Legal Question in Business Law in Minnesota

Gift From a Supplier

I left my former company, where I worked as a Design Engineer in November. Upon leaving, my boss and his supervisor asked me to give all product samples ever received (bicycle frames and parts) from the company back. This is something that I thought they have the right to do although they have not done for other employees. My former boss and his supervisor are also claiming that I have to give them a Frame which was made as a gift for me by one of the companies suppliers, outside ownership, not a subsidiary or parent company. There was no company time put in on the sample, other than two short emails and my former employer was not charged for this piece. Now they are claiming that the frame is their property because I received it while I was employed there. Is this true? If it is not true, what language would I need in a letter from the factory to make this clear under minnesota law? Thank You

Asked on 2/27/09, 12:49 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Daniel Reiff Reiff Law Office

Re: Gift From a Supplier

The employer's position seems a bit strange. The employer is seriously asking you to give them a gift that you received from a third party? To be sure, I would need to review your employment contract, employee handbook, etc. I'm not sure that there is any particular language to include, but I would probably have a better idea if I knew what the basis of the employer's claim is.

NOTE: This is not intended to be legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is intended unless and until a retainer agreement is signed by both parties.

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Answered on 2/27/09, 12:58 pm

Steven Vatndal Law Office of Steven J. Vatndal

Re: Gift From a Supplier

I am assuming that you had no written employment contract and that there was no non-compete or confidentiality agreements. If there is any such agreement, check the language, because this situation is sometimes addressed in there.

Things you recieved from your employer or its suppliers that aid in performing your duties generally belong to your employer. A gift given to you from a supplier would be different. You should get from the supplier a letter stating that the frame was a gift to you personally and not to your employer and that no materials or time belonging to the employer were used in making the frame.

You can e-mail me directly at

[email protected]

if you have further questions.

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Answered on 2/27/09, 1:02 pm

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