Jordan A. Thomas comments on employers suing employees to recover property and company data
TPG Global last month fired a former top public affairs executive for allegedly breaching confidential data, and this week it filed suit because he has not returned his laptop and Blackberry. The suit claims Austin, Texas-based TPG fired Levine on Dec. 31, 2014, and has demanded return of the data and equipment. It alleges that earlier that month "Levine surreptitiously began removing confidential documents and information from TPG's offices and systems. These materials had no connection to any of Levine's then current work."
Another rare, but possible, instance for employees to keep equipment is if they are sharing materials with a government agency, though they have to meet various criteria to get such protections, says Jordan Thomas, partner at Labaton Sucharow, an attorney who handles whistleblower cases.
"And even with the law enforcement exception, the government does not keep the equipment," he says. "The government would image it and give it back."