Is anemployer required to supply a computer for anassistant to use at the office?

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Is anemployer required to supply a computer for anassistant to use at the office?

I was required to use my personal computer at work (for an attorney). I kept a folder on my external hard drive with all work-product, and my computer was completely compromised. I was fired shortly after I lost the work folder. It is possible I can recover the lost folder however.

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no requirement whatsoever for an employer to provide an employee with any tools of the trade, including, in this case, a computer. Employers are free to make it a term or condition of employment that someone have and use their own computer. (It's no different in principal from a carpenter or craftsman having to have tools, or a pizz delivery driver having to have his or her own car.)

Unless you had an employment contract, you were an employee at will. An employee at will can be fired at any time, for any reason--including losing a file which was on his or her personal computer which he or she was required to lose for work. While the attorney may choose to rehire you if you can produce or recover the file, your employer is not required to do so.


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