Can an ex-employer keep my personal items hostage?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an ex-employer keep my personal items hostage?

I have been terminated by my employer and claims I owe him money. He said that I can have my personal items when I settle with him for what I supposedly owe him. Can he hold my personal items hostage or can I have the police go with me to get them?

Asked on November 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I don't know the nature of your debt to your employer, but unless you had an agreement that allows them to hold your personal items as collateral, then they do not have the right to keep them. At this point, you can file a criminal complaint with the police and sue in civil court for the retuen of your possessions. Possibly if you just threaten police action, your employer will you your things back. That having been said, you may still owe on the debt but that is a separate issue.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer cannot do this, unless you had a written agreement that permitted them to withhold your paycheck under the circumstances. The fact is that a worker must be paid for all hours worked; withholding a paycheck is illegal. At this point, you can sue in small claims court or file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor. You should, however note, this does not mean that you do not owe your employer the money in question. It's just that it is a seperate matter from your having the right to be paid.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption