San Francisco, CA asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California

Q: Last day at job 2-26. Employer has my property. I have asked them two times by email. I have their laptop, phone, keys.

We had bad issues at work so I gave one week notice to quit. They told me not to come back in until 3-5 @2:00pm. On final day-3-5-20 I also had a phone interview with the corporate office HR at 1:00pm. I waited at home for his call but he stood me up for my exit interview. I did not have the opportunity to tell him my doctor told me not to have contact with my former boss because he was giving me chest pains. I am 64. I then sent an email to HR and my local boss detailing anything they might need, and asking them to send my personal property valued at $500 to me with a return envelope and I would send them their laptop, cell phone, keys. They have ignored my request now on 6-26-20 I sent them another email to local and corporate HR demanding the return of my personal property and they still ignore me. They are lawyers and I am afraid they might do something to me. I don't want to see them ever again and I want my stuff back.

1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Sorry you are having this problem, particularly with Attorney employers. Under the Labor Code, the employer does not have the right to retain your property, and likewise, you are obligated to return theirs. It sounds more like you need a mediator or go- between. You might contact the local bar association for assistance. If they are members, perhaps they will be willing to deposit your property with the bar association at the bar association offices and you can do likewise. I once had a client that became fearful of me after we won a case at trial and (because others were coaching him) he did not want to meet at my offices to receive a check and sign a receipt, so we contacted the local offices and met there for a peaceful resolution.

Another thought is if they were in a high rise with several attorneys in the building, you could deposit goods at a neutral.

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