I just left a company and they are sending a message claiming I have a iPad of theirs that I must return or they will invoice me for the cost and deduct it from my final pay. I do not have their iPad nor do I know what became of it.

Can they do this? The company doesn't have anyone sign indicating they have anything, like a company computer or cell phone. Can they charge me for something they have no actual proof I have?

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    Do you know anything about where it might have gone? (and by the way, we shouldn't have to tease this out of you). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 13 at 0:54
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    Were you at any point in time in charge of the iPad? Please clarify. The current question and comments read like you reject your responsibilities only because they don’t have a written proof. This is basically stealing. – Mateusz Stefek Jul 15 at 4:12
  • I remember leaving one company and returning my laptop... to the great surprise of the IT department who had no record of my having been issued one. The moral of the story: companies lose track of their stuff all the time. If you didn’t sign for it they have no proof you ever had it. – Gaius Jul 15 at 9:42
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    Have you contacted them yet to tell them that you don't have the iPad? What did they say? – David K Jul 15 at 16:11
  • Did you ever sign anything to get custody of this iPad? – Dan Jul 15 at 17:32

Go see a lawyer.

It sounds like the company is trying pin something on you and the most effective defense is a registered letter by a lawyer and that a) clearly states that you have followed all processes and procedures, b) and that they should cease and desist in making false accusations or you will take formal legal action.

I many cases a formal letter is all it takes to make them back off. If they don't you would need to discuss with your lawyer what the next steps would be.

  • Based on OP's comment to another answer that his former employer makes other false claims as well, the only correct answer is this one (aka to get a lawyer). – Niko1978 Jul 15 at 10:54

Can they charge me for something they have no actual proof I have?

No... but if you actually have it then you should return it, or well keep it if you want it but you are going to have to buy it.

If you really don't have it, and they are claiming for it, politely reply indicating that you do not possess such item and ask them to double-check, and that if there is anything you can do to clarify the situation.

  • They are actually in the process of making a number of false claims against me. They also claim I used a company card without authorization when I came to them and said we need to buy something their responded saying Nuthing you need just used the company card and gave me the numbers. The products that were purchased are all there with them. – Rasekl Jul 13 at 0:10
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    Do you still have the company card numbers? – A. I. Breveleri Jul 13 at 0:50

In most countries, if there is a dispute then they cannot just deduct money from your salary. They can take you to court over the cost of the iPad obviously, but they can't just take it out of your salary.

That said, if you don't have that iPad, I'd tell the company that you don't have this iPad (either you never had it at all, or you never took it home, or you took it home and you returned it), and I would ask why they believe you have it. That could also jog your memory, in case you had this iPad for two weeks and passed it on to someone else.


Depends on country. I would imagine in any country though they have to prove that you have it or at least responsible for it. Either you signed off on a custody form or if you acknowledge you received it somehow. When I receive equipment from my employer, they made me sign a document saying I received one laptop and a keyboard. At the end of my employment, I got a receipt saying I turned it in.

If you did no such thing, I would imagine it's on them to prove it. However, you'd have to see a lawyer, unfortunately.

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