Do I have to give my ex employer my phone passcode

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Do I have to give my ex employer my phone passcode

I left my employer on 3/11. They immediatly took my work phone and computer. A
few days later I get a call from their attorney stating they want my passcode for
the phone. They can easily plug the phone in a reset it to get into the phone so I
am not stopping them from using it again. I just don’t wan to deal with them
anymore.

Asked on March 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Since this phone is a work phone (and not your own personal property), you are under a legal obligation to provide the passcode. If you have not yet received your last paycheck, your former employer may be able to hold up paying you until you give the code to them. At any rate, why not just provide it? The fact is that they could potentially take legal action against you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If it was a work phone, as it evidently was, then yes, you need to give them the passcode; you have no legal basis to not provide it or otherwise impair their access to their own property and, more to the point, why are you not providing the code--that would be the easiest way to resolve this and not have to deal with them again.


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