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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Former Employer Withholding Personal Property

    I am trying to figure out if there is some course of action I can take to retrieve the personal property that was ceased upon my termination:

    My employer confiscated 10 notebooks all of which are filled with personal notes, non-work related tasks, diaries, budgets, artwork as well as company implementation notes and ideas/notes pertinent to the job I was doing. They had told me that they would sift through the notebooks and see what was deemed worthy for me to keep and would not let me do it myself under their supervision. I have contacted them about it but have not heard any response to this issue nor the issue regarding obtaining copies of artwork created during my employment (it has been more than a month regarding both issues and I still have no idea on even a status).

    I was informed when I started the job more than 2 and a half years ago that the notebooks were mine to keep and could be used for anything I deemed them needed for, though based on past events regarding my employers honesty/memory this is something I am most certain they'd deny. I have reviewed my work contract which states that any personal property I have I am entitled to. It has nothing regarding ceasing property to review to see if there is compromising information inside the property.

    I have attempted to contact them several times through different mediums and still have had no response. What should I do? Those books mean a great deal to me, they have the last several years of my life documented therein. it's down right embarrassing that someone else is looking through them, if they haven't thrown it away that is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,099

    Default Re: Former Employer Withholding Personal Property

    I do not know if your relationship allowed you to keep your work of if they are able to claim it as work product. Can you lend any light to which it is?

    Some of the items do sound like they would be the property of the company. Others, obviously unrelated to work and yours.

    If you believe they have personal property that is yours, you will most likely have to initiate a legal action and ask the court to order them to return your property. Anything short of that, I would suggest would come down to each party making claim to the books and nobody is going to force anybody to do much of anything.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Former Employer Withholding Personal Property

    in the industry i was in (video slot machines) in you are able to use work as portfolio pieces once they've become publicly displayed by a client. a fellow coworker put in his 2 weeks notice a week after i was fired (2 people did, actually), he already has content he created at the job, also including work we both collectively created, online.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Former Employer Withholding Personal Property

    Relative to the artwork, perhaps an intellectual property attorney could assist you in determing what, if any, recourse you may have.

    Anything else, however, once you mixed personal notes and diaries in with work documentation, you really muddied the waters.

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