Legal Question in Business Law in Massachusetts

I work for a company that needs a programming consultant. I have a friend who is a programmer and wants to learn the technology we are using. Is there anything illegal about my company paying my friend for consulting services and my friend paying me for training? I would be training him on industry standard technologies, not anything particular to my organization and would claim it as income.

Asked on 10/28/14, 1:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

The problem is that what you are proposing is a deceptive action. There is nothing wrong with your friend providing consulting to your company, but if he is not competent in the technology he is misrepresenting his ability to your company. Likewise, if you are training him in the technology as he renders the service you are engaging in the deception. Likewise, if the company has a policy against you working for others this is a problem as well.

If your friend was already trained even if trained by you, and was competent to do the work the fact he is your friend is irrelevant. Your friend needs to be competent and you can't do the work for him.

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Answered on 10/28/14, 5:08 pm
Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

In other words, disclosure of the interrelationships to your employer would be very prudent as otherwise you might be fired even if this arrangement is not "illegal" -- and certainly, as Mr. Roth says, if your friend mis-represents his competence and only later learns the skills (the fact that it is from you is only part of the issue), then he has a problem, and so would you if you were assisting in the mis-representation.

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Answered on 10/29/14, 6:37 am

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