How to Get Personal Items From Your Workplace When Fired

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Your employer may or may not allow you to gather your belongings after termination.
Your employer may or may not allow you to gather your belongings after termination. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Once a supervisor has enough cause to terminate your employment, he will meet with you to break the news. The termination meeting will proceed with the supervisor laying out his reasons for letting you go. This process may be embarrassing, but it is ultimately just a business decision. Do not take these proceedings personally, and never lose your temper. Once your ex-supervisor is finished, he will ask you to leave the premises. He may or may not allow you time to gather your belongings. Either way, it is your property and the company is not entitled to keep it.

Refrain from raising your voice or being argumentative at the time of your termination. Remain civil at all times, and keep in mind that the termination is ultimately a business decision. Remember that business must never become personal.

Gather your personal effects immediately following your termination meeting. Allow your employer to accompany you to your personal space to collect your belongings. Your employer may decide that you should leave the building immediately because of high emotions or other security concerns. In this instance, you should remain calm and tell her that you will make arrangements to pick up your personal items at a later date.

Leave the building quietly and cooperatively. Follow all of your ex-employer's instructions. Do not become argumentative, combative or confrontational in any way. Signs of aggression may be prosecuted. Remember that everyone on the premises works for the employer and will not side with you if the matter goes to civil or criminal court.

Wait for at least seven days before contacting your ex-employer. Write a letter to your former supervisor and ask him when and where you can pick up your personal items. Send a list of those items that belong to you that are still on company property. Send this information via certified mail so that it can be tracked and you will know who signed for the letter.

Send a third party to pick up your belongings if your ex-employer forbids you to come onto company property. Take someone with you who can act as a witness if you are allowed to return in person to pick up your personal effects. Be sure that your escort has never been involved with the company so that your ex-employer can not claim the two of you damaged property or started trouble during your visit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not make a scene. Remember that everything that occurs from the time your termination meeting begins until after your final contact with the company may be recorded and used as evidence in court.

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