Is my employer responsible for my cell phone that they take while at work?

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Is my employer responsible for my cell phone that they take while at work?

My employer takes our phone at the beginning of my
shift and I get it back at the end my shift. Im okay
with not having my phone at work. My issue is that
they are saying they are not responsible for our cell
phone devices while they have them. I work with
developmentally disabled people and they are
always stealing and breaking things at my job. I feel
like if they have my property than they should be
liable for anything damaged or stolen.

Asked on April 26, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If they tell you that they are not responsible for the phone before they take it, they are not responsible for it: that is because under "employment at will" (the law in this country, except when you have a written employment contract to the contrary), the employer may set all terms and conditions of employment--including that they will take your phones during your work shift but are not responsible for them if lost or broken. If you continue to work there after having notice of that policy, you have consented or agreed to it. Leave you phone in the car, if you drive to work.


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