Return of personal equipment after resignation

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Return of personal equipment after resignation

Resigned position, recovered tool box when returning uniforms, company provided equipment. I needed police escort to removed a stored trailer from premises. The trailer storage was oral agreement with Branch Manager for parking space at the back of the lot. No one has asked for money concerning storing of trailer on company property. I have not attempted to visit company in person. After letting things cool down for about a week, employer was not happy about resignation. I contacted my former manager about personal tools that were in work vehicle and work, which I was not allowed nor did I attempt to access after resignation. Manager stated, equipment was removed and taken to main office, about 3 hours away, by another employee Owner’s Daughter. Manager also stated I should contact owner of company about return of equipment. I made

contact with owner. Owner claims he does not have the equipment in question, itemized list was provided. Being a mechanic for 20 years, I keep detailed lists of tools and equipment, purchase dates, locations in box, prices, for insurance purposes, in case an employer was to experience a break-in and theft of property. I do realize this is a civil matter. Value of tools/equipment about $1,000. Who would be liable for not properly securing personal belongings?

Asked on February 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is not actually responsible for securing your personal property at work (the law does not make person or business A responsible for the property of person B)--they are not liable for what happens to it unless you can *prove* that they actively or actually did something to cause its loss (like tried to ship it elsewhere and lost it in the process). Without evidence or proof that the employer did something to or with your property, they are not resposible for what happened to it. Just because the property was there when you resigned and then gone later is NOT proof, since it could have been stolen by someone, but the employer is not liable for the criminal acts of other people, even other employees, since criminal acts, being against the law, are not something an employer is assumed to authorize, encourage, assist, etc. So since you don't appear to have evidence of what happened, it is unlikely you can hold anyone liable, though you can, of course, file an insurance claim if you maintained the relevant or appropriate insurance.


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