McDonalds fired employee over cheese slice

A Dutch branch of McDonalds in the Friesian town of Lemmer was wrong to fired an employee for giving away an extra slice of cheese to a colleague on a break on her hamburger, a Dutch court ruled on Tuesday.

The employee lost her job at a branch of the fast-food chain in the northern town of Lemmer in March last year.

The fast-food chain argued that this turned the hamburger into a cheeseburger, and so the employee should have charged more.

McDonald’s said she had broken staff rules prohibiting free gifts to family, friends or colleagues, by giving the extra slice of cheese, the hamburger turned into a more expensive cheeseburger, News tv reported.

The judge said McDonalds had acted too severely in firing the woman. ‘The cost of a slice of cheese is not comparable to a severe step such as redundancy,’ Nos quoted the judge as saying.

In addition, the branch manager had not asked the woman to explain her actions, nor had it taken any steps against the colleague who asked for the burger. It is unclear from the reports if the hamburger was actually paid for.

The slice of the cheese costed more than the fast food chain expected. McDonald’s needs to pay €4,500 in compensation for the dismissed worker’s salary of five months, the remainder of her employment, pay.

The ruling comes days after McDonald’s reported an increase in net profits by almost a quarter in the last three months of 2009.

Photo by manuel | MC

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