Firm can't fire man for 1.8 cent theft

BERLIN Fri Sep 3, 2010 11:02am EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - A German company that fired a man for the theft of 1.8 euro cents (two U.S. cents) worth of electricity had no grounds for sacking him, a court ruled, dismissing the firm's appeal against his reinstatement.

Network administrator Oliver Beel lost his job after charging his Segway, a two-wheeled electric vehicle, at work in May 2009. After he connected the vehicle to the firm's power source for 1-1/2 hours, his boss asked him to remove it.

Twelve days later Beel found himself without a job.

The court ruled that dismissal was disproportionate to the offence, especially given the "minimal electricity cost involved, the plaintiff's 19-year employment by the company and the fact other employees charged mobile phones and digital photo frames at the firm's expense without punishment."

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Peter Graff)

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Comments (25)
ErnestPayne wrote:
Well that takes “penny pinching” to a whole new level.

Sep 03, 2010 2:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jim09091 wrote:
What a lame company.

Sep 04, 2010 7:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Get_a_Clue wrote:
19 years with a company and they fire him for less than two cents. They really don’t do anything for morale or to foster loyalty.

I’d like to know what company it is so I won’t do any business with them.

Sep 05, 2010 10:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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