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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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