if a co-worker gave my expensive jacket to a drunk customer that was hanging in the designated area for employees belongings, can I ask the business to reimburse me?

I work in a bar and on a busy night while I was in the function room a co-worker gave my jacket away to a drunk girl who said that she had lost one. The jacket was hanging up on the coat rack designated for staff to use and is supposed to be a safe and secure area for us to keep our belongings. He did not realise that the jacket was mine. Do I have the right to claim money from the business to reimburse me since it was in the area that they provide for us to keep our personal property?

Asked on May 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer is not liable for your co-worker giving away your jacket: the employer, based on what you write, has provided a place for you to hang your coats; it was your coworker who took it upon himself to improperly remove your jacket and give it away. You could, however, sue your coworker, such as in small claims court, for the value of the jacket because he was at fault in giving it away.

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