Does my employer own my work?

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Does my employer own my work?

I completed my residency training at a hospital. All
the work I completed progress notes, presentations
during my training were uploaded on Google drive
shared with my boss. Once I completed my
residency training, I deleted all the files that were
uploaded on Google drive. Can my employer ask me
for the deleted files? Can my employer press
charges if I do not have the files? My contract and
employee handbook do not have topics regarding
campany ownership.

Asked on June 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer owns all work done by you for the employer, in the course of employment, and/or using their equipment and facility. In deleting the work, you destroyed their property. It is unlikely you would face criminal charges unless they can show you had a criminal intent (e.g. you knew it was theirs, but determined to destroy it anyway). They could theoretically sue you for the value of the notes, work, etc. if it has some value and/or if they'd need to pay someone else to redo it. And of course they could mention this to any prospetive employers calling for a recommendation.


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