I believe the OP must have had the following in mind "software
   wants to be free"). A GPLed work was modified by an employer to
   suit their business, but they don't intend to release it.

The license applies to anyone who is in posession of the software, no
matter who made the modifications.  If it is an employee or not is
irrelevant.  See section 0 of the GNU GPL.  Since the employeer gave a
copy of the GPLed work to a employee, the employee can accept the
license, and if he does, he is free to redistribute the work.  The
employeer cannot stop this other than by simply not giving the
employee a copy of the work.

Once again, section 0.

   The assertion that the GPL gives you the right to make unlawful
   copies is obviously incorrect, as it is not a right the copyright
   holder can grant.

Nobody claimed this.  

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