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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    11

    Default Sued by Ex-Employer

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: CA but I live in NY

    Folks - when I was terminated 6 months ago from an employer based in CA, there was a transition agreement during which you were allowed to use the intranet. I did download some documents which I felt were pertinent to my job role and then received a letter from the internal legal team while I was still there asking me to destroy those documents and sign a letter stating I did delete them and also haven't used them for any external purposes.

    Now, few months later I get a similar letter (this time from a law firm representing my ex-employer) stating I may have mis-appropriated those documents and asking me to respond back with a re-confirmation that I haven't shared the documents with anybody as it'll be a breach of the proprietary information and inventions agreement act. They also indicate in the letter that I initially downloaded the documents while I was looking for another role or may have found a role in another company which means they are tracking who I am working for. I'm also at a competitor now and I haven't used any of the documents I downloaded since I don't have them after the deletion and the laptop was sent back to my ex-employer. However, both companies are in the same industry and do sell to a common set of clients

    My main question here is - should I engage my current employer to help me out here with any legal fees that incur or use their legal team to respond? Or will they simply not care as they aren't named specifically in the letter

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,814

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    There shouldn't be any legal fees. You just send them another confirmation that you have deleted the documents and didn't share them with anyone. That seems to be all they are asking for.

    If it goes beyond that, you are pretty much on your own. Your current employer has no dog in this fight unless they are named as a party in any suit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,989

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    Quote Quoting dohat
    View Post
    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: CA but I live in NY

    Folks - when I was terminated 6 months ago from an employer based in CA, there was a transition agreement during which you were allowed to use the intranet. I did download some documents which I felt were pertinent to my job role and then received a letter from the internal legal team while I was still there asking me to destroy those documents and sign a letter stating I did delete them and also haven't used them for any external purposes.

    Now, few months later I get a similar letter (this time from a law firm representing my ex-employer) stating I may have mis-appropriated those documents and asking me to respond back with a re-confirmation that I haven't shared the documents with anybody as it'll be a breach of the proprietary information and inventions agreement act. They also indicate in the letter that I initially downloaded the documents while I was looking for another role or may have found a role in another company which means they are tracking who I am working for. I'm also at a competitor now and I haven't used any of the documents I downloaded since I don't have them after the deletion and the laptop was sent back to my ex-employer. However, both companies are in the same industry and do sell to a common set of clients

    My main question here is - should I engage my current employer to help me out here with any legal fees that incur or use their legal team to respond? Or will they simply not care as they aren't named specifically in the letter

    Thank you
    If I understood you properly you haven't shared the documents with anyone. If that is the case, then just respond to the lawyer with a reconfirmation that you haven't shared the documents with anyone. Don't get your current employer involved unless you want to risk losing your current job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    I should correct the subject line since it's only a letter right now and there is no lawsuit. However the letter did come from Counsel to "ex-employer" and states Legal services, Litigation below that

    Do you folks think this could turn into a lawsuit and if it does, would I then engage my current employer? I know the injunctions, etc could cost a lot of money to respond to

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,814

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    Quote Quoting dohat
    View Post
    Do you folks think this could turn into a lawsuit and if it does, would I then engage my current employer? I know the injunctions, etc could cost a lot of money to respond to
    Could it? Anything is possible. You should not involve your current employer if they aren't a party to the suit. You would need to seek counsel of your own.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    Quote Quoting dohat
    View Post
    Do you folks think this could turn into a lawsuit and if it does, would I then engage my current employer? I know the injunctions, etc could cost a lot of money to respond to
    Could it? Sure. All they have to do is not believe you and choose to sue you.

    As mentioned your employer doesn't have a dog in this fight at this point and might even fire you if they think you did wrong at your last employer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    Because i feel this is emanating by a motivated exec from the ex-employer who knows he may be on the brink of losing some customers to my current employer. I'm trying to see if my current employer would help with legal fees or use their legal team as at the end of the day if I didn't work for a competitor, pursuing something like this would not matter at all to my ex-employer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,069

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    As indicated at the other site where you posted about this, there should be no need for legal fees or assistance, and we have no way of knowing what your current employer might care about.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,989

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    Quote Quoting dohat
    View Post
    Because i feel this is emanating by a motivated exec from the ex-employer who knows he may be on the brink of losing some customers to my current employer. I'm trying to see if my current employer would help with legal fees or use their legal team as at the end of the day if I didn't work for a competitor, pursuing something like this would not matter at all to my ex-employer
    Once again, you should NOT involve your current employer unless you want to lose your current job. There should not be a lawsuit. The burden of proof is on them to prove that you did use the documents. Since you didn't, they can't prove that you did anything wrong and therefore should lose any lawsuit. Their attorney KNOWS that. The attorney is just trying to intimidate you enough so that you definitely won't use the documents if you still have them. Just tell the attorney that you do not have the document and therefore have not shared them with anyone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Sued by Ex-Employer

    Got it. One local lawyer I called on a free 30 min referral site told me to come see him immediately as the ex-employer can get a search warrant. I'm not afraid of a search warrant and any seizure of my computers etc as there is nothing on them but don't want my entire home ransacked either causing a grave inconvenience to the family. Having said that, are search warrants easy to get for companies for cases like that or they'll first have to file an actual lawsuit. Sorry for thinking ahead and my basic questions

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