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Attorney-Expert
Attorney-Expert, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1952
Experience:  Twelve years of computer engineering, mediation and the law certifies me for dispute resolution and litigation questions
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My employer is accusing me of losing their property which

Customer Question

my employer is accusing me of losing their property which was my responsibility. However, the property was fine while I was at work. I was injured at work on 16Nov then beginning 23/24 November they said the property went missing. I need help as don't know how to protect myself against this false accusation.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I want to make sure you receive excellent service today. Are you online with me?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

Did you file a workers compensation claim when you were injured?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I believe that is the root of this accusation
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are having to go through this. Unfortunately, it is very common for an employer to try to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers compensation claim. That is why the legislature made it illegal to do so. Accordingly, unless they can prove that you lost the property, you already have a claim for retaliation against them. As for what to do now, you have a few options. You can go the legal route, or the non legal one. The legal route concerns filing a claim directly with the EEOC or getting an attorney involved. The non-legal route concerns writing them a letter stating exactly where it was the last time you saw it and that you feel that this accusation is as a result of retaliation for you filing the workers compensation claim.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

If you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

If you want to file yourself, you would use Florida Labor Code 440.205 which states:

No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee's valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers' Compensation Law.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

The good news here is that the law completely protects you. Of course, how you want to proceed is entirely up to you.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Ok, legal or non-legal. I'm not sure yet as I'm dealing with a very shrewd person. What is the worst case scenario?
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

worst case scenario is that they find the property in your basement, or they have a video of you wearing a black mask sneaking it through your front door. Realistic worst case scenario is that they terminate your employment, and you file a wrongful termination claim against them. While you will be out of work, you will end up all of your back pay, as well as many other additional damages, however it will take a year or so for you to get paid out on that.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

I am of course joking as to the first part, but if they can prove that you stole it, and the burden is on them, then there could be both criminal and civil punishment.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

However, in situations like this, it is much more likely that the employer overreacts, firing you, thus strengthening your case against them.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I am 100% innocent of any theft, this whole situation is devastating
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

I completely understand. It is a shame when an employer feels that they can do anything they want, intimidating employees from fully availing themselves of workers compensation law.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

If the employer ever decides to call the cops, file a lawsuit against you, or if you feel that your reputation has been severely tarnished as a result of the accusations, I highly recommend finding an employment attorney in your area.

Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

Have I fully answered your question today? Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I appreciate your insight, even though several other employees saw where the property was kept, { don't believe they will chance going up against my boss who can be very intimidating. I just praysomeone will speak up on my behalf
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

A good attorney will get people to tell the truth either through deposition or trial. Employees such as these tend to tell the truth when threatened with perjury.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
they did call open a police report, I don't know what setails they gave
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
details
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

If they stated to the police that it was stolen, then that is one thing. If they stated to the police that you stole it, then you should definitely get an attorney as you now have a claim for defamation and retaliation against them.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
ok, thanks - this is a nightmare
Expert:  Attorney-Expert replied 12 months ago.

Not a problem. Just keep in mind that the law is on your side here and that should help you sleep a little easier. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you do not require any further assistance, please do not forget to provide my service with a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Have a wonderful rest of your day.