Periodically during my time of employment with my most recent employer, I emailed from my work email to my personal email files or documents that I was working on, to either work on them from home or reference later. I never signed a non-compete agreement, or any notice about proprietary data. We don't have a policy handbook and my offer letter didn't state anything of that nature. Naturally, after my resignation, my previous employer went through my emails, found that I had emailed myself, and told me to send them an email from the personal email account stating that I had deleted any files, records or emails and that I would not use those files in any way. Do I need to comply? Do they have grounds for any kind of civil or criminal suit?
It depends on what the content of those documents is. If any of the information in the documents belongs to the employer . . . well, it belongs to the employer, and you can't take it with you.
It doesn't matter that you never signed a non-compete agreement. It doesn't matter that you never got a notice about any proprietary data. If the information belongs to the employer, it belongs to the employer.
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