Well run companies create and disseminate written policies pertaining to the use of company property and the return of company property at the end of one’s employment. Courts will ordinarily enforce written policies to the letter. But for companies without written policies, there are a few rules to consider.
1. Company property should be returned.
2. Personal property remains the employees, but company property on it should be returned. This would include company files maintained on a personal computer or iPhone.
3. Companies should return personal property of former employees in their possession too. This includes personal electronic files as well.
4. Tampering with or destroying someone else’s property in your possession is unlawful.
5. Both sides should use common sense and good faith when making arrangements for the safe return/exchange of each other’s property.