Employers can and have used the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as leverage in an employment lawsuit. You must heed yourEvansvilleemployment attorney’s warnings about not accessing the employer’s computer without authorization.
Employers use a federal fraud law to intimidate employees
Your Evansville employment attorney may anticipate your employer’s use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) to threaten employees into abandoning their employment discrimination allegations.
Originally titled “the Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984,” the law was initially intended to provide protection for classified, financial and credit information on computers (also known as “Federal interest computers” in government and financial institutions. At first, it only prohibited unauthorized access or hacking, and not inappropriate usage by authorized users. But the scope of the CFAA has steadily and substantially broadened by amendments in 1994 and 1996, and in 2001 by the Patriot Act.
In its current form, the act allows employers to make the following types of claims against an employee:
1. The employee acquired information from a “protected computer” by knowingly using a computer “without authorization” or “exceeded authorized access,” and this act involved an interstate or international communication.
2. With a clear intention of fraud, the employee utilized a “protected computer” without authorization, which heightened the fraudulent intention, and he or she acquired valuable information.
3. The employee intentionally disseminated program, information, code or command and thus “intentionally”
- damaged “without authorization” a “protected computer,” or
- accessed a “protected computer” “without authorization,” and caused “damage” and “loss” totaling at an amount stated in the law.
Do not use your employer’s computer system without permission
Your Evansville employment attorney will advise you that the best way to avoid such litigation enabled by the CFAA is to make sure not to: (1) Use your employer’s computer system if you are not working for him; or (2) Go beyond your computer privileges to access your employer’s computer system if you are currently still employed. This applies to any extraction of confidential and/or proprietary trade secret information.
OurEvansvilleemployment attorney at Siesky & Viehe Law Firm, PC has the experience and legal expertise to fight against any workplace discrimination or harassment and to help you protect your job. Please contact their law offices today at (812) 402-7700 for a free initial consultation.