How long can an ex-employer hold your personal items until returned?

Was just fired and not allowed to return to my desk for my personal cell and electronic picture frame. I was informed that they would send them to me but no timeframe was given.

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard and fast rule. If after a "reasonable time" (say 1 - 2 weeks) you have not received the items and have not--despite having followed up in writing, some way you can prove delivery (e.g. email, fax)--received any firm date for delivery, you could threaten and, if necessary take, legal action (e.g. suing in small claims court for the items' value).

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