Employee Gets $17.5 Million dollar verdict against Employer for theft of Personal PC

An employer, in taking what he believed to be his, learned an important lesson.  If you want to control the data your employees are using you should own and provide the computer that data is stored on.  It is also important to have written agreements that govern terms of employment, confidentiality of data and competitive reuse of a company’s data.

In the case of Trealoff v. Forest River Inc, Dallen Trealoff was hired to be an RV Salesperson by a company called Forest River Inc to start up their sales network.  The company did not provide Trealoff with a computer so he used his own.  Trealoff claims he had taken the job with lower compensation with he understanding that he we would be compensated at a later time.  When that compensation was not forthcoming, Trealoff started to look for a new job. Subsequently he was terminated, but before that happened the company president Peter Liegl took Trealoff’s notebook computer and not only deleted work related information but the employee’s personal financial data as well.

I think another lesson to be learned is that portable devices need to be password secured, which might have prevented the destruction of the data, in the event that the notebook had still been recovered.

For more details I have linked the blog post where I found this information below.

Employer Gets Whacked For $17.5 M For Stealing Employee’s PC : Employee Rights Post

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