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Perhaps he is trying to suggest that Joshua gave notice before his 6 months were up, therefore shift the blame back to the ex-employee. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.

That's exactly what he's trying to do. This isn't an apology or an admission of any wrongdoing, it's an obvious attempt to reshape perception of their original actions by pretending their motives were different than they really were. Motives that were utterly self-evident from their very first reply:

> After you lost our data and caused our entire company to scramble for 3 days, I am hesitant.

Everything since then has been trying to unring the bell.

If he cost the company 10k in lost engineering time with his mistake, it's only natural that they'd feel hesitant, even if they legally owe him.

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