Does my supervisor have the right to open my flash drive without my permission and delete proprietary documents?

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Does my supervisor have the right to open my flash drive without my permission and delete proprietary documents?

I was recently terminated from a position as a technical writer for reasons other than misconduct. When I submitted my employee badge to the human resources representative, I neglected to remove a flash drive attached to it that contained copies of all the documents I completed while employed there. The human resources representative gave the flash drive to my supervisor, who, in turn, left it for me at the company’s front desk. I retrieved the flash drive this afternoon. When I returned home and opened it on my personal computer, I discovered that all the documents I had completed for company had been deleted as well as some information that was not work related. While the documents were not classified, I suppose they were proprietary. Does my supervisor have the right to open my flash drive without my permission and delete those documents and do I have any legal recourse?

Asked on February 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:


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