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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12250
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Recently terminated after 7 years. No reason given. In

Customer Question

Recently terminated after 7 years. No reason given. In Colorado. They took my computer and phone. Computer has personal info. The won't give it back? Why? Can I erase the contents if I intend to pursue legal action?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to help if I can. Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct any necessary research, and type a response. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'll wait for your written response.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again. Thank you for your patience.

Since your former employer took the computer and phone, I assume your former employer owns both devices. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If your former employer owns both devices, then it had the right to take back both devices. If you are asking why the former employer will not give you back the contents, I can only speculate. However, in most cases an employer has a strong argument that it owns the contents on such devices. The argument can be rebutted with evidence that the employer allowed employees to use such devices for personal reasons.

If you were to pursue legal action, then it is possible based on what I wrote above that you could win the right to remove the personal contents from the devices. But, you may have an uphill battle. I think it would be the exception rather than the rule if you were to win.

If you intend to take legal action, then I strongly suggest that you retain a local attorney. Your chances of success in the lawsuit are greatly diminished if you proceed on your own.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also,please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars(and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have the ability to erase the contents from an app, I don't want them to see any negative information I shared with consultants about my boss. Can they hold personal information like that against me if I am planning legal action about the termination?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am meeting with an atty next week but I don't want my former employer to keep my personal info until then.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I plan to ask my atty to negotiate a higher settlement so I don't want to jeopardize that.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Waiting for your written follow up response.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Waiting for your response
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again.

I'm not sure what you mean by this:

"I don't want them to see any negative information I shared with consultants about my boss. Can they hold personal information like that against me if I am planning legal action about the termination?"

You've already been terminated, so what is there to hold against you?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If I follow up with a settlement action can they use that info to deny me more money?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If I follow up with a legal action to get a bigger settlement will they use the information against me?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again. I still don't follow.

What "settlement action" are you referring to? I don't know what that means.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sorry. To negotiate a severance package. They are offering me money to stay quiet and it.'s not enough
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I want to get a larger severance.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again.

Okay, so they want you to stay quiet about something, and so they have offered you a severance. And you want to know if they can use the information on your computer and phone against you to somehow get you to agree to a lower severance? They certainly could do that. But if the only thing you're worried about is negative information about your boss, whom you no longer work for, then one would think that you may not care enough to take less.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Oh I see. It might work in my favor?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I shouldn't worry about it.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Your question is written as though they can force you to take a certain amount of severance. That's simply not the case. You can refuse to accept what they're offering.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The website keeps closing and it's very hard to keep the dialogue going.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
I'm sorry that you're having trouble with the website. Have you contacted customer service?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
they did not respond. This isn't feeling like it's working. Thx anyway.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

I see. Sorry to hear that.

However, please bear in mind that I do not work for this website. I am a user of the website just like you, except that I answer questions instead of ask them. You and I are like buyers and sellers on eBay; neither a buyer nor seller works for eBay. Accordingly, I would appreciate it if you would leave me with a positive rating for answering your legal questions, notwithstanding the trouble that the website is giving you (the rating is for me only, and not for the website).

Also, if you would like to come back here to ask additional follow-up questions about this situation at any time, feel free to do so, and I will respond.