|Photo: roboppy, Flickr
A 34-year veteran of the Westfalen Construction Association in Dortmund, Germany, was fired after eating a burger from her boss's lunch cart.
The 59-year-old secretary, Magdelene H. (her last name was withheld due to German privacy laws), was fired after eating a frikadelle (flat, pan-fried meatball) and two halves of a roll without permission from a buffet she had just finished preparing last July for her boss and his guests, Spiegel reports.
A co-worker realized some of the food was missing and notified Magdelene's boss. When the boss asked about the missing items, Magdalene came clean.
"She was of the opinion that her behavior was acceptable," said her lawyer Wolfgang Pinkepank. "Bread rolls and burgers left over after conferences are always given to employees to eat." Magdalene had taken the sandwich beforehand, succumbing to a hunger pang.
Because the company refused to reverse Magdalene's abrupt firing, the case has found its way to the local labor court.
"Outwardly this of course seems like a trifling matter," the company's managing director, Hermann Schulte-Hiltrop, told Bild. "This is a highly sensitive case. When you lose your trust in someone you are left with a bad feeling."
The case will be fully reviewed in January 2010.
[Via Bild and Spiegel Online]