I am a research scientist with a state university in the United States. I am an at-will employee, not tenured or tenure-track.
Currently I am in the process of developing an academic book in my area of expertise, which is also the area I work extensively in for my employer. The book will be developed on my own time during evenings, weekends and vacation time.
Does my employer automatically have a claim to the proceeds if this book ever gets published? How can I verify? If they do have a claim, can I request a release and must I have a lawyer to do this for me? Can I represent myself?
For clarification, there was no contract signed at the beginning of the employment. Rather they pointed me to general bylaws of the university governing the type of position I am in and I was asked to verify that I agree to them. After examining the bylaws, I have not seen anything remotely related to copyright etc.