Can my ex-employer demand gifted tools back?

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Can my ex-employer demand gifted tools back?

I quit my job recently and now my employer says that I owe him equipment that was given to me while working for him. It was a cheap climbing equipment that was gave to me to replace equipment of

my own that I had worn out working for him.

Asked on May 11, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If it was, as you indicate, an actual gift--simply given to you with no strings attached (i.e. not on condition that you keep working for them for some period of time, in order to "pay for" the tools), then no, he cannot require it back. A gift, once given, cannot be ungiven, and the giver has no further rights to the gift: he gave those up when he gave the gift to you. Only if this was not in fact a gift when made (e.g. they were company tools, given to you only for your use while employed; or they tools which would become yours only after some specified period of time) would he have a right to them back.


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