Can employer throw away belongings with no notice

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can employer throw away belongings with no notice

I was unexpectedly fired from my full time job
yesterday. New Link Destination
day I messaged boss to come get my
items, we agreed to set time and day and then I find
out he put my items at dumpster and are now gone.
I have agreed Day for belongings in text message
between us. Wondering what my rights are? He
hassled me and told me he has no obligation to
return my belongings. This is a small business.

Asked on September 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, he did have the obligation to return them, or at least to hold them for pick-up for a reasonable amount of time. What he did is either the theft of your property (taking it) or its intentional destruction, and in either event, you may sue your employer (e.g. in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se") for the economic value of your belongings: not what they first cost you, or would cost to replace, but what they were worth, given age and condition, when discarded. (There is no recovery for "sentimental" value, so family photos, etc. tend to be essentially valueless for this purpose.) Sue the company and your boss personally both.

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 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.

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