Fired on the spot over a slice of cheese


Last year, an employee of that big American junk food chain fired an employee in Lemmer, Friesland for placing an extra slice of cheese on a colleague’s hamburger. The colleague was on a break and had not paid for extra cheese, so the hamburger turned cheeseburger and that was a reason for dismissal, according to the chain’s policy.

Recently, the local judge in Heerenveen believed the employer overreacted. You don’t say!

Since the story stops there, the employee either gets their job back (it’s been a while, I bet you they are working somewhere else) or some compensation. If I remember correctly and if things haven’t changed much, 25% of all cases are labour law issues in the Netherlands.

And you can’t just fire someone here, on the spot or otherwise. An employer has to go to the local court and explain why they want to fire someone. The most common reason as of late is of course downsizing, not extra cheese.

This is just capitalism gone awry. Oh, and if you really thought that extra slice was fit to be called cheese, read this older posting.

(Link: leeuwardercourant, Photo:


  1. mare says:

    You confuse firing with laying off. You can fire somebody in the Netherlands (for instance when they steal, as above employer, although his reaction was a bit over the top) but then the subjects can go to court as they can everywhere.

    Laying off people is much harder than in other countries and you need to get permission from a judge and hand out good packages of salary and outplacement help.

  2. Orangemaster says:

    I stand (sit) corrected. Thanks!

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