Refusing to Sign/Seal Construction Documents (adapted from NSPE Case No. 96-3)


An engineer moves from one firm to a competitor firm and questions about what obligations the engineer has with respect to unfinished work left behind are raised.


Engineer Anthony left firm A, at which he was an employee, to work for a competitor, firm B. A project on which he was in charge while at firm A was virtually completed before he left, but he did not sign or seal the construction documents before leaving. Bernard, a principle in the first firm, requests Anthony to sign and seal the drawing.

Can Anthony refuse to sign or seal the construction documents?

Can Anthony ask firm A to pay him for signing the documents?

What are Anthony's obligations with respect to the work he left behind?

NSPE Code of Ethics An earlier version may have been used in this case.