Is an employer responsible for if a personal laptop is stolen under his watch?

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Is an employer responsible for if a personal laptop is stolen under his watch?

My sister works for a gym and a man entered the building asking for money. My sister was in the middle of training clients the gym is split into 2 rooms and had her laptop out at the front counter in the middle of both rooms with her clients programs up. Her boss was at the front and spoke to the man asking him to leave and that he did not have any money for him. Her boss did not pay attention to the man as he left and he ended up taking my sisters computer and phone. Luckily she did recover the phone because he ditched it not far from the gym but her computer is long gone I’m sure. Is her employer boss responsible for reimbursing her? He claims to not have any insurance that covers theft.

Asked on November 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, your sister's employer is not responsible to cover the loss of her computer. The mere fact that an employee's property is stolen at a work location does not make an employer liable for it. Absent some type of negligence, employees take personal possessions in their workplace at their own risk.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, your sister's employer is not responsible to cover the loss of her computer. The mere fact that an employee's property is stolen at a work location does not make an employer liable for it. Absent some type of negligence, employees take personal possessions in their workplace at their own risk. 


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