I have owned my cellphone number and hardware for 20 years and through corporate integrations from company A, B and C. The plan was expensed. With company D, a huge global company, my manager insisted that I have a company provided blackberry and my personal number was used in conjuction with it. Apparently my personal phone number became acquired at that time. The company did not tell me that the phone number became theirs. The only policy provided to me post dated the blackberry acquisition. That policy was never distributed to employees. I am retiring next month and would like my phone number back. I understand the security concerns and have offered to purchase a new phone subsequent to having the blackberry and laptops purged. This phone number was never given to customers, listed on my business cards or emails. Does the employer have the right to take my personal number without my permission? Do I have legal grounds to demand it's return?
State/Country relating to question: Illinois
Offered to have the blackberry and laptop purged just prior to my Termination and purchase of new hardware. The response has been handled by a company contracted to work on phone purchases and issues.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!Please clarify: were the phone bills in the name of the employer and paid by the employer?
The bills were then paid by my employer. There was no notification that the mandated blackberry number would become owned by the company. The only policy I found was effective about a year after this transition had occurred. This policy was not distributed to us nor available in HR policies or other websites. Those of us who were "acquired" vs. new employees were not and are still not aware of the phone number ownership. The only information we received relevant to the now employer paid contract was that the plans and minutes would be "pooled". No mention of ownership of the phone number. I have kept copies of all communications on the subject.
Thank you. Since you were not paying for the number, it would seem that you no longer have a legal right to the number. It's not your personal property. It does not belong to you.When you stopped paying for the number, you automatically lost any rights to the number. You don't have a contract with the cell carrier, either.There is simply no available legal tool to force the employer to allow you to reclaim the number.I know that this is not what you wanted to hear but you deserve a candid answer. I wish very much that I could offer you an answer that was more favorable to your circumstances, but the law seems to be pretty clear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.I hope you understand.It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide to give you excellent service!"
Doesn't the employer have an obligation to explain or provide a policy or access to a policy that states that when they mandate my use of their hardware, then apply my personal phone number to that hardware and bill, that my phone number will become their property? If they had done so I would have kept my personal phone and number when the blackberry was provided to me. There was no indication to us that the employer would "own" our personal numbers. Ironically, it appears that my employer is an advertiser on this site so I am somewhat concerned about conflicts of interest. I haven't found any other employees who were aware of this either.
There is no law which requires the employer to provide such an explanation. As a general matter, no matter what, if you do not pay for your own cell phone bill, you have no legal rights to the number.
Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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