How can i get my devices back from my former employer? should i seek damages? if yes how much? or should i avoid conflict with them?

Unhappy with my boss i applied for jobs and got one. Before officially resiging though, to be able to apply for Professional Engineer certificate (PENG) after leaving the company I needed 'verifiable records' of my engineering experience. Knowing I would not have access to them after my leave I sent a dozen emails with files from the projects I had worked on to my personal email. IT department flagged the emails and HR suspended me (paid) for violating their business conduct rules asking me to give them my personal phone and laptop to be given to a computer forensics company for investigation and search for company data to delete. My former company is huge, and a company in security field is part of it, and the investigation is given to them (who work with the forensics company on my case). Being an honest mistake on my part and having no purpose for sending those files except for PENG I cooperated from day 1 and did as asked. I gave them my devices on the same day, July 19th. They told me it will take 1 to 2 weeks to give my devices back. Now it has been 7 weeks. I have left the company since and started a new job. Since then they have become hard to get a hold of, ignoring my emails and messages. After a lot of follow ups last week they said they cannot tell me when I will get them back. Not wben an estimate. What should I do? Those emails and files have not been touched since so there was no misuse of company data. It was an honest mistake which is why I was quick to let them investigate on my devices but now i want them back after 50 days which is enough for any investigation but they are ignoring me. Should I sue them and seek damages? How would they fight back? Am I at risk of having to pay them damages? Is what I did a crime or just violation of an internal policy (which I dont care really as i left the company)? I really cannot and do not want to spend a fortune on legal fees and lawyers. What is your recommendation? How strong is my position? Thank you in advance.

Asked over 1 year ago in Mississauga, Ontario
Categories: Civil Litigation  Small Claims  Labour & Employment

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