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Topic: Is this a conflict of interests?  (Read 933 times)
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Darkest_Faerie
« on: September 27, 2007 09:21:47 AM »

I just got a job at a clothing/accessories store, I have to quit my job at another accessories store because of "conflict of interest" and I also run my own jewelry website (they do not know-and hopefully never will)
In the handbook it says you cannot work somewhere or run a business that will pose as conflict of interest.
I am taking this job very seriously because I am just under the assistant manager so I'm pretty important.
I do not want to give up my business-I put so much money into it, and I am not thinking of selling it because I am not making much of a profit on it and do not want to pass that on to someone else.
Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008 03:42:58 PM by jungrrl - Reason: Made subject more descriptive » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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itscribe
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007 10:44:27 AM »

It seems to me from a logical, not legal, perspective; if the shop sells items they have purchased (as opposed to their own lines) you selling handmade items would not be a conflict of interest.

As long as you aren't telling customers things like "Oh that necklace isn't as good as what I make" sorts of things I would think you are OK.

Using this same logic; that would mean people who work at a bookstore could not write their own book, people who work at a craft supplies store could not sell crafts, people who work at a fabric store couldn't sell quilts or clothing they make.

That said, these non-compete agreements are often vague as to what they actually include. I would ask them for clarification. I've heard some pretty amazing stories about the non-compete type clauses. A college buddy's dad worked for Pepsi and had tons of stories of fellow employees getting fined and even fired for being caught with Coke products or in restaurants that only sold Coke products.
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gilowyn
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007 12:29:00 PM »

A friend of mine started working at Nike's call center, and showed up with Puma shoes the first day. They wanted to force him to walk around bare-foot all day... he just left.

Apart from that - you need to get their written approval for any business. If you don't, they can fire you without notice, no matter what your contract says.
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007 04:12:06 PM »

Competing is competing, and you compete for accessories business. If you're out on your own private time and someone wants jewelry, are you going to send them to your employer's business or your own first? Um...I'm going to guess to your own. That's competition, even if it's on your own time.

If you want to keep really, really quiet about it and are confident that nothing would ever slip out about your business, I wouldn't say anything. But...you should look for another type of employer to work for in future because you'll always run into these kinds of situations.
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itscribe
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007 08:39:11 PM »

That's the big problem with all of this; what and who exactly is their competition. If they sold high-end gold/silver/gemstone jewelry, would someone selling crochet jewelry really be competition to them?

I had a contract job in the IT field and asked about the company's non-compete statement. They told me since I was hired as a Tech Writer that I could not work for the client as a tech writer; yet, I could go work for the client as a programmer. Other tech companies consider non-compete meaning you can't work for a client until 1 year after your last day of employment with them. It just depends on company policy.

I would never sign such an agreement without it being spelled out completely how the company defines their competition and what I can and can not do. The company with the no employment for a year clause allowed you to go to work for the client if you had applied for a specific position prior to beginning the contract project.

They might even see what you are doing as not competitive and may even discuss including your items in their inventory.

It all depends on how they define competition. I would ask for specifics in a general sort of way - blame your parents, husband, SO, whoever. Just say I was talking to ___ about your non-compete policy and when they asked me what that meant I didn't really know what to tell them, what does that mean anyway?

Ask in a vague dis-interested sort of way so you can get the information without raising a red flag, then make your decisions based on their definition, not ours.
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Darkest_Faerie
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007 08:47:18 PM »

I dont think they will carry my stuff because it is a huge company with like 8 other chains of stores (They are huge)
Some of their jewlery is very similar to mine. Just cheapo stuff that costs $4-$20
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Darkest_Faerie
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2007 08:48:32 PM »

And I have been thinking about getting rid of that particular jewelry anway (its all on sale) because I have no time for it anymore. I might take my site offline
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-See my photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceylheureux/
-Visit my blog here: http://tinystarcreations.blogspot.com/
-Check out my zazzle site here:
http://www.zazzle.com/paper_airplane*
Darkest_Faerie
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2007 10:06:02 PM »

Ive decided that I am taking my site offline and not mentioning anything about it
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-See my photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceylheureux/
-Visit my blog here: http://tinystarcreations.blogspot.com/
-Check out my zazzle site here:
http://www.zazzle.com/paper_airplane*
itscribe
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2007 07:56:24 AM »

Sorry to hear that you had to chose between a new job and your hobby/business. Good luck with your new job!
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Darkest_Faerie
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007 09:13:24 PM »

it wasnt that big of a deal for me because my site wasnt really making any money, I will still make jewlery and sell it to my regular customers
THIS ROCKS   Logged

-See my photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceylheureux/
-Visit my blog here: http://tinystarcreations.blogspot.com/
-Check out my zazzle site here:
http://www.zazzle.com/paper_airplane*
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