When you think of “gross misconduct” on the job, what sorts of nefarious, underhanded activities come to mind?
Funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars of employer funds into a private bank account is one example.
Then there’s physically assaulting a co-worker on premises, which is also pretty solid grounds for dismissal.
And as one McDonald’s employee recently learned, you don’t ever, ever get liberal-handed with the chocolate sprinkles.
The perpetrator of this unthinkable act is a 19-year-old from West Wales in the United Kingdom named Sarah Finch.
Finch had the audacity to give an extra topping on a McFlurry to a co-worker.
Here’s how she tries to justify her gross misdeed: "There is no standard for such measures - they are always imprecise and will vary among customers,” she told the Telegraph.
"My colleague had asked me: 'Make it a nice one'. So the measure I gave erred on the side of more than, rather than less than, the mean."
Horrified by the idea that an employee would so wantonly steal food, thus threatening their fragile livelihood, her bosses felt they had no choice but to fire her from her $300/week job.
Finch had been described as an “exceptional” employee during the 18 months she toiled at the burger-and-chocolate-sprinkles franchise.
But clearly that wasn’t enough to prevent her from engaging in such blatant criminal activity under the guise of generosity, great customer service and overall awesomeness.
Shockingly, Finch was awarded $4,500 after she took her wrongful dismissal application to employment tribunal and to add insult to injury, her employers have been ordered to give her a good reference.
The case has since been withdrawn and no liability was made after both parties settled the matter through arbitration.
Still. How can major franchises sleep knowing that at any time, a model employee could be rewarded for pilfering pennies’ worth of chocolate substitute in order to make someone else’s day?