If I was recently laid off from a job out of state and left quite a few personal belongings, is my former employer in charge of shipping?

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If I was recently laid off from a job out of state and left quite a few personal belongings, is my former employer in charge of shipping?

I was on a 20-on/10-off schedule and was laid off while I when at home. I was allowed to use a company vehicle to travel from work to home and back. I still have quite a few clothes, boots, a personal laptop, golf clubs, etc. in my old company housing. Since I was laid off on my days off, I was unable to bring any of it back with me. Is my company responsible for shipping my belongings home sense it was a pre meditated lay off opposed to an immediate firing or am I expected to foot the bill?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, no.  Employees are usually responsible for their own relocation expenses-- even when the termination was insisted upon by the employer.  Even though this is a general rule, there are exceptions in the form of employment conditions, relo agreements, or company policies.  A few companies do assist with relo expenses and will not want to be liable for any of your belongs which were left behind.  If you had an agreement that provided for post-termination relocation expenses or your employer had a policy to provide assistance with these expenses, they you invoke those provisions.  If you're not sure, contact your former HR manager (or the functional equivalent), and see if any of these options are available for you.


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