What action can be taken against me by former employer if I was terminated from my job and asked a co-worker if he would be willing to delete some of my old work files?

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What action can be taken against me by former employer if I was terminated from my job and asked a co-worker if he would be willing to delete some of my old work files?

I asked if he would be willing to delete some of my work files that were hosted on the company’s server but he said no. It turns out that he also reported that conversation to management. He was the only one I talked to about it and no files were actually deleted.

Asked on December 17, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If nothing was done, then there is no cause of action against you--no harm, no foul, so to speak. (You're lucky: if files had been deleted, you could have faced criminal prosecution for destruction of your employer's property plus being sued if the files had value.) Of course, nothing will stop your employer from telling other people, such as prospective employers looking to verify your employment, about what you tried to do--people may tell the truth about what others do or tried to do.


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