How can I recover my tools from my former employer after I have been fired?

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How can I recover my tools from my former employer after I have been fired?

My ex-employer has removed my tool box and is saying that I owe him money. My tool box is valued at $150,000. What’s the law regarding tools that are used for employment. Without them I can’t retain employment

in my field.

Asked on September 12, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you owned the tools (i.e. you bought them and were not reimbursed for them by the employer) he committed theft. Even if the police, etc. choose to not be helpful, you could sue him for the value of the tools. Even when a former employee owes an employer money, the employer may NOT simply take his possessions: the employer's legal option to recover money is to sue the employee, which he could have done. So you may sue him for the value of the tools (and he may be able to settle the case by returning them to you); he could, if he has a legitimate claim, countersue you for whatever you owe him.


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