What can I do if my ex-employer is charging me for clothes that I thought were a gift?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if my ex-employer is charging me for clothes that I thought were a gift?

My ex-boss bought me clothes so I could look better when I join him on his meetings. I thanked him for it and presumed that he gave me these clothes. After I quit my job was only there for 2 months I left with the clothes as I thought it was a gift. They then sent me the bill, of which I replied and said, I never wanted these clothes and I am happy to return them. So, they said they have no use for used clothes and that I should pay them back. Am I in trouble here?

Asked on April 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were told before accepting the clothese that you'd have to pay for them and accepted them with that knoweldge or understanding, you'd have to pay for them: in that case, you would have agreed to pay for the clothes.
But if you never were told you'd have to pay for them before being given them, it would have been reasonable to think they were a gift or a bonus, or simply an expense the company bore for its own benefit (e.g. so you'd look better in meetings). If they gave you clothing without at the time telling you that you'd have to pay for it, they cannot after the fact require you to pay; they can't retroactively turn what would, under the circumstances, have seemed to be a gift or bonus into a loan or advance. Rather, to obligate someone to pay or repay, the person must have agreed to the terms in advance. d on what you write, you do not appear to owe for the clothing. That does not mean, by the way, that they could not try to sue you for the money--almost anyone can file a suit for almost anything--but based on what you write, you would appear to have a good defence to liability.


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