Give me your phone or your fired
I'm sure you guys get the gist of the post from the title - but I wanted to hear everybody's thoughts on this and don't ask me why.
My company requested screening of laptop and phones (personal not company issued) to which I said of course the laptop is yours and you have all the rights to the laptop. My phone, absolutely not its my personal phone paid by me. What is this? Nazi Germany in the 40's, no this is the United States, a free country where we have the right to not be extorted and blackmailed from a company for your personal phone. They said if you don't give us your phone there will be disciplinary actions (which basically means they will fire for cause). So I said no and they would not stop until they gave me an ultimatum and ended up forcing me to quit. Keep in mind I offered alternatives like searching thru my phone, downloading any messages, emails, texts, etc. but none of this was enough. They wanted it and were not going to stop.
Has anybody been through something similar? Do I have a case for myself? What do I do? and btw my MD unconnected from me on linkedin, I think it was for not offering two weeks and training when resigning. I wanted to do that but my lawyer said not to, your company is not helping you at all and are trying to fuck you over.
PS - This all fucking sucks, I now have to recruit for a new gig, missed out on my bonus, and worry about finding a new job ASAP. Was in FDD and looking to transition to a PE analyst role, an analyst banking role, a consulting restructuring role, HF, or corp dev as long as it's paying all in over 120k. Been busting my ass to grind for the promotion for all this BS to happen.
Isn't that enough to sue your employer for unlawful termination?
I am just a student outside US
That's what alot of the people I've spoken to said
He didn't get terminated, he quit
When you joined did you agree that you would use your personal phone for business purposes? This sounds completely unhinged and insane
This was their argument and I basically said I don't at all. I use my teams for that stuff which is on my work laptop. And I know it sounds absolutely crazy
probably because everyone takes photos of all the decks onto their phones before they leave
why do people do that?
i worked in restructuring. we had 1 level below partner join us and basically had me re-do their old pitch decks they were working on for potential restructuring targets and just update it with latest stuff / new company creds etc.
Get a consultation with a lawyer within the state you are employed. This sounds illegal, you absolutely need advice from a competent professional.
Did you have your work email coming into your phone? If so likely signed something giving them permission for full phone access as part of your onboarding process. Never heard of a company going through with it but you likely gave them permission.
Gotcha, was w the firm for about 1.5 yrs and you might be right. I did have my work email and teams on my phone but in that case, isn't what I offered fine? Download all that data thats relevant and send it to them but there's no way I'm point blank handing over my personal phone, it has my personal info on it, HIPPA, you name it
When you signed your offer letter, there was almost certainly some kind of clause that stated "If you create any piece of intellectual property on a piece of hardware that (a) was given to you by the firm or (b) on a piece of hardware that contains firm-specific software (e.g. work email), that intellectual property belongs to The Firm"
Generally that doesn't really apply to people that work in finance (moreso towards people working in tech), but it's also a workaround for your firm to police it's employees giving outsiders MNPI.
tbh the above scenario - passing along MNPI to a third party that's trading on it - sounds very likely (and probably why your MD unfriended you on social media).
And if I had to guess, your adamant refusal in not giving up your phone strengthened that hypothesis (even if you not turning over your phone was for some much more innocuous reason like Brazilian fart porn or Dick Chop videos or something like that)
Access is usually restricted to work apps that you get through the company/Microsoft portal/"App Store". Did they say what prompted the search or provide anything that indicated they were entitled to a legal search?
They didnt say, they just wanted the whole phone and I offered a great alternative. I feel like I couldve said the same thing one more time and see if I could hold off one more week to get bonus $
Pls post an update when you find out. MD unconnecting is kind've a slimy move
Extremely slimy, what is he like 5 years old lol
Sounds insane to me.
Perhaps there had been a leak of confidential information they were trying to trace? Or, as mentioned uptrend, concern that you had taken pics of proprietary data? Not sure why you refused, candidly-just to make a point or there was something you feared they would find?
One to make a point and two my shit is private. Im sure if they did that to a superstar MD he would probably leave to another bank
I'd prefer my employer to not go through the hidden photos album on my phone ngl
Don't think significant other would appreciate that either.
>this is the United States, a free country where we have the right to not be extorted and blackmailed from a company
Wrongful termination only applies to firing for an illegal reason ( discrimination based on race, religion, etc) or in retaliation for a filed complaint ( EEO, wage labor complaint, OSHA etc). Doesn't apply here.
You really didn't think your employer was trying to steal your credit card info, right? That doesn't pass the straight face test. Comply or not comply, but they don't have to employ you if you don't comply. The MD likely assumes you are guilty of something.
Agreed but regardless, I have a right to privacy and my phone, period.
True, but that also means it's not in your best interest to give your MD your phone where he will find out about:
I think one of the main point that realistically matters is the confidential information bit. I, for example, previously had an employer that didn't use anything like blackberry access. Going through my phone could lead to MD seeing proprietary info that I'd be breaking another contract / could have legal troubles by giving him my phone (am not OP though)
For all OP knows they could store the data somewhere to be scanned for compliance breaches. I would prefer my girlfriends pictures to not be stored on the database of a large bank.
If you take work home, should the employer have the right to search your house at a moments notice?
Really wanna say but cant
Folks are spooked after the SEC fines relating to conducting business over text. Presumably they wanted to scan device for compliance breaches?
Maybe, but my job shouldn't be on the line if I decide not to hand over my personal cell
Sure it "shouldn't" but clearly it was. Standing up for principles you believe in is great but it sometimes comes with a cost.
It sucks, but if you had work email on your personal phone then you're pretty much screwed; just the brave new world we now live in. Pretty sure there is case law confirming as much, but there may be nuances depending on your state, so still worth a consultation with a labor attorney. Going forward, only sure fire move is using two phones to completely separate business and personal.
Appreciate the feedback - def using two phone from now on
Wait a minute. I thought you had two phones and the wanted to go through your business phone AND your personal phone.
Are you saying you only had one phone, and that phone had a work email on it?
Then of course they might want to scan it.
You made your point. So did your employer.
Can you name the firm?
what does phone screening mean? are they actually gonna scroll through your dic pics?
There's gotta be something we are all missing here...
Were you the only person in your company who was asked to give over his cell phone? I've never heard of this happening, ever. I can't believe that you would be randomly singled out. They had to at least have had some type of suspicion in order to go to this type of unheard of measure.
Also kind of weird to me that once you quit they would let it go. If they were worried about a specific compliance breach, wouldn't it be their duty to discover & provide info on that to regulators (or just have it internally) regardless of whether or not your tenure has now ended?
Moreover, did you ever ask WHY they wanted it? Are you saying that you never even asked why or did you ask why and they just wouldn't tell you?
Now for the question nobody wants to ask: Do you know, deep down, the reason why they might want your phone? Texting clients directly from your personal phone maybe? If you tell me you've never done that then I definitely don't believe you hahaha. Not callin' you a liar or anything, you just never mentioned whether or not they told you the reason for the search and/or if you had a hunch why the search was necessary.
Regardless, tough draw & that sucks but wishing you the best. Sorry for the rant yall, I've been watching too many murder mysteries lately and couldn't pass up on playing armchair detective.
I'm confused why you're not suing for wrongful termination since your post mentioned you've already spoken to a lawyer. I'd be super excited. Nice lawsuit coming your way.
I would just buy a new phone and send to them. And, I would send them a Nokia. Why even argue over this stuff.
wish it was that simple bro
The only appropriate thing to do here is to give them your phone, but make sure to fill your photos dick pics, stick some in the notes app, etc
in all honesty though, other people on here are being a bit strange about this saying 'you should unless you have nothing to hide'. What if OP is buyside recruiting? They would be going through his personal email and finding out. What if he has a disease he doesn't want company to know about? There are a million reasons not to want to give your company your personal phone (especially if they don't give you time to delete things from it).
I'm pretty sure most of us don't want to live life under the rule of 'don't say / think / do anything you don't want your managing director / HR finding out'
Furthermore…if this isn't your first job…there can be things on your phone that you could be breaking a confidentiality agreement by disclosing to your employer (as would be the case for me if my employer were to ask this)
Well for one, it's not HR/your MD who would be accessing the phone, it's compliance. They could not care less if you're recruiting, sending nudes, etc. They are not allowed to discuss anything they find with other parties within the organization outside of compliance. They can send stuff to the SEC if they find a breach but only after jumping through a ton of hoops. Compliance doing anything outside of their little dark box would be a major breach and a very easy lawsuit.
Unfortunately if OP put a work app on his phone without going through a specific company portal, like if he just added his email to the Mail or downloaded Outlook from the App Store - he's technically breached the wall between church and state. You can sue for a lot more than just discrimination but not subjecting your phone to a search is not one of them. And especially not if you end up voluntarily leaving.
The whole situation sucks but compliance teams are really cracking down on stuff these days, just kinda is what it is.
Not to be annoying but no one has ever even joked about a story like this in my lifetime. There's definitely a giant piece of the story missing.
What did you do? What did they say as the reason for why they need your personal phone? Were you accused of stealing from the company? Did someone else accuse you of theft or IP theft?
Maybe this has already been posted as I did not scroll the whole thing, but why not force them to fire you, i am sure it give you more of a leg to stand on for wrongful termination. If you quit how can you say you were wrongfully terminated? Also, you lose potential unemployment benefits. but on a sidenote fk them for wanting to look in your personal phone when they give you a company issued one.
Is this a BB, boutique? Give us some minor deets. TBH this is fucking BS of the highest degree. Fuck whoever this employer is.
Why would you rather quit than just buy a new phone and say here you go, this is my phone? Or just uninstall Gmail and delete your gf's texts or something.
Just feels like less trouble than quitting. And then the two weeks thing . . if I was quitting a place out of spite, I'd give them all the notice they want. At which point I'd barely show up, do whatever I want all day, and collect a paycheck.
I would let a girl at the bank go through my phone but would deny access to a guy. Just tell him "pass" and walk away etc.
Perhaps you have learned not to keep highly sensitive information or pictures on your phone. You paid the price for refusing to turn it over, as was your right. I hope it was worth it. You do understand that if asked, your MD is likely to respond that you were asked to cooperate in an internal investigation of XYZ and refused to and thus were termed for cause. We can ( and others will) speculate endlessly about what was so awful on your phone that you were willing to lose your job over it. Depending upon what it was, it may have been the right choice for you. In any event, good luck in this job market. You may not like it, but employment law is neither fair nor just.
You sound so arrogant and angry, Ms. Hazel! Tone it down you saucy bitch!
Kids, no one is interested in the pics of your girlfriend, your sex life, your family/health situation, etc. These are middle-aged or older adults who don't give a rat's ass about you other than whether you have stolen or compromised proprietary information, which hurts their own bottom line. It is likely OP knew what they were looking for.
Moreso those things because scanned / saved on corporate database as well
I think everyone is missing what's going on here….JPM got fined $200M for company employees texting their clients on their personal cell phones…fast forward to today, the SEC has a subpoena (from the U.S. judicial system) to search through the phones of any other U.S. employees at banks with a U.S. presence. The SEC will likely issue fines to all other banks as well but they are currently still going through the process - but JPM set the standard. All banks are switching if they haven't switched already to giving all front office employees corporate cell phones.
You have no case here - you'll be fighting the SEC not your bank. Unfortunate situation for you.
Agree (and I have a second work phone and am a big fan of that setup)... but all the banks were already fined 4 months ago, totaling over $2B, the SEC wouldn't still be going after them at this point. And the JPM fine (and others) were for huge group chats of traders led by MDs, not an analyst texting his other analyst buddy that "ClientXX is killing me this week"
The SEC is also not requesting this guy's phone, it's probably just the bank being paranoid. I agree with you but it's unfortunate this guy quit over what would end up being nothing.
This is false. I'm at a top American BB in the US and they just asked us to install Teams. We are not getting corporate phones and HR/compliance has never requested access to our personal phones.
If it is your own property, no one has right to check it at your work!
As you should have learned by now, employers do have that right and can and will fire you for noncompliance. Did you expect to just walk out with scores of proprietary information on your phone and not have your employer object? Assume anything you bring to the office is subject to search-briefcase, backpack, your lunch. Whatever.
I suppose my only other question is whether they were paying your cell bill, since you already answered question of whether or not you were using corporate apps / had access to corporate anything via said cell (yes).
If that answer is also yes, then it just doubles the fact that yes, although this is complete BS, they absolutely have the right (likely tucked away on page 17 in some random clause of your employment agreement). You also obviously have the right to decline, or throw the phone at the wall, or whatever else, but then they have the right to terminate under the employment agreement - freedom works both ways.
I seriously don't get all of you that decline a second phone just to save the 70 bucks a month the company will cover, or worse yet still pay your own bill but merge your corp. stuff onto personal line. Quit that nonsense, great lesson learned here for plenty. Sorry OP, unfortunate situation but you'll make it, this will be a blip in your career.
100% agree. I was thinking about it but never ended up merging so I still pay for my personal phone. Although, the Company offered phone service reimbursement.
Better to get have two phones and have them pay for second line so I can hand them a phone and not have my rights stomped on. Great points and thanks for the insight
Easy op. You lost your phone. Catastrophic boating accident.
You decided you don't need a new one either.
This is obviously wrong on so many levels BUT in a down market where it's hard to get a job do you really want to lose your job just to make a point? It's wrong but is it worth losing your job over?
Take the boosters, my dear fellow. They're good for you!
Why not let them fire you and collect unemployment?
Termination for cause results in no unemployment benefits
Potentially but why make it easy on them. Better to let them prove it / submit documentation to the state after you file for unemployment benefits
I work at a top US BB where the compliance and rules are nutty, and they never did such a thing. Was this in your employment contract? I would have gotten a lawyer before quitting.
Also, EXPOSE THE FIRM.
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I think I did this right
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