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Friday, September 3, 2010

Man can't be fired for 3.1 cent theft

BERLIN - A GERMAN company that fired a man for the theft of 1.8 euro cents (S$3.1 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.' -- REUTERS


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