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Thread: How long to keep employee Property

  1. #1
    HR101 is offline Junior Member
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    How long to keep employee Property

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    We had an employee abandon her job with no notice. While we sent her notice of termination for job abandonment via certified mail, we still have not heard from her. She left quite a bit of personal property at her desk, and in the letter we requested she contact us within a week to make plans to pick up her property. It has been over 30 days and we still have not heard from her. How long are we required to safeguard her personal property before we can dispose of it?
  2. #2
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    I wouldn't dispose of it. It can cause you a lot of headaches. Have you had somebody box it up and physically drive to her last known address to leave it here? Have you tried phone and email to contact her? There is no law on the matter that I know of but I would box it up and keep it for a year. Surely you have a supply closet or somewhere it won't be in the way.
  3. #3
    HR101 is offline Junior Member
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    We have tried mail and phone with several messages left. We could stash it somewhere I suppose, but keeping track of it and storing it would be a bit of a headache. I know in the case of tenants abandoning property landlords have a duty to safeguard property for certain durations, I was just curious if there were similar guidelines for abandoned property in the workplace. If not I guess we will most likely stash it somewhere to be on the safe side.

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. #4
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Follow your state's laws on abandoned property.
  5. #5
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with xylene as past employee could have moved from last know address.
  6. #6
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HR101 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    We had an employee abandon her job with no notice. While we sent her notice of termination for job abandonment via certified mail, we still have not heard from her. She left quite a bit of personal property at her desk, and in the letter we requested she contact us within a week to make plans to pick up her property. It has been over 30 days and we still have not heard from her. How long are we required to safeguard her personal property before we can dispose of it?
    Its possible that your employed died or is in the hospital in critical condition. People generally don't abandon jobs leaving a lot of personal belonging behind. You could do some due diligence to attempt to find out your former employee's status (checking the social security death index etc) but I would definitely hold on to the belonging for a while. You would feel really horrible if a next of kin contacted you in a couple of months and you threw things away.
  7. #7
    EmployeRelation is offline Junior Member
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    Hi HR101, I actually don't know any law regarding the same but according to me, you should safeguard the property of your employee until she is able to pick her up or someone else from the family or friends can pick it. Try to find out about the employee, may be there is something serious happened to her like accident or in worst case death. Don't just dispose the property because it is really important or her.
  8. #8
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmployeRelation View Post
    Hi HR101, I actually don't know any law regarding the same but according to me, you should safeguard the property of your employee until she is able to pick her up or someone else from the family or friends can pick it. Try to find out about the employee, may be there is something serious happened to her like accident or in worst case death. Don't just dispose the property because it is really important or her.
    You're still here???
  9. #9
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone* View Post
    You're still here???
    We either deal with him/her under this name, or he/she comes back again with another name, just like he/she has done before. Maybe it's better that all the nonsense is kept under one roof, er, name?
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmployeRelation View Post
    Hi HR101, I actually don't know any law...
    'nuf said
    Antigone* likes this.
  11. #11
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    While I acknowledge that it is possible that the employee might be ill or in the hospital or even dead, I question how important the property can be to her if she's gone 30 days without so much as even acknowledging that it's there. (I very much doubt that it's very important to her if she's dead.) While I don't think that 30 days is long enough for the employer to toss it, I do wonder how long the trolls upthread think they should hold it. 60 days? 90? 6 months? A year? 10 years?
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  12. #12
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    While I acknowledge that it is possible that the employee might be ill or in the hospital or even dead, I question how important the property can be to her if she's gone 30 days without so much as even acknowledging that it's there. (I very much doubt that it's very important to her if she's dead.) While I don't think that 30 days is long enough for the employer to toss it, I do wonder how long the trolls upthread think they should hold it. 60 days? 90? 6 months? A year? 10 years?
    I would personally send her items to her via Federal Express or UPS and then call it a day. If they come back, I'd send a letter again to the last known address stating that the items were sent and came back. I'd then give her 30 more days after which point the dumpster would own the items.

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