Company can't fire man for two cent theft

Think you've got a strict boss? Probably not as strict as a German company who fired a man for allegedly stealing two cents worth of electricity.

A German court has ruled the company had no grounds for firing him and dismissed the firm's appeal against his reinstatement. Network administrator Oliver Beel lost his job after charging his Segway at work in May 2009. After he had connected the vehicle to the firm's power source for one-and-a-half hours, his boss asked him to remove it.

Twelve days later Beel was fired, and the firm cited theft of electricity as the reason.

But the court ruled that dismissal wasn't appropriate for 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."

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