Can I really be sued 3 months after my employment ended for something not turning over passwords that I don’t remember?

My job was eliminated due to organizational restructuring about 3 months ago. I was given a nice severance package but when I was informed I was given 20 minutes to clean out my office of 13 years. Today I received a certified letter stating that I had refused to turn over passwords and threatening if I didn’t turn over passwords to network equipment they would take all legal remedies available at law. This is the first time I have been contacted. I never refused. I was able to find employment immediately and have been focused on my new career. I honestly and truly don’t have the passwords written down and honestly don’t remember.

Asked on August 1, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

IF you were the only one with the passwords so that your failure to turn them over causes your employer to incur some otherwise necessary costs or expenses, like paying IT consultants to figure out how to gain access, then they could potentially hold you liable for those costs caused  by your negligence, or carelessness, not writing them down, not turning them over, etc. So yes there are circumstances under which you could be sued 3 months after the fact for this.


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