Am I responsible for personal tools my employees use at a job site if the site was broken into?

I own a small remodeling company and my employees use their own tools. They left their tools at a job site overnight, as they’ve done several times in the past, and they were stolen. I have no formal policy nor have there been any conversations about using personal vs. company tools nor on leaving tools at a job site. Am I responsible for covering the cost of the stolen tools (either on my own or under my insurance policy)?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


Terence Fenelon / Law Offices of Terence Fenelon

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your question is difficult to answer,  Were your employees truly "employees"?  Are they paid by the company, with proper withholding, etc. or as 1099 employees? If you haven't had a policy in the past, get one.  Put it in writing.

These are the same question an insurance company will ask if you tender a claim for the loss.

What is the value of the tools?  What is your insurance deductible?  What effect will the loss have upon your future premiums?  So many question.  So little facts to work with

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