An employee of supermarket DekaMarkt was fired on the spot because she had taken a damaged box of tompouces without permission. However, the judge in Alkmaar finds that measure a bit excessive for an employee who has been working at the store for twenty years without any problems and has reversed the dismissal. DekaMarkt now has to pay a sum of 16,000 euros.
DekaMarkt did not take half measures when the employee admitted to taking a box of tompouces with her in November. She thought it was possible, because the product was damaged and would be thrown away. The management thought otherwise: taking products without request is seen as theft and immediately leads to dismissal. A report was also filed with the police, the woman was banned from shopping for a period of one year and she was registered with the warning register Fraud Approach Detailhandel. As a result, the chance of a job at another store is virtually nil.
The measures are in line with DekaMarkt’s zero-tolerance policy, but according to the judge, the employee was barely aware of the existence of the company regulations. Eleven years ago she was last informed of the existence of a regulation and the website on which it can be found. It also takes into account that she did not take the tompouces secretly, but in the presence of colleagues and that she immediately admitted her mistake. Dismissal would mean that the single woman would be left without income and could not claim benefits.
The judge accuses DekaMarkt of immediately taking the heaviest means and that it is now virtually impossible for the employee to return to her position. That is why the employment contract will be dissolved as of 1 May. Because this is the employer’s fault, a fair compensation of 6,000 euros and a transition payment of more than 10,000 euros must be paid. The registration with the fraud register must also be undone.
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