Returning Company Property After Termination of Remote Employee. What are the options?

February 25, 2021

In these post-2020 times, remote work is becoming a prominent part of the modern workplace as health and safety becomes a priority. For companies that have adapted to these changing times, they’ve had to further adapt to another challenge that occasionally arises: What to do when a remote employee has been fired?

Options for Retrieving Company Property from a Remote Employee

Getting your company property back from a remote employee can be a different experience than simply clearing out an employee’s locker or cubicle. Since your remote employee could possibly be a long distance away, it is important to have some measures in place for when the retrieval of company property proves difficult. But first, let’s review what steps should be taken after a remote employee has been notified of their firing:

  • Issue a notice with a date for when company property is expected to be returned.
  • Give instructions on how to properly ship company property back to the company address, or any other specified destination.
  • Be sure to list every item that’s required to be sent back so that no misunderstanding is created.

This should usually be enough to get the job done. But sometimes a terminated remote employee could prove negligent or reluctant to send your equipment back.

One Measure to Getting Your Company Property Back: The Severance Agreement

One way to get your property back could be through the use of a severance agreement. This is why preparation is key before hiring on employees. In such a severance agreement, you could mention a clause that states that if company property is not returned, it could result in the withholding of severance until all company property has been returned.

One should be cautious about wording that telling a terminated employee that they’ve simply lost their severance pay. That may backfire and remove what motivation they could’ve had to return your company’s property in the first place. By using the initial idea, you’ll provide an incentive to the terminated employee—their severance pay in return for your company property.

Legal Measures: A Last Resort

While you can report the property as stolen to police authorities and make a legal claim, it should be cautioned that this should only be used as a last resort. Even then, it is highly discouraged because of the high costs of going to court and because of the potential dent it could leave in your company’s reputation. Consider the actual cost of the equipment that you had loaned to your remote employee and decide if it’s really worth pursuing legal action versus simply letting it go.

Preparation is Key

As you might’ve noticed, preparation and a soft approach might bring better results in getting your equipment back, instead of using harsh consequences or legal action that could easily backfire against your company in costly ways. Prepare documents prior to hiring your remote employees to provide them reasons to send your company equipment back. In the end, it’ll pay off and things can end on a better note as well.

Ship Your Company Property with Reliable Couriers

Your company property is valuable and will certainly be needed for the next remote employee you may hire—so it would be wise to make sure that they’re being handled properly when being transported. With Reliable Couriers, we offer 24/7 same day delivery services for the pickup and delivery of company property, including home office equipment. Our bonded drivers are trained in the proper handling of electronic equipment, furniture, and other valuable materials. What’s more, with our fleet of sedans, cargo vans, box trucks with lift gates, and freight trucks, there’s nothing too big or small for our couriers—we’ll make sure that your property is shipped in a vehicle with the right amount of space to comfortably accommodate your items. Finally, you’ll have real-time tracking and delivery confirmation, powered by our own powerful GPS technology, so that you’ll know precisely when your company property has been shipped and returned to your company. Contact us at 888-415-1781 or visit our website at to discover more about our same day delivery services. We can safely and swiftly transport your company equipment, whether it’s back to your company or to another home office!