A job can end when an employee quits, or when an employee is fired or laid off. Anytime a job ends, employees should return all company property.
Companies can be protective of their property, which can include supplies, inventory, computer devices, documents or digital information.
There can be severe consequences to keeping company property. For example, a company can sue former employees who take company property. In some cases, the police can bring charges against an employee for theft of company property.
When dealing with company property at the end of employment, employees should follow the law and company policies. Below are some suggestions for the cautious return of company property.
Unless you have express written permission from your employer:
Emotions can run high when you’ve been fired, and it can be tempting to want to reach out and take work product and tools that you are most familiar with. Unfortunately an employee owns very little of their work product, and the penalties for making the assumption that an item or data is theirs can be very steep. When leaving a workplace for any reason, the best approach is to stay out of trouble and leave it all behind.
If you have questions or concerns about returning company property, contact the writer, Jonas McKay, or any of the HHBG Lawyers at 604.696.0556 to schedule an appointment.
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