Leaving employment- hard drive contents.

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  • Leaving employment- hard drive contents.
  • Work produced during employment is usually ‘owned’ by the employer. Can’t see why this would be different in this case.

    rickt
    Member

    Just do a restore from a the week before –

    I was under the impression any documents created by you for your employer where owned by them and not you.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    My view (and I could be totally wrong) is that everything I do at work belongs to my employer, so it stays when I leave. That includes note books, files, computer files etc. Doesn’t mean I don’t keep a copy.

    Scamper
    Member

    Had a similar issue when an employee deleted email accounts against instructions on their last day (copies were taken anyway), but not a lot you can do once they have left. One folder was ‘personal’ but we didn’t get any warnings about confidentiality issues from our solicitor.

    Ambrose
    Member

    A colleague was made redundant recently. Over the past 16 years she has produced a large number of very useful documents that the school I work in could still benefit from. All her work was deleted from her personal drives on her final day of employment, by whom I do not know. IT support suspect it was by herself.

    Work that she had written and saved to a shared area of the network was normally freely available to all- now it is password protected.

    Question: Upon cessation of contract what is the correct protocol?

    FWIW, we get on very well and I now have the passwords and have used the backups to retrieve some of the ‘lost’ documents. IT support none too happy that I want to do this- citing confidentiality issues.

    Discuss!

    Ambrose
    Member

    Cheers folks- just as I thought.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Shit.

    Just realised I’ve left Chrome Remote Desktop running on my 3D rig at placement.

    Hmmmm, better tell them before something goes wrong and I get blamed!

    trail_rat
    Member

    Made redundant you say ?

    You dont think thats why it was deleted ?

    Id have done the same

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Sounds like a bad IT management system really.

    Question: Upon cessation of contract what is the correct protocol?

    During the process of leaving it would be what you are told to do, who managed the handover process – sounds like they were at fault for not ensuring any work was transferred and understood.

    samuri
    Member

    Work created on work computers during work time belongs to the company owners typically.

    Normal protocol is for HR to request the creator for permission to access the documents.
    If this fails for whatever reason, the employees manager can authorise access.

    Where you’re ever going to have issues with this process is if there are personal documents mixed in with the work documents.

    trail_rat
    Member

    And therin lies the issue – the teachers i know use their own computers and own time to create resources.

    Id be telling them to do one

    crankboy
    Member

    Simple rule work computer works property including anything generated created or stored on it . There is nothing private. A lorry driver can’t exclude his boss from his cab because he has scratched his girlfriends name on the dash board.

    samuri
    Member

    That all depends on the HR policy. I’ve never worked anywhere where personal documents were considered fair game because they were on corporate owned IT systems.

    Imagine you’re rummaging through some ‘work’ documents and you find a love letter written by another member of staff to this one. What do you do with that? It’s complex and needs to be treated very carefully. The member of staff, even if they have been made redundant has rights which will stand up to scrutiny in a tribunal. I get involved in this stuff every day.

    hora
    Member

    Made redundant- if she was given a fair redundancy I don’t see why she should destroy company property.

    She obviously had enough notice – I think shes out of order.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    If I were making someone redundant I’d make damn sure there were backups of everything they’d done before I’ve told them they were being made redundant and then explain that they can delete personal items but anything work related would need to be kept.

    If they played ball and only deleted personal stuff then that’s fine.

    If I have to trawl through a backup because they wiped everything then if I saw personal stuff whilst trying to identify work then that’s tough.

    zokes
    Member

    Trail_rat +1

    I’d be in the same boat as an academic / scientist.

    In Oz we also have this beautiful thing called Moral Rights. Basically a legal right that enshrines fair attribution to the original author in law, and prevents use without the author’s explicit agreement. The clever bit is that if you give consent under duress, that consent is null and void.

    xiphon
    Member

    Anything on my work computer, including emails, is the property of my employees – and they are free to look at stuff whenever they want (which I have no issue with).

    Which is why I don’t have any personal documents, or use my email for personal things!

    trail_rat
    Member

    same here xiphon.

    but we are corporate rather than academic.

    my mrs is a teacher and does nearly if not all of her resourse planning at home on OUR laptop and keeps it on her personal harddrive. Because the time provided / computers and software at school is woefully inadaquate.

    xiphon
    Member

    I agree in certain industries – like teaching (both my sister and her husband are teachers) – it is generally accepted that the material you create is yours. When moving teaching jobs, the potential employer wants to see what type of ideas you have (and if they could apply to their school). As TR says, much of the creative ideas are produced at home, in “their own time”.

    But working in an office in the school, doing admin? Not in the same boat.

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