What can be done about the loss of my husband’s personal tools from work?

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What can be done about the loss of my husband’s personal tools from work?

My husband worked for a commercial maintenance company. He was told that he would only need small hand tools to complete his job, however it really required him to take all his air tools, drills, etc. to do his job. He drove a company van along with wearing a company shirt. He had a heart attack while working, drove to a hospital and was admitted. His supervisor met me there and the next morning took his company van back to the shop, saying he would make sure all personal tools were locked up. That Friday, we went to the shop to talk with HR, his GM and the 2 owners. All of them assured us that the personal tools where being taken out of his van and put into the shop so nothing would happen. Needless to say, $4000 of his tools were stolen out of his van. Now the company is demanding that we pay the $1000 deductible. The van with his tools were on their property. Also, they way the pay is in question, he would only get paid drive time if he completed a job, if a part needed to be ordered he would not get paid. He would work over 40 hours but only get paid for the jobs he completed, plus the drive time. On the first, do we have to pay that? On the second, I thought if a person worked over 40 hours they should be paid overtime, am I right?

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) A person--including a business or company--is not liable for the theft of someone else's personal property by 3rd parties; that is, they are not liable for criminal acts unless committed by them. So they do not need to provide any compensation to your husband for the theft and could leave him to foot the bill; if he is only paying the insurance deductible, he is coming out ahead.
2) Any hourly employees must be paid for all hours worked, even if a job is not completed, and must be paid overtime for all time past 40 hours worked in a week, again, regardless of whether the work is finished. d on what you write, your husband may have a substantial wage and hour claim; he may wish to speak to your state's department of labor, and/or a private employment law attorney, about this.


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