What to do if an employee quit but did not return the office key and we have their final paycheck?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2015

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What to do if an employee quit but did not return the office key and we have their final paycheck?

She did not return the key to the office. We have her final check. We have asked her to pick up the check at the office and drop off the key. She said she mailed the key and wants her check. It’s been 10 days and we have not received the key in the mail. What should we do? Can we deduct the cost of a new lock for the office if we do not receive the key?

Asked on February 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Absent a pre-existing agreement to the contrary, you cannot withhold or make deductions from an employee's final paycheck. You can however, try and charge her for the coat of re-keying  and possibly take her to small claims court to recover your expenses, if necessary (if it's worth your time and trouble).

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