The relationship between the young man and his employer, a youth hostel, must have already been broken. There is no other way to explain why the 27-year-old lost his job because of charging his electric car. But that's exactly what happened - because the hotel manager had charged his hybrid car at a 220-volt socket in the hallway of a seminar wing and used 40 cents worth of electricity in the process, his employer terminated him without notice. He went to court.
Theoretically, the company was right: In Germany it is actually possible to receive a warning for private use of company power connections, for example to charge smartphones. If this results in a significant loss of trust in the eyes of the employer, it may even result in termination without notice. However, insisting on these very strict rules is probably unrealistic in most companies.
However, in the case of the lawsuit before the Düsseldorf State Labor Court, the plaintiff's employer insisted that there was no tolerance for something like this in his company and that it even violated the house rules. However, the court quickly overturned this because house rules were intended for the guests, not the employees.
For the court, the entire case was a case-by-case decision. During the course of the proceedings, the plaintiff explained that in his former company it was quite common for employees to charge devices they had brought with them, such as e-bikes or electric scooters, on site. He also claimed that the deputy boss had expressly allowed him to do so - which she then denied.
Overall, the judges saw no basis for further cooperation and advised the parties to reach a settlement. That's how it happened: The former receptionist receives severance pay and a good reference, but will no longer return to the company. That wasn't his intention because he now has another job.
Source: Düsseldorf Regional Labor Court, dpa