Who does Training Material belong to? Employer or Employee?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who does Training Material belong to? Employer or Employee?

I left a job and my former boss is asking me for training material that I no longer have. This material was used to pass a company test, which I did, therefore, I saw no reason to keep it. Am I liable for this material? Can I be sued?

Asked on April 18, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Who paid for the material or provided you--you or the company? If the company did, it belonged to them, not you (or if you did--e.g. you purchased material from Barnes & Noble or Amazon--it belonged to you). If you disposed of company property, in theory they could sue you for it, but they could only sue for its actual value or cost, which unless you were provided with a tablet or the like to study on (and which you disposed of), is probably minimal: e.g. the cost to photocopy a training packet, or the cost to buy whatever book(s), etc. they may have provided to you. It is highly unlikely any action will be taken about this.

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