Can my former employer keep my personal email account?

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Can my former employer keep my personal email account?

I had a personal email account. When I switched my internet services to another carrier I still wanted to keep my same email address, so I transferred it to my employer’s internet business account. I was fired last year and now my email account has been suspended. I called my internet providerand I was told my employer owned my email account. How can this be right if it was never a business account and was only ever used for personal emails? It did not cost them anything to have it attached to their account.

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not it cost them anything, the fact is that--according to what you have written--you made it your employer's account. You voluntarily transferred it to your employer. The fact then that you may not have used it for business, but only for personal purposes doesn't change the fact that by your own voluntary actions, you made the employer the owner of your account. So yes, they can keep this account--because by what you  did, it is not your personal email account, but because their account.


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