Is an employer responsible for an employee’s property stolen during a robbery?

Our tanning salon was recently robbed and they stole the employee’s purse

during the robbery. As the employer do we have to worry about her suing us for

her stolen purse? I don’t think our insurance covers that and even if they do her belongings are less than our deductible.

Asked on October 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Am employer is not liable for the actions of 3rd parties, at least those not within their control. Basically, an employer is only responsible for actions for which they are directly at fault, either intentionally or negligently. Bottom line, the salon is not responsible for this worker's stolen purse.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, an employer is NOT liable or responsible for the criminal actions of third parties not under its control (i.e. the actions of the robbers); an employer also is not the insurer for employee's belongings, and would only ever be liable for them if the employer were at fault in some way in causing the loss. That doesn't mean the employee might not try to sue you--people unfortunately file bad lawsuits all the time--but she does not appear to have any basis to actually win or hold you liable.

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