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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default When Are Customer Lists a Contractor's Property vs. Employer's Property

    Sorry for such a vague title...

    While working for a company (hourly pay/no contract ever signed) I was given a list of about 30 brochure locations and my job was to fill them about once a month. (not my only job, just one of the many things I did)

    Over the course of 5 months, I took it upon myself while out refilling them to add brochure racks at about 40 - 50 other locations. (restaurants, waiting rooms etc., and several of these businesses are where friends/family work or own)

    I am no longer employed there. Am I required by law to give the list of all the additional locations that I added? Wouldn't it be my intellectual property?

    Thank you so much. I hope this is enough information for you to be able to state your opinion/the law pertaining to it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Key West, FL

    Default Re: When Are Customer Lists a Contractor's Property vs. Employer's Property

    Not in your case.

    We see what you want to do here and you don't have a leg to stand on.

    You obtained the locations as an employee.

    If you try to take those locations for your own distribution business I am sure you will be talking to lawyers very soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: When Are Customer Lists a Contractor's Property vs. Employer's Property

    Generally speaking, work you do as an employee becomes property of the company for which you're working. Upon separation, the company retains that property.

    Absent a contract that allows you to retain this property - intellectual or otherwise - it belongs to your former employer, and you're no longer entitled to use it.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: When Are Customer Lists a Contractor's Property vs. Employer's Property

    I'll add that laws differ by state - which is why we repeatedly ask you to identify your state when you post. It's also not clear from your post whether finding the additional locations was part of your job duties. It appears that you were installing your employer's racks at those other locations, so even if it was your idea to do so it appears to have been part of your job.

    Why don't you want them to know the locations? Because you want to compete with them? Because you're mad at them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: When Are Customer Lists a Contractor's Property vs. Employer's Property

    my original thread title included the word Texas, but i guess some moderator changed it to a more descriptive title. (which is why i had started off my post "sorry for such a vague title) it was "Who does this information belong to? (Texas)"

    finding additional locations was not part of my duties. i had taken it upon myself to do this.

    its not that i want to compete, or that im mad, i was just wondering because when i left, the owner said it was, and i wanted to know if this was true.

    the back story is... when i left, i told her that i would give her the list after i received my last payroll & mileage check and it cleared her bank. this is because she has a history of putting stop payments on checks and not paying her debts at all.

    so really, it was 2 separate issue. i know she couldnt legally withhold my checks & she knew i couldnt legally withhold a list, so it was an even bargaining trade. know what i mean?

    again... thanks so much...

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