Does my employer have the legal right to destroy or dispose of my personal property?

The HR person at work is angry at us because we’ve left dirty coffee cups in the sink too often. HR sent out an email yesterday informing us that if we leave a personal coffee cup in the sink for more than 24 hours it will be thrown away. Do they have the legal right to do this legally? I’m not concerned about coffee cups – I’m concerned about larger legal question – does my employer have the legal right to dispose of/destroy any or all items of an employee’s personal property at will? When I become an employee of corporation ‘X’, do I give up all rights to my personal property?

Asked on February 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they can't dispose of your property *at will* but they CAN put out policies regarding personal property at work and its disposition/disposal, and if you violate those policies after notice of them, they could act as indicated in the policies--including throwing out belongings (like the coffee cups, which they have warned you about).

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