Can a employer lock down my own personal PC?

Recently my employer locked down my PC with out warning of any kind. This is not company equipment. It is my personal PC; I bought it and work from home; I pay all my connection fees. Are they allowed to block my usage?

Asked on December 3, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not--not unless the terms of your employment provide that they may do so. Therefore, you should check any employment agreements, Employee Handbooks, etc. to see whether you have in fact given them this right. If you have not, then while they may turn off any services they pay for; disallow use of employer equipment; and block access to employer websites, servers, email, etc.; they can NOT do this to your personal machine or services you pay for. All they could do in regards to your own machine is request that you do not access--or even delete--any work files, software, or documents you received from the employer. Possibly this was done by mistake--if you work from home, it may be believed (e.g. by company IT) that it is a company machine.


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