I was terminated by my company last week and they are demanding their laptop back. I want to return their property but do not feel I should have to pay to return it (gas or mail) and would be traumatized by being forced back into the facility. Can I refuse to drive it back to their facility out of fear of harassment or trauma? I offered verbally and in writing to hand it over at my house or mail it back if they pay for secure shipping. Could I be charged with theft? Could this be considered stealing?
Employment / Labor Attorney
If you refuse to return it, that could be considered theft or conversion, depending on the law in your state. The bottom line is it belongs to the company and it needs to be returned. In its demand for the return of the laptop, did the company state how it would like the laptop returned (physical delivery by you, shipping, etc...)? Regardless of what method is used to return the laptop, make sure there is some record of receipt (tracking number, signed acknowledgment by person you deliver it to).
You could always take someone with you to return it so you have a witness. I would not delay returning it as this could be a bigger problem than it's worth. Send the company another email asking them to provide secure shipping and see what they say. If there is no response, I would mail it or physically return it to them and get a receipt for the delivery of the laptop. Good luck.
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