out of some book.   You can't
tell anything about how they really ACT from such "boilerplate."

BillW

2005\12\23@045652 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Well, 1st, the HR guy said for you to review them,
>so tell him you are going to review them. If it
>took them 3 weeks, I don't think they should mind
>waiting a week for your reply.

I would agree with this. They have sprung it on you, and have asked you to
review it. If it takes you a month to "review" it, I don't think they could
complain. It may even take you a year to "review" it, though that would be
stretching things a bit far.

{Quote hidden}

It would be really worth paying an employment law specialist lawyer for an
hours time to review it and come back with a counter agreement, if you
really have problems with what it says. I would be tempted to ask the lawyer
what their rate is, and be prepared to stump up say $100 for a rapid review.
You may know someone that could help you with this for a suitable
consideration. I suspect they may point out the bits that Herbert already
has. On the other hand, if it is not worth the paper it is written on, then
it may be worth signing so they think they are protected, even if they are
not.

The bit I do not like is the piece which effectively means that anything you
do in your hobbies becomes theirs, even if it isn't in their current line of
work, but they might like to take on in the future because they see a money
making opportunity. You should perhaps point out that this stifles your
creativity, because you are now effectively working 24/7 for them.

2005\12\23@050525 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Second, it is complete bull manure to be subjected to not
>being able to flip burgers at the local McDonalds from 9 pm
>to midnight if I wanted to, if my work hours at this job
>are from 8 to 5.  I may sound extreme and they are likely
>not to care about this, BUT it does make it clear that it
>is up to the management's decision and not yours, and they
>COULD decide that by working a second job until midnight
>you'd not get enough sleep to perform your duties during the
>day and therefore say, "thou shall not flip burgers after
>work hours".

But if I choose to flip burgers all day Saturday, why should they have a say
in that (assuming Saturday is not a normal work day at this employment)?

>On the other hand, if you design top-secret satellites at
>Raytheon and you want to moonlight as an electronic engineer
>in your own home based business, their worry would is
>understandable.

Yeah, I think this is the sort of scenario they are attempting to protect
against, but the wording is all wrong to do this.

2005\12\23@091414 by William Couture

face picon face
On 12/22/05, Aaron <aaron.piclistspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a new
> job -- which you really like and enjoy.  Now the HR guy comes to by, hands
> you a couple sheets of paper, and says to review this Non-Disclosure,
> Non-Compete, and Inventions Agreement that he forgot to mention and have you
> sign.
>
> Among other items, it contains the following 3 paragraphs...
>
>  < ... snip ... >
>
> What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?

I was given such a NDA (though it was an even more odious document) after
being with a company for a couple of years, and the best thing I did was to
contact a lawyer and make them a counter proposal.  Somehow, they never
followed up and the agreement was never signed.

So, I'd suggest:
  1) Contact lawyer and discuss it with him.  They had a lawyer prepare their
      wish list for you to sign, you need one to make sure your interests are
      looked after.
  2) Draw up a counter-proposal that is agreeable to you.  Submit it as your
      response to their agreement.
  3) Make sure you get a *LIST* of companies that are considered competitors
      included in the agreement.  You should not have to "guess" if this is a
      competitor or not.  Moreover, their idea of a "competitor"
includes things
      like subcontractor, etc.  That is a can of worms that should
not be opened,
      try to get the list limited to actual competitors.
  4) Make sure you LIST your past and current projects, whether they have
      commercial value or not.  That way they cannot claim that something you
      did years ago is something "new" that "belongs to them".
  5) Personally, even if I had no interest in "moonlighting", I'd try
to get the second
      paragraph eliminated on general principles.  I have agreed to
work for pay, not
      give my life to them.  If I want to make money on my own time, that is my
      business because it it *MY TIME*, not time they are paying me
for.  If they want
      "exclusive" use of my time/talents, they should pay accordingly.

Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2005\12\23@092500 by olin piclist

face picon face
Aaron wrote:
> "The Employee agrees to keep the company informed of his ideas and
> suggestions towards the technical development of the lines of equipment
> to be engineered, sold and/or managed by the Company.  Employee further
> agrees that he will disclose promptly to the Company any and all
> inventions, improvements, and developments, hereinafter referred to as
> "Inventions," conceived or made by the Employee during his employment,
> alone or in conjunction with others, relating in any way to the
> business of the Company or in which the Company may be interested, and
> that all such Inventions and all information and records in regard
> thereto shall be assigned to and become the exclusive property of the
> Company..."

This is reasonable and customary.

> "It is the intent of the Company that the Employee's sole remuneration
> be for services rendered on behalf of the Company; it is not in the
> Company's interest for upper-level employees to "moonlight."
> Therefore, the Employee should either arrange any taxable compensable
> endeavors for others through the Company, or shall review his plans
> with, and have them approved by, management before commitments are
> made, and the Company promises that such approval will not unreasonably
> be withheld."

A bit strong, but not too far out of line.  I would think it reasonable if
the external activities covered by this section were limited to those
related to the company's business.  For example, if they make fans and
ventillation ducts and you write PIC code for fan controllers, you should be
allowed to write PIC code for a traffic light controller without requiring
permission as long as you don't do it on company time, company equipment, at
the company location, or any other company resource.

{Quote hidden}

This is reasonable except I don't like the 2 year period.  It may not be
enforceable, but I wouldn't agree to it anyway.

> What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?

I would cross out or modify text until it said what I want, then sign it and
give it back to them.  Tag, they're it.  Now they have to come to you and
negotiate.  Even though it may not feel that way, keep in mind you're in the
strong position and they're not.  They screwed up and should have had you
sign this as a condition of employment.  Now that they've already hired you,
they are in a tougher position.  Their only recourse is to fire you if you
refuse to sign the agreement.  If you keep it reasonable and realize they do
have some legitimate reason for wanting you to agree to some of these
things, they are very unlikely to do that.  It may not even be legal to fire
you because they tried to change the terms of your employment after the
fact.  Keep in mind this is what they are trying to do.  You hold the cards.
Give them what you think is reasonable for them to want, but no more.  Don't
be afraid to say no, no matter how much some corporate bully lawyer
threatens you.  Very likely that's his job, but your boss doesn't really
want any trouble and probably has a lot more say in the matter.  Unless it's
a very big company, but then threatening to expose their incompetence for
not having you sign this before hiring will probably make them back down.

I've been faced with agreements I didn't like before either.  I've always
insisted that the unreasonable parts were removed and have always gotten it
that way or not signed it at all.  In the end I never lost any work because
of it.  The single case where the agreement was really obnoxious (they
wanted the right to veto who I sold stock of my company to) and they refused
to change it, I didn't sign it, and they told me they would not give me any
additional work.  In fact I did to ongoing work but didn't want to take more
since something didn't smell right there.  Shortly after I completed the
work and got my last payment, they closed up and left several other
consultants holding the bag for 10s of $K each.  This was 12 years ago, and
I'm pretty sure they never got their money.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\23@093207 by olin piclist

face picon face
Marcel Duchamp wrote:
> Do you like this job enough to sign this?

That is completely the wrong way to look at it.  The real question is are
they willing to fire you for not signing it, or for only signing a modified
version of it.  Very very likely the answer is "no".


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\23@094547 by olin piclist

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> First off, realize that no matter what the agreement says, nothing that
> is "illegal" in the agreement is in any way binding, whether you sign it
> or not. Why I say this is because the "all inventions belong to us"
> clause USED to be in the contracts I saw, lately that clause is gone. I
> haven't confirmed, but I've heard that it's a unreasonable clause: what
> you do on your own time is your own business, and if you profit from it
> there's nothing wrong with that, and the company has no right to
> restrict you like that.

Not completely.  If the invention is along the lines of the company's
business, then they could quite reasonably claim you thought about and
developed it on company time.  Even if you didn't, this is a conflict of
interest which is *your* job to avoid.

However, they should not have any claim on things you invented with your own
resources that are clearly unrelated to the company's business.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\23@095745 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> It might be worth asking what happens if you want to modify portions
> of the agreement,

No!  Just modify it.  If you ask first, you will probably get some BS or
threating response from a lawyer "of course you can't, else we'll have to
let you go".  If you just do it, they'll probably be caught off guard and
now their in a tougher position of having to do something nasty if they
don't like it as apposed to saying "we warned you".  Not that any of this
has any legal weight, but the purpose is to play the mind game so that it
doesn't get to that.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\23@100530 by olin piclist

face picon face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> I would agree with this. They have sprung it on you, and have asked you
> to review it. If it takes you a month to "review" it, I don't think
> they could complain. It may even take you a year to "review" it, though
> that would be stretching things a bit far.

I did this once with an employee agreement they gave me after the fact.
Every time the personell guy would ask about it I'd say "Oh yeah, I'll get
to that", then never did.  Eventually he forgot about it.

4 years later when I left the company the same personell guy tried to
pre-emptively threaten me about confidentiality and such.  I wasn't going to
violate the company's confidentiality, but I didn't appreciate being
threatened without having done anything, so I told him there was no such
agreement in place.  He said of course there is and that I signed it when I
started work, and stormed over to the file cabinet.  After a few minutes of
frantic digging around in lots of files he came back all stuttering with a
very different tone.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\23@103014 by Jims Email

picon face
Aaron,

This is a similar agreement and situation to what I experienced when I wen
to work for TI (Texas Instruments).   When I had any moonlighting jobs
(there were several), I went to my superior and asked for (and received)
permission to persue the moonlighting jobs.

I believe this agreement should have been shown to you at the time of
employment and not two weeks later, but I guess it's your call on whether
you want to remain at a job you like, or go in search of another.   My
opinion... sign the agreement and go on working at a job you like.  If you
have any moonlighting jobs you want to persue, ask their permission.
Chances are you'll get it.   Unless the job you're monlighting at is in
direct competetion to what your employer is doing.

Hope this helps.

                                      Regards.

                                           Jim
{Original Message removed}

2005\12\23@103124 by Neil Cherry

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Wasn't there a big stink between MS & Google? The MS employee left,
went to Google and the courts permitted it.

> It might be worth asking what happens if you want to modify portions
> of the agreement, but if you like the job and were planning spending
> most of your efforts toward the new company anyway, it probably isn't
> very important.  I haven't heard much about companies abusing this
> sort of agreement, although there are occasional issues over wholesale
> spin-offs where a significant group moves off to some new company with
> an idea that could have been implemented at the first company.  (and
> you KNOW how many internet startups are filled with ex-cisco employees!)

I signed a similar agreement with my employer. But I first asked
around to see what other thought about it. It turns out that the
company only is interested in products directly related to their
business (I have examples) and they've even funded start ups
for some of the employees. They do frown on moonlighting (taking
a second job) as I found out when I tried to get a part time
job at Radio Shack (wanted some extra Christmas money). BTW, Radio
Shack had the worst agreement I've ever seen. They wanted you to
sign away all your rights to them. Any idea, even if it's for
another employer was theirs. I told them that I can't sign that
agreement. They told me I can't have the job. I'll never work for
them.

> I don't think it's common for a company to show you the exact employment
> agreement before you start, though if you're planning on doing outside
> stuff it might pay to ask.  Stay at a company long enough and you'll
> probably be asked to sign agreements that have been modified or newly
> created long after your initial employment (like the "ethics agreement"
> here that says we can't put firefox on the company-owned laptops...  
> That
> created quite a bit of ... heat on some internal mailing lists!)

We've got that policy at work also. No Open Source! But the
company recently switched to Firefox as a supported browser.
RedHat is being used on various projects and I don't think
they have a clue to the stuff we've being using on our Unix
servers for the last 28 years.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       .....ncherryKILLspamspam.....linuxha.com
http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/               Backup site

2005\12\23@104105 by alan smith

picon face
we had that occur....and I am not sure if I ever signed it actually because I sent it back to the HR folks with so much red on it....they may never have sent it back.

Jinx <EraseMEjoecolquittspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTclear.net.nz> wrote:  > What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?

It should have been presented to you when or before you
started work. But seems reasonable. They are the conditions
of employment, so you'd either sign it or leave. Try to see it
from the employer's point of view. If there weren't agreements
like this, there might not be any companies to work for, it'd be
every man for himself

2005\12\23@114545 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

>> It might be worth asking what happens if you want to modify portions
>> of the agreement,
>
> No!  Just modify it.  If you ask first, you will probably get some BS

Exactly. With the same right some employers and vendors come with
pre-written contracts and want you to sign them (often they even imply you
should sign them without studying them, because they're "just a formality"
-- oh yeah, sure :) you can present them with your version -- and then
/they/ have to decide whether or not they accept it. Nothing unfair in
that.

Gerhard

2005\12\23@122851 by Aaron

picon face
Wow!  Lots of good info to consider.  Too bad I'm getting ready to leave on
a week long trip with no email access.  I'll respond to some of the comments
and elaborate on some of my own thoughts when I get back.

Aaron

2005\12\23@180608 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
As such agreements go, this one is not nearly as nasty and one-sided as
some. For example:

> Therefore,
> the Employee should either arrange any taxable compensable endeavors for
> others through the Company, or shall review his plans with, and have
> them approved by, management before commitments are made, and the
> Company promises that such approval will not unreasonably be withheld."

Many agreements just don't let you do it at all. If you believe the 'not
unreasonable' part and you really aren't competing, then you should have no
problem with this.

{Quote hidden}

This is also very fair. Many such agreements won't let you work for any
supplier or customer of the company as well as competitors. And a two-year
block on working for a competitor is probably less than many (most) such
agreements.

I would probably not be too adverse to signing this.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2005\12\23@181110 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
Ah, I didn't address the first clause:

>> "The Employee agrees to keep the company informed of his ideas and
>> suggestions towards the technical development of the lines of equipment
>> to
>> be engineered, sold and/or managed by the Company.  Employee further
>> agrees
>> that he will disclose promptly to the Company any and all inventions,
>> improvements, and developments, hereinafter referred to as "Inventions,"
>> conceived or made by the Employee during his employment, alone or in
>> conjunction with others, relating in any way to the business of the
>> Company
>> or in which the Company may be interested, and that all such Inventions
>> and
>> all information and records in regard thereto shall be assigned to and
>> become the exclusive property of the Company..."

This less all-encompassing then some such clauses, which would omit words
like 'relatiing to the business of the Company' and 'may be interested' and
simply attempt to completely lock your brain.

It sounds like this company is trying to be more reasonable than most, but
still attempt to protect themselves.

Bob Ammerman

2005\12\23@194456 by VULCAN20

picon face
Aaron wrote:

>A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a new
>job -- which you really like and enjoy.  Now the HR guy comes to by, hands
>you a couple sheets of paper, and says to review this Non-Disclosure,
>Non-Compete, and Inventions Agreement that he forgot to mention and have you
>sign.
><SNIP>
>
>What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?
>
>Aaron
>  
>
About 23 years ago   I interviewed for a company. I was hired under the
following conditions: during my probationary period 90 workdays or less  
I was restricted to a certain part of the building and was not allowed
to talk about the product with any one that wore a red name tag except
to answer a question if they asked.

After about 45 work days I was called into the office and told my
probationary period was over but to continue with the company I would
have to sign a secrecy agreement.

my pay would increase from about $10 per hour to $20 per hour with merit
raises to follow. (With over time that came to $1000 a week with health
and dental for family.  In 1983 that much a week  was fantastic for some
one with only 2 years of tech school.)

They gave a list of about 40 companies that were competitors that I
could not work for for a period of 18 months after I left there
employment. and more names would follow as time went on.

I could not work part time in any related work to what I was doing for
them.  (They felt that if i needed more money they would try to give me
more time.)

Any thing that I tried to patent or idea I had that would improve their
product for up to 18 months after I left their employ was to conveyed to
them and no one else and I would be compensated.

There was a lot of other "different" restrictions that required travel etc.

After A lawyer looked at it for me and said it was very well written and
typical for a government sub-contractors hire agreement.  

I did not sign it.  or continue employment there




2005\12\23@200255 by R. I. Nelson

picon face
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Aaron wrote:

>A not-so-hypothetical scenario... it the middle of your 3rd week on a new
>job -- which you really like and enjoy.  Now the HR guy comes to by, hands
>you a couple sheets of paper, and says to review this Non-Disclosure,
>Non-Compete, and Inventions Agreement that he forgot to mention and have you
>sign.
>
>Among other items, it contains the following 3 paragraphs...
>
>  
>

>What are your thoughts on the above and what would you do?
>
>Aaron
>  
>

Not to start an argument, But put your self in the employers position.
consider IF:
You have just been working on a project that will make you a Million.  
You have 4 employees that have helped on it .
You do not have an agreement other then a hand shake.
It is going to take you a while to get it into a money making
situation.  an employee who did a lot of the final work and maybe made
it all come together  thinks  he can  make more money with  this  at  
the BIG BUCKS company.  He quits today starts there tomorrow.

In the us these days it is going to be a battle of the who has the most
money and best lawyers.  Even if you had an agreement with the employee  
that may be the case.



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2005\12\23@202442 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 23, 2005, at 4:44 PM, VULCAN20 wrote:

> I did not sign it.  or continue employment there

Do you ever regret that decision?

All other things left aside, I think people tend to underestimate the
percentage of one's energy that is taken up by a good technical job
that you enjoy.  Unless you already have a side business (like Dave's
musical group) or a successful history of inventing things, I think
you should just sign the agreement and see how things go.  This is
especially true of recent graduates who don't have much experience
with 'how things work in the real world."  Most companies behave
reasonably regardless of what their lawyers want you to sign.  Most
employee/employer disputes tend to be weighted heavily on the side
of the employee (wait till you see how much trouble it is to fire
your know-nothing jerk of a co-worker without getting your company
sued!)  And how well your side activities are perceived has a lot
more to do with your individual command chain than with the legal
agreements you sign or don't sign.

And when it comes down to it, a job you enjoy is MUCH more valuable
to your peace of mind than being able to work/invent in your free time.

And if I may be so bold:  Having reached middle age, I sometimes wish
I had picked up more hobbies that were not-at-all related to my
profession.
As I sit around with my hobbies (microcontrollers, electronics, PCBs,
etc)
after work (software engineering on rather larger systems), it doesn't
feel much like I've stopped working.  I find I feel a certain amount of
envy for those co-workers that just STOP on the weekends and go camping,
boating, skiing, fiddle with their cars; fix their houses, grow gardens,
and so on.  THEY know when they're working and when they're playing!

BillW

2005\12\23@232623 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2005-12-23 at 09:47 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > First off, realize that no matter what the agreement says, nothing that
> > is "illegal" in the agreement is in any way binding, whether you sign it
> > or not. Why I say this is because the "all inventions belong to us"
> > clause USED to be in the contracts I saw, lately that clause is gone. I
> > haven't confirmed, but I've heard that it's a unreasonable clause: what
> > you do on your own time is your own business, and if you profit from it
> > there's nothing wrong with that, and the company has no right to
> > restrict you like that.
>
> Not completely.  If the invention is along the lines of the company's
> business, then they could quite reasonably claim you thought about and
> developed it on company time.  Even if you didn't, this is a conflict of
> interest which is *your* job to avoid.

I guess that depends on what country your are in (which is what I said
in the beginning).

As I mentioned, of the agreements I've seen (and signed), this clause
USED to be in there, but the latest agreement I signed didn't have a
whisper of it, and I'm sure there's a good reason (very likely didn't
stand up in court, or the company lawyers realized it would never stand
up in court).

If I work for a company that makes staplers, but my job is designing the
box for the stapler, I see no right of the company to intrude on my
developing an automatic stapler on my own time.

You're right, the company could probably argue I was POSSIBLY designing
this new stapler on company time, even if I wasn't, but that DOESN'T
make it right, which is my point.

Again, IMHO (and this is just my opinion), the work I do on my own time,
and with my own equipment, is my own business, and the company has no
right to lay claim to it. The law might see things differently, but
that's how I feel about it.

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\12\24@014759 by VULCAN20

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

>On Dec 23, 2005, at 4:44 PM, VULCAN20 wrote:
>
>  
>
>>I did not sign it.  or continue employment there
>>    
>>
>
>Do you ever regret that decision?
>  
>
Not really from the overall stand point.  From what I heard from others
the 45 days I was there, the pay and benefits were GREAT, but when they
were under pressure they expected 150 % from you and there was not any
talking about what happened at work allowed out side the work area.
as a person I knew  said what good is the money if you don't have time
to enjoy it.

{Quote hidden}

Thats not so true here in Wisconsin.  If you do not have a union to
protect you the company can let you go just on "they do not need you any
more."

{Quote hidden}

2005\12\24@081029 by olin piclist

face picon face
VULCAN20 wrote:
> After A lawyer looked at it for me and said it was very well written and
> typical for a government sub-contractors hire agreement.
>
> I did not sign it.  or continue employment there

Why?  The government puts a lot of restrictions on companies and individuals
that work on secret projects.  This is probably where the travel
restrictions came from.  If a lawyer said it was reasonable and there
weren't any lurking gotchas for you, what was the problem?


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\24@083813 by olin piclist

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> If I work for a company that makes staplers, but my job is designing the
> box for the stapler, I see no right of the company to intrude on my
> developing an automatic stapler on my own time.

I do.  Maybe you only design the box, but surely you had contact with people
that did the design or heard people discussing the next greatest stapler, or
whatever.  I don't know what the law actually says about this, but I would
side with the company if I was on the jury given what you said above.  In
other words, you can say you did it on your own time with no influence from
your company activitied, but I wouldn't believe you.

By working for a company that makes staplers and developing a new stapler on
the side, you have created a conflict of interest.  This is certainly
unethical even if it may be legal in some cases.  Whether legally right or
wrong, this crosses the line for acceptable professional behavior.

Now if you developed a new bathroom faucet, then I don't see any problem.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\24@105806 by R. I. Nelson

picon face
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Olin Lathrop wrote:

>VULCAN20 wrote:
>  
>
>>After A lawyer looked at it for me and said it was very well written and
>>typical for a government sub-contractors hire agreement.
>>
>>I did not sign it.  or continue employment there
>>    
>>
>
>Why?  The government puts a lot of restrictions on companies and individuals
>that work on secret projects.  This is probably where the travel
>restrictions came from.  If a lawyer said it was reasonable and there
>weren't any lurking gotchas for you, what was the problem?
>  
>
At that time of in my life I did not wish to have a couple of goverment
agencys  looking over my shoulder, not that I was doing anything  
against the law.  There were other lurking Gotchas as you call them.  
Not allowed to get to intoxicated in a public place.  ( may leak company
info).
I never was aware of the end product, although I had ideas.

>
>******************************************************************
>Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
>consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products
>  
>



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2005\12\24@133545 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2005-12-24 at 08:38 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > If I work for a company that makes staplers, but my job is designing the
> > box for the stapler, I see no right of the company to intrude on my
> > developing an automatic stapler on my own time.
>
> I do.  Maybe you only design the box, but surely you had contact with people
> that did the design or heard people discussing the next greatest stapler, or
> whatever.  I don't know what the law actually says about this, but I would
> side with the company if I was on the jury given what you said above.  In
> other words, you can say you did it on your own time with no influence from
> your company activitied, but I wouldn't believe you.

But I was no longer talking about the legal side of things, or the
"believability" side of things (is that even a word, spell check says it
is...), I was talking about the ethical/moral side of things. If I
design stapler boxes and don't have any inside knowledge on spring
dynamics or the production side of making a stapler, I see nothing wrong
in designing a new stapler by myself.

As I said, I agree, noone would probably believe me, but I don't see why
that makes the company's restriction on me "right".

> By working for a company that makes staplers and developing a new stapler on
> the side, you have created a conflict of interest.  This is certainly
> unethical even if it may be legal in some cases.  Whether legally right or
> wrong, this crosses the line for acceptable professional behavior.

Why? If I truly had no influence from my job (aside from knowing what a
stapler is) I don't see why it's unethical. Yes, noone would likely
believe me, but ethically I don't see the problem.

The fact of the matter is this sort of thing has happened many times
(which is why some companies pull this sort of crap in their agreement).
People working for a company branch off to form their own company. This
is how the world works, and as long as you are ethical about it I don't
see anything wrong with it.

Are you TRULY of the stance, knowing how specialized engineering is,
that if I'm an expert at stapler boxes, and no longer like the company I
work for, I can't use my expertise in stapler boxes to branch off and
make my own stapler company? If so, well, I guess that proves how
opinions can differ in different parts of the world, and there's nothing
wrong with that.

> Now if you developed a new bathroom faucet, then I don't see any problem.

But you KNOW how specialized many engineers become. Is it really
reasonable for someone with specialized knowledge in an area NOT to be
able to use that knowledge for their own benefit with someone other then
their current company?

It's like telling a transmission mechanic that if he doesn't like
working for me anymore that's fine, but he's not allowed to go to
another dealership as a transmission mechanic. It simply doesn't make
sense to me.

Again, all my opinion.

TTYL


-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/


'[OT]Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete, & Inventions Agre'
2006\01\01@212335 by Aaron
picon face
On 12/22/05, I orignally wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I just got back in town and am attempting to catch up on a bunch of email --
thanks for all the responses.  Several people inquired as to my location --
it's in the USA.

For now my plan is to...ignore the paper and hope HR forgets about it.
Unfortunately, they have another new person starting this week so HR's
memory may get jogged.  If I get further, repeated requests to sign it, it
will be handed back with several changes for them to review.  The primary
one being the removal of the "or in which the Company may be interested"
phrase in the inventions section.  I also have a several projects developed
in my spare that I will bring in to support my case for removal of this
phrase.

Regarding 'not allowed to work for a competitor within 2 years' portion of
the agreement - to my knowledge there are no competitors within commuting
distance so it is probably a non-issue.  Things could change, but most of my
family is here and I have no long term plans to relocate.  Any case, I'll
request that they furnish a list of competitors and make it a part of the
agreement.

Moonlighting -- this one is interesting as my ex-boss just contacted me
asking if I have any free time he can pay me for!  I plan to discuss this
with my new boss this week and get his reaction.  This will help me know how
to handle the 'moonlighting' portion of the agreement.

I really believe that this is a boilerplate document forgot about by the HR
person.  I don't believe they intentionally mislead me or negotiated in bad
faith.  My boss is pretty reasonable and I expect that reasonable
modifications to this agreement shouldn't pose any significant problems.

Aaron

2006\01\02@172059 by Robertino Benis

picon face
Hi Aaron,

Is that in California? If so, forget about non-competing agreements :-)
Non-compete employment agreements are illegal in California. Business and
Professions Code § 16600 provides that "every contract by which anyone is
restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any
kind is to that extent void." Unless is a business owner or a partner.

Remember the case former Aetna employees in California vs. Aetna Medical
Insurance.

California is a heaven as far as that part is concerned: an employee may
literally walk out the office and walk into the competitor's office and
start working. Of course, you cannot sell secrets - that's illegal.  

If you're not in the California, then:

1. 2 years is just plain too much, negotiate it. You really cannot foresee
events in the next 2 years _after_ you terminate the employment. I used to
work with a big corporation in the Pacific Northwest, and that part was
really a pain in the ***, though it lasted for "only" 1 year.

2. Non-disclosure is something what reasonably you should agree to. You
shouldn't steal secrets from your employer, and you are probably ok with
that.

3. Get a rid of that part " which the Company may be interested " - it's too
broad, and they could take you to court for anything. Having more cache for
lawyers then you, that could put you in a bad position.

4. "moonlighting" is something many IT companies I know about and worked for
generally don't tolerate. Avoid it if you can, and don't sign it. Leave it
to your immediate manager to decide if your performance is affected by it.
You should be able to create something offsite, in your spare time, if you
like. Then sell it or make extra money doing it. This has nothing to do with
your employer, unless you are using his equipment and doing it during your
working hours.

If HR threatens you, threaten them back.

Good luck!

Cheers,
r.

{Original Message removed}

2006\01\02@183848 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Robertino Benis wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2006\01\02@212821 by Jinx

face picon face
Couldn't this have been trimmed for god's sake ?????

More than 10kB and I've no idea who said what in what order

I mean, come on...............

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Axtell" <KILLspamengineerKILLspamspamcotse.net>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <RemoveMEpiclistTakeThisOuTspammit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:38 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete, & Inventions Agreement


Robertino Benis wrote:

{Quote hidden}

too
>broad, and they could take you to court for anything. Having more cache for
>lawyers then you, that could put you in a bad position.
>
>4. "moonlighting" is something many IT companies I know about and worked
for
>generally don't tolerate. Avoid it if you can, and don't sign it. Leave it
>to your immediate manager to decide if your performance is affected by it.
>You should be able to create something offsite, in your spare time, if you
>like. Then sell it or make extra money doing it. This has nothing to do
with
>your employer, unless you are using his equipment and doing it during your
>working hours.
>
>If HR threatens you, threaten them back.
>
>Good luck!
>
>Cheers,
>r.
>
>{Original Message removed}

2006\01\02@215015 by Rolf

face picon face
Jinx wrote:
> Couldn't this have been trimmed for god's sake ?????
>
> More than 10kB and I've no idea who said what in what order
>
> I mean, come on...............
>
>  
I am sure it could have .... did you? Your mail was 10K too.

Rolf


P.S. It had to be said ... right?

2006\01\02@221650 by Jinx

face picon face
> I am sure it could have .... did you? Your mail was 10K too

Well aware of that - I debated whether to cut (as you did,
thank you) or not to cut. Left it intact. Not exactly "shock
and awe) but.......

> P.S. It had to be said ... right?

What ? How I responded or <boiler-room voice> PLEASE
TRIM YOUR POSTS PLEASE

There is so much unnecessarily repeated quoting in so many
posts, and then add all the signatures and headers and footers
too, I simply can't be bothered wading through it all and just
lose interest in the thread (hmmm, where's that Del key now ?)

Which annoys me, because buried in all the guff could have
been a wee pearl of wisdom that I'll never get to see, it'll be
gone forever

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