Does any employer has in place a policy regarding packing employees belongings while employee is absent?

After 18 yrs with County Santa Clara I was put on Paid Admn. Leave due to an ivestigation. During this time my employer decided to pack my belongings without consulting me. With the apropriate notice I could have asked a family member to pack my belongings. Upon I learned that my belongings had been removed I contacted my Sup. to release my belongings to a co-worker. Upon receiving belongins I noticed that many items were gone. Most importamt couple of files containing personal/confidential e-mail exchanges among my sup. and I. I contacted my sup. and ask her to provide me with a copy an inventory and witneses. She replied stating that the County is not responsible for my personal belongins and that there is no inventory..... What can I do.

San Ramon, CA -

Attorney Answers (1)

Kevin Michael Schwin

Kevin Michael Schwin

Employment / Labor Attorney - Fresno, CA
Answered

You need to speak to an attorney that has experience representing public employees (not me). This may have been an unlawful "search" and/or "seizure" in violation of your rights under the 4th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. It could also be an unlawful "taking" in violation of your rights under the 5th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. 42 U.S.C. section 1983 allows individuals to sue for violations of constitutional rights. You might also have claims for "trespass" and "conversion" (i.e. theft), which you would need to bring pursuant to the Government Tort Claims Act. Start seeking counsel immediately. There are strict and complicated time limits and administrative requirements with the Government Tort Claims Act.

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