Are employers required to provide basic security for personal belongings?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Are employers required to provide basic security for personal belongings?

My wallet and phone were recently stolen while I was at work. It is a retail environment, and my items were in the proper designated area. This area is completely open to the sales floor, and the items are kept in cubes that are open on the front side. There are no cameras, no locks, no doors, nothing. There had apparently been several thefts recently but they did not disclose it to all of the staff ( I was unaware). Are they held liable in any way for my stolen property or for their lack in providing any type of security? There are no signs posted anywhere.

Asked on August 8, 2011 Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, employers do not need to provide security for personal belongings; you bring your belongings to work at your risk.

However, if they knew of thefts and didn't disclose them, that failure to disclose could potentially make them liable, if you sued them, under the theory that they were negligent (careless) in not warning, since their failure to do so prevented you from taking action to protect yourself, such as by not bringing valuable to work. You would have to sue, however, to try to recover this, if they don't voluntarily compensate you. Also, if they know who did the first theft(s) but kept that person on, in a position to steal more, that could make them liable under a theory of negligent supervision.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption