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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18810
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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What is the legal way to handle an employee that was fired

Customer Question

What is the legal way to handle an employee that was fired but they still have the office keys and they refuses to give them back until they are ready to do so?? Can I as the employer charge a fee for each day they have the keys?? Can I take it out of their last check?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance. Unless a fee was agreed to at the start of employment, imposing one after would not be legal. Withholding from the employee's check is only permissible by written agreement. Unfortunately, in these sorts of circumstances, all you can do is insist on the return of the keys by a certain date, and if the employee doesn't comply, you'd have to change the locks and sue the former employee for the cost of replacing the locks in small claims court. So, I would send a demand letter by certified mail (not return receipt) so that you can show you sent it. After a week, change all the locks and keep track of the cost. Sue in small claims (should cost around $100 total), using the letter you sent and the bill for the changing of the locks as your evidence. You would win that very easily. If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.