Am I required to return items bought by my ex-employer for relocation purposes if I did not sign any return policy?

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Am I required to return items bought by my ex-employer for relocation purposes if I did not sign any return policy?

I was relocated by my ex-employer. At the time, I was verbally told to purchase furnishings for my new apartment and the company would reimburse me. I purchased items on my own card and turned in an expense report. I did receive reimbursement. However, now that I no longer work for the company, they are

demanding that I either pay back the amount of the items or return them. I did not sign any documentation stating it was company property and would return upon separation.

Asked on May 7, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You cannot be held liable for the return of the items in question unless you signed an agreement to that effect or committeed some type of fraud. For example, misrepresenting your intention of going to work for this company by quitting right after the move. That having been said, if you ever need a reference from this company in the future, you would certainly be putting that in jeopardy if you choose not to return the items. So just make sure that they are worth it to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You would only have to repay any relocation costs if:
1) You had signed an agreement to do so, which you evidently do not.
2) The employer can show that you committed fraud by lying about your intention to work for them in order to get them to pay for a move you wanted to make anyway: fraud, or lying about a material or important fact to get someone to do something, can provide a basis to recover compensation.However, this can be very hard for them to show, unless you voluntarily quit or resigned shortly after relocating, which would suggest you never had an intention of working for them.


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