Can you be fired without notice just because you go for a coffee without stamping yourself out? The Hamm Regional Labor Court dealt with this question. A cleaner had sued her employer for firing her without notice after a 10-minute coffee break.
The woman had been stamped in at the company at the beginning of her working day. A short time later, she went to a café across the street for a coffee – without punching herself out of the electronic time recording system. Her supervisor observed her and spoke to her. The cleaning lady initially denied her wrongdoing. It wasn't until her boss offered to show her photo evidence of it that she admitted she hadn't clocked herself out.
Her employer reacted to this and, with the approval of the Inclusion Office, fired her without notice. The cleaner, who is severely disabled with a degree of disability of 100 percent, considered the dismissal to be disproportionate and sued. She said the incident was a one-time misconduct.
The Hamm Higher Labor Court ruled that the dismissal was lawful. It considered the intentional misuse of a time clock as an enormous breach of trust and justified grounds for immediate dismissal. Even if the cleaner's case lasted only ten minutes, according to the court, a warning was unnecessary. The reason for this was the fact that the regional labor court did not believe that the employee would change their behavior.
The decisive factor for the verdict was the woman's behavior after the offence. The court considered the fact that she had lied to her superior when asked and initially denied the fraud in working hours to be particularly serious.
Sources: Mirror, Business Insider