If I bring say my headphones to my work, and they are stolen under the following circumstances, can I legally sue my employer and prevail, i.e. they have a duty to provide reasonable safety and security? Stolen when I:

  • walk away from my desk during normal business.
  • keep them overnight, unlocked, as my employer does not provide lockable desks.
  • keep them overnight, locked, but the key is not unique.
  • keep them on my desk overnight in plain site.
  • keep them overnight, locked, but the lock was broken.

2 Answers 2


If the headphones were essential safety gear or necessary for the performance of your duties then your employer might have a duty to provide reasonable means for you to protect them from theft and may be obliged to replace them if they were stolen. Such liability may be reduced to the extent of any contributory negligence on the employee.

If the employer did not require the employee to provide the headphones then they have no duty towards them.


From my readings:

  1. If it was due to negligence of employer they are responsible.
  2. If you took reasonable precautions( placing in draw and locking), employer is likely responsible.

If you were reckless, leaving $20 out in the open, employer is not responsible.

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