If my personal property destroyed within 24 hours of being fired, what is my recourse?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my personal property destroyed within 24 hours of being fired, what is my recourse?

I was fired after asking too many questions about missing hours and now it’s been 24 hours since I was fired. I asked if I could pick up my belongings, as well as drop off their uniform. I was informed that my personal belongings were no longer there. Is that legal?

Asked on February 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: they had no right to destroy, discard, etc. your personal belongings. You can sue your employer for the value of your belongings. Note that you can only sue for their economic value; the law does not provide compensation for emotional or sentimental value, or the inconvenience of replacing them. Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," is likely a good, inexpensive, fast option.

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.

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