I have been working for a company for several years as an independent contractor. We do not have a written contract. I have recently left the company, as I no longer want to work for them via personal reasons. I have been given permission to store my workfiles at the company’s location due to access convinces for both parties. I paid for all records (papers, legal docs) which I am required to keep by law.
When I asked to arrange a time to pick up my files, the owner of the company refused to allow me to pick them up. Their reason is that they are property of the company and by law, they need to have a copy on hand. If I want a copy for my own records, they will charge me for them, which will equal tens of thousands of dollars. The law states: “An (title by name) must have custody of his or her workfile, or make appropriate workfile retention, access, and retrieval arrangements with the party having custody of the workfile.”
Since I never granted ownership of my workfiles to the company (custody), made appropriate workfile retention (storage only), and the company is refusing me retrieval of my workfiles. I do not want to leave my workfiles at this office, as they do not an adequate security policy in place to protect my workfiles. I do not want my work to be called into question via court or state enforcement agencies and then find out some papers in my workfile are missing or the file. What can I do to get my files back?