How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
A new question is answered every 9 seconds
Ask a Employment Law question
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
5 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

Questions on Misuse of Company Property

Misuse of company property can have serious consequences. In the absence of any policy or contract, it can lead to immediate termination of employment. When some is terminated for misuse of company property, it can often come like an unexpected blow and leave a person wondering about the law, leading to confusion and questions.

A few of the most commonly asked questions on cases related to misuse of company property are listed below.

In May, I was terminated from employment for misuse of company property. In March, the company notified me that too many personal calls were being made by me from work and I signed the notification. I did cut back on the calls but made a few in April. The list of phone calls was presented before HR at my termination meeting. I have filed for unemployment benefits and was told that I would not get paid till a telephone hearing later in the month. I understand that I may have lost my job because of my own fault and probably won’t be eligible for benefits. But is there anyway I can present my case in a way in which I can still get benefits? Can the examiner reduce my benefits?

In most cases, the examiner does not have the discretion to grant you only a part of your benefits. You are either eligible for benefits or not. You could argue that you substantially complied with your employer’s request and cut down on personal telephone calls. Though your telephone calls may have provided sufficient legal grounds for termination, they may not amount to you having to forego your benefits.

I work in Texas and found a company registration sticker in the trash and put it on my car. At that time, I didn’t know it belonged to the company truck. My boss saw it and asked for it. I gave the sticker to her. She said that she had taken a photograph and would give it in to corporate security and disciplinary measures would be taken. Does this constitute a misuse of corporate assets since it was found in the trash?

Based on the facts of this case, you could actually be made to pay other penalties if law enforcement finds out that you misused a vehicle registration sticker by putting it on a vehicle that was unregistered. Having said that, many assets that are thrown away on purpose can be taken by anyone who wants them. Yet, if a company lays down a policy that prevents employees from using its discarded material, the company is entitled to also enforce the policies.

But, you must remember that Texas is an employment “at will” state which means that an employer can terminate employees for almost any reason at all. This could even include reasons such as picking up objects from the trash even if there was no policy that prohibited such behavior. Now, if the employee was fired because of such an occurrence, as long as he or she was not indulging in unlawful conduct, he or she would be eligible for unemployment benefits. But if the employee is seen as using a vehicle registration as his or her own, it would amount to unlawful conduct and it could cost the employee unemployment benefits.

I work in Washington and was recently terminated after 28 years of exemplary performance. The company said that they saw an email between another co-worker and myself discussing the purchase of prescription medication. Although I said that the purchase was never made on company property, I was asked to go home and sent a termination letter the next day. The company policy says that misusing company email can include “up to termination.” I was not given a copy of the email that led to this incident and was told that the company had absolutely no tolerance to the sale of drugs. Since I have a clean record for the past 28 years, I expected to be counselled, suspended, or written up but not fired. I am completely shocked and want to know if I have a case for wrongful termination.

The company does not have to prove that the sale took place on company property to have grounds for termination. This is especially true if there is no employment contract in place that says specifically that you can only be terminated for cause. All your employer needs is a reasonable suspicion and the following two facts make the termination legal. One, that you talked about buying the medication. And two, that you did so using company email. From what is known of your case, it doesn’t look like you have a claim for wrongful termination.

There are several ways in which you can misuse company property unknowingly. However, as an employee, it is always better to be forewarned about the law so that you don’t have to deal with the repercussions of your actions later.
Ask a Employment Law question
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
5 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21119
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FO/fordguy4u/2011-12-17_222940_HPIM1257.64x64.JPG Ron's Avatar

    Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21119
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/lyeung1/2010-07-25_032152_tn_IMG_0241.JPG Dr. Y.'s Avatar

    Dr. Y.

    Urologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    18367
    I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/docjohn174/2008-12-13_170143_johnask.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    13453
    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8472
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dermdoc19/2010-09-30_160749_Photo_122807_015.JPG dermdoc19's Avatar

    dermdoc19

    Dermatologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3827
    30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/birddoctor/2012-6-22_173214_birddoctor.64x64.png Dr. Pat's Avatar

    Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3383
    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3291
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)