What are my rights to the return of lost item found by co-worker?

In my workplace I thought I lost an item. I didn’t bring it to anyone’s attention because it was very small and I thought I lost it forever. I believe a co-worker has found it and doesn’t have any intention of giving it back. If I bring it to management’s attention, they can’t force her to bring in the item. It’s my word

against hers. What can/should I do ?

Asked on December 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

All you can do is sue her for the value of the item in small claims court. If you can convince the court by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that is, that it is more likely than not) that this was your item, the court can order her to you its value. However, if you don't have any documentary or photorgraphic evidence (e.g. purchase receipt; photograph of you with the item; etc.) so it remains your word vs. hers, you are unlikely to win: as the person suing, the burden of proof is on you, which means that if the court cannot tell who is telling the truth, the defendant (the other person) wins.


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