Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: North Dakota

    My employer took my cell phone from my desk when I was not at my desk. He suddenly decided to implement a new policy regarding cell phone usage. Now, while I do not have an issue with no cell phones while on the clock, I have an issue with the other requirements and his actions. When he suddenly decided to enforce the new policy, he took my cell phone, in its wallet case, (which contained my ID, a credit and debit card) without my knowledge or permission. His new requirement was that we had to leave our cell phones in a box by the employee entrance. I refused to place my phone there and I expressed my concern that it was not secure. He apparently feels it is. I assured him that I would comply with the policy but secure my own phone. I also assured him that, being a good employee for the nearly 6 years, my word is good. We couldn't come to an agreement and I ultimately left my job. Did he have the legal right to remove my property without my knowledge or permission?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    What is your goal in this? The employer certainly has the right to not have a cell phone on property that the employer owns or controls. Or in your case in one single place on the property (the box.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,771

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    Assuming you eventually got the phone (and other property) back, this is a non-issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,272

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    Quote Quoting Lola415
    View Post
    Did he have the legal right to remove my property without my knowledge or permission?
    So what if he didn't? If you go toe to toe with your employer on this you'll be out of a job.

    If you don't want your cell phone in a box all day, lock it in your car or leave it home.

    You aren't going to have this your way.

    Being a good employee for 6 years doesn't change that you are expendable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    He already did lose his job.



    Quote Quoting Lola415
    View Post
    We couldn't come to an agreement and I ultimately left my job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    It comes down to the employer pretty much has control of the workplace. This may not have been the best way for them to handle this particular issue, I agree. That you protested and quit was your right. You could've simply locked your cell phone in your car from now on out. But they have the legal right to be dumb and mean, because really, there is no law that prohibits them from doing this, or having this policy, or from collecting your phone from your desk and putting it in a box. And insisting that you bring it to the workplace and put it in their box everyday. They can demand lots of things, simply because there's no law that says otherwise.

    And now it's going to be that you file for unemployment benefits and go through trying to get those approved while you look vigorously for another job. Your chances of being approved for benefits aren't as great if you quit, if they terminated you it might increase your chances of being approved for benefits, but there's certainly no harm in going on and filing a claim for unemployment while looking elsewhere. Be sure you point out that you offered to compromise, arrange your own secure place to keep your phone away from the workplace, you tried to work it out before you left/were told to leave. And how you had worked there for six years without a problem if this is true.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    I walked from my job because of his actions. he insisted he have my/our phones daily, even though I said I would secure it myself. That wasn't good enough for him. I asked for a more secure place for the phones he apparently thought that unreasonable. I realize that we are all expendable, not really my point.

    I totally understand and respect the fact that its his business and its his right to enforce his policies. I had secured my own phone and where I had it was of no concern, in my opinion, to anyone. When he noticed a phone "missing" from the box, he demanded it. Just so much ridiculousness! I really had no intention of filing for unemployment. Thank you for your advice. It has been helpful and appreciated. I may consider filing and see what comes of it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    If you had access to it at work it that isn't what your employer was going for.

    As mentioned above, if you want your phone in more secure storage, leave it at home.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    Do, by all means, file a claim for unemployment insurance. It is harder to get if the worker quits than if the employer fires you (it's a misconception that getting fired is such a bad thing that you want to quit first) but it costs nothing but a bit of your time, and might be approved, which means a little help you are entitled to.

    By all means, file, now, quickly, while you are looking for other work. Unemployment insurance is not a welfare or a needs based poverty program, it is an insurance program for people out of work through no fault of their own, paid in in your state entirely by the employer. Thus they don't exactly love for people to get unemployment insurance but if they lay you off or if they fire you without a valid misconduct reason to do so, you can qualify to draw the benefits while seeking another job. The employer doesn't get to decide whether you get benefits or not. They tell their side of what happened, and you tell your side of what happened and a decision on your eligibility is made by the agency.

    Unemployment benefits aren't much money, but enough that you don't want to overlook them and you do have the right to file a claim. You are not supposed to wait until you are simply desperate, but first you file, then you begin looking diligently for another job. So file immediately, and hopefully in a few weeks you might be back paid for weeks you've filed for after a decision is made on your eligibility.

    The claims process when you quit a job is that you must show you had a valid, work related reason to quit the job and that you tried to solve the problem using every reasonable alternative before you quit. That's why you make sure to mention that the employer took the phone off your desk without your consent, (not illegal but not very nice) and when you and he discussed the situation, you tried to work things out, but were given no other alternative to putting your phone in what you believed to be an unsafe or unsecure situation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,121

    Default Re: Can My Employer Legally Take My Personal Property from My Desk

    If the boss wants all cell phones on the property go "here", then all cell phones on the property go "here". He may legally require that you follow where he wants the phones kept; you may legally leave your cell phone locked in your car or at home rather than bring it in. I'm not going to place any bets on whether you get unemployment or not, but you'll probably be happier with a more reasonable employer.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Service Providers: Front Desk Staff Member Shared a Customer's Personal Story
    By aparksat in forum Consumer Law
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-30-2014, 07:55 PM
  2. Getting Fired: Former Employer Will Not Return Personal Property
    By desertfour in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-16-2014, 06:57 AM
  3. Getting Fired: Ex-Employer Has Our Personal Property
    By brycej1111 in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-06-2013, 07:42 PM
  4. Ownership Rights: Can You Gain Personal Property Rights to Property Obtained From an Employer
    By RuprectGern in forum Personal Property
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-15-2010, 09:52 AM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-02-2010, 12:12 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources