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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20362
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I live and work in Illinois. I was fired from my job of 7

Customer Question

I live and work in Illinois. I was fired from my job of 7 years. I chose not to take a severance package as I wasn't willing to sign a none compete. I promptly returned company equipment such as cell phone and lap top and submitted my final expense report. 3k is owed to me in travel expenses. I travelled all the time and this was very normal for my position. Expense checks are typically issued within 2 weeks. It has been almost 2 months since the termination and they have not paid my expenses and to be honest I don't think they intend to. I emailed HR and they never responded. I was also told they would package up and return personal items - they have not done this. They will not respond to a very normal email asking for my family photo's to be returned and my expense check paid. Several people have been termed over the last year and I know for certain their items were returned and their expenses reimbursed. What recourse do I have?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. You have a few options at this point. First, you might consider as a reliable first step (versus email), sending a certified letter to HR and copying the Company General Counsel (if they have one) listing your demands/concerns. You can let that know that pursuant to their policies (assuming there are written policies concerning expense reports and you have complied with your end of the policy) you are owed XX amount reimbursement for expenses and have not yet been paid. Secondly, you can reiterate your demand for your personal belongings to be returned to you. (They can require that you pick them up or they can mail them, under the law that would be their choice. They only need to make them available to you in some way that is reasonable.) You would then, in your letter, give them a reasonable deadline, perhaps a week to 10 days to provide payment and means of getting your items returned. Then you would merely let them know that if you do not hear from them within that time, you will exercise your legal options.

As far as your legal options go, they are to file a wage claim with the State for your expense reimbursement money( you can find more information and the form at the following link:, or to file suit in small claims court for both the expense reimbursement and the value of your personal items. Unfortunately, the small claims court does not have the authority to order the return of the items and can only give you the value. If you want a court order to have them returned, you would have to hire an attorney to file suit in District Court. If you do file either the claim or suit, you will need proof that they owe you the money. That would be by providing a copy of the policy and any documentation you have and your testimony. But again, I highly recommend that you take the first step with the certified letter before doing these latter steps. That way, if they do not respond, you at least can show the State and/or the Court that they received your demand and did not comply.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 21st. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.