A company I work for does not remove or delete former employees email accounts/passwords and login credentials they are easily accessible to keep using and in fact are sometimes used still for some support tickets due to new rules on granting access to newer employees without formal training (in another state) which the company doesn't want to do. Do they not have an obligation to delete these accounts and remove them from the pc so the next employee cannot use that person? Can this be under intellectual property for at least the employees name and compelled to remove all trace of it from the company computer uses when the employee severs employment with the company?
Can this be under intellectual property for at least the employees name and compelled to remove all trace of it from the company computer uses when the employee severs employment with the company?
It is definitely not intellectual property. IP is something you protect with a patent, a trademark, a service mark, a trade secret.
An employee's email address does not fall under that category; neither does your legal name (you might have a trade name that falls under this; for example "The King of Pop" as Michael Jackson was famously known; but I doubt that applies in this situation).
So what is really at issue here is the right for a company to impersonate a former employee by means of keeping their email address current. This is of course not allowed.
What is perfectly fine and frankly is a common practice, is to keep the email address active for the purposes of business continuity. I have seen variations of this where:
The address is kept alive, but an autoresponder is put in place that lets the sender know that the person is no longer at the organization and whom to contact. The original email is also forwarded to the new person.
The address is forwarded to a common mailbox which is then distributed among a team. In this scenario the sender is not aware that the addressee is no longer at the organization.
As an employee you cannot compel your company to delete your email address - it is their property (just like the equipment you use at the office); and the contents of these communications are also the property of the company.
Finally, depending on where you work, the company might be obligated by external regulators to keep all employee communication for a period of time after their termination; or they might be compelled to do so for legal (liability) purposes.
Do they not have an obligation to delete these accounts and remove them from the pc so the next employee cannot use that person?
No, they are not obligated to do anything. They are perfectly allowed to keep all mails as well as keep the mailbox open for reception.
However, if the company sends mail that impersonates a former employee, they could possible be liable for fraud or forgery. Your should contact the company and ask them to stop using your name, and if that does not work your best bet is probably to contact a lawyer.