Is my former company acting illegally?

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Is my former company acting illegally?

I was recently fired from my company for not following expense policy properly. I did not know what I was doing was wrong. I had a corporate apartment, which I Airbnb’ed when away. The company is

trying to make me pay them the amount I earned which does not factor in the taxes I paid, cleaning service, time, etc. They somehow obtained my Airbnb rental records without my permission and when I requested the documents they have, they did not respond. This is the biggest issue. They now have put the amount on my closed corporate credit card and making me pay it. There were also other expenses that they are now trying to make me pay for reasons I was not aware of, although some are in the expense policy which I did not fully read.

Asked on October 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not acting illegally--you did. You took company property (something they owned or leased) and used it to profit personally. That is legally the same as renting out a company car, letting someone lease your company-provided phone from you, or moonlighting using company tools and equipment. It is a form of theft, and they did not need to tell you that it was wrong because it is so obviously against the law--for example, if a friend let you stay at his or her house, would you think you could rent it out while they were aware for the weekend? This situation is as obviously illegal.
You legally have to repay them everything you earned from the illegal use of their property. You are not entitled to any offset for costs in doing what was a criminal act. You are fortunate they are not pressing criminal charges against you, which they could legally do.


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