Can employer throw away belongings with no notice

I was unexpectedly fired from my full time job
yesterday. Today I messaged boss to come get my
items, we agreed to set time and day and then I find
out he put my items at dumpster and are now gone.
I have agreed Day for belongings in text message
between us. Wondering what my rights are? He
hassled me and told me he has no obligation to
return my belongings. This is a small business.

Asked on September 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, he did have the obligation to return them, or at least to hold them for pick-up for a reasonable amount of time. What he did is either the theft of your property (taking it) or its intentional destruction, and in either event, you may sue your employer (e.g. in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se") for the economic value of your belongings: not what they first cost you, or would cost to replace, but what they were worth, given age and condition, when discarded. (There is no recovery for "sentimental" value, so family photos, etc. tend to be essentially valueless for this purpose.) Sue the company and your boss personally both.


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