I'm serious people:
On Thursday, a labor court in the southwestern German city of Mannheim ruled that a garbage collector who took a child's travel bed home after finding it in the trash was unlawfully fired. He must now be reinstated. The court found that his dismissal without notice was unwarranted, despite the fact that he did not follow company policy on objects found in the garbage.
In its decision, the court found that: "In objective terms, taking the child's bed away did qualify as theft and, as such, provided ... a valid reason for the firing." But the court ultimately voted in favor of the plaintiff in the belief that the punishment did not fit the crime.
So you may think, well, that's not too bad, he did get his job back after all. Why are you calling Germany "Nutbush"? Well how 'bout this next case then folks?
It was national news in Germany this week when the Federal labour court announced it would revisit the case of Barbara E, known to the public as “Emmely”. For several months her story has had the tabloids and talk shows in an uproar. Last year, after 31 years as a supermarket cashier in Berlin, Emmely was fired by her employer, Kaiser’s, for allegedly taking €1.30 ($1.83, £1.11) worth of bottle-return coupons that a customer had lost, and cashing them for herself. There is a long line of cases in German law involving Bagatelldiebstahl – employees fired for stealing such items as fish sandwiches and pieces of cheesecake. A company is permitted to terminate an employment contract whenever the “relationship of trust” is broken. Airtight evidence is not necessary; credible suspicion of theft, no matter how small, will suffice. In February, the Berlin labour court upheld Emmely’s dismissal.
So stealing garbage is "technically" a valid cause for firing but the firing was reversed in one court, while allegedly cashing in $1.83 in lost bottle refunds is grounds for firing that is upheld in multiple courts.
You better watch out for the (labor) police, when you're workin' down in Nutbush!