The company-issued laptop has ignited yet more workplace litigation as a growing number of exiting employees are being sued for swiping or wiping data from their portable computers.

Employment attorneys say that, as layoffs continue to hit the work force, employee laptops are being turned back in with evidence of foul play. According to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, a Tucson, Ariz.-based research group, nearly 60 percent of employees being laid off or fired, or who quit, admit to stealing company data.

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