Merced, CA asked in Business Law, Libel & Slander, Contracts and Civil Rights for California

Q: My boss is attempting to sue me and claim my business as his.

I worked for a real estate agency. My boss is attempting to sue me, claiming that I deleted files off the computer. He also claims he owns my business (A Marketing Agency) as I opened it while working for him.

There is an alarm code history in which it has me registered for going in 5 days before quiting. That day I was dropping off camera equipment and deleting personal files off the hard drive (wedding contracts, pictures, and random logo designs).

There is a witness that saw me remove the equipment from my backpack and place it on the desk (another employee) that my boss is currently unaware off.

Does he have a case?

2 Lawyer Answers
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Suggest you change the name on your marketing agency to a new dba, sounds like it is a sole proprietorship. The chain of events is a little problematic. NEVER, NEVER keep your personal files on a company computer, the computer is not yours, and actually your removal of those files from the company computer without authorization is a problem. The problem is that you did something suspicious. Now you have a crazy boss ranting that you stole his client list. Ranting is one thing, proof in a court of law is another. When he finds out how much it is going to cost him to cause you trouble, he may just drop it, unless you really start stealing his customers. Does he have a case? Who knows, depends on what he can prove at a trial.

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Louis George Fazzi agrees with this answer

Nathan Wirtschafter
Nathan Wirtschafter
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Encino, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A determination of ownership of the Agency requires a review of: (1) the facts and circumstances surrounding the establishment of the Agency; and (2) your agreement with your boss (if there is one), along with whatever emails or texts you exchanged, plus any applicable oral agreements. Also, your agreement with your boss may govern the information kept on his computers.

Since it sounds like you have been sued, you need to take the lawsuit to an attorney for review and analysis. You need someone to advise you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as that of your opponent. Be very careful of all Court deadlines.

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