Have you been fired by email?

For these strange reasons employees were fired: "Jesus loves you"

Refusal to work, theft, insult - these are three common reasons that can lead to a termination without notice. However, some triggers are very rare, if not unique.

When a company fires an employee, it usually has a reason. Sometimes these are justified, sometimes only partially understandable.

And sometimes, they are just particularly curious. t-online has collected seven strange reasons why employees have been fired.

1. Read right-wing reading

In Berlin, an employee of a district office read the original edition of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in the break room during his working hours. A swastika was stamped on the cover of the book. Thereupon the man received the notice of termination.

The case ended up in court: The employee sued the state of Berlin because it had given him notice immediately and not first issued a warning. According to the judges, that's okay.

"The employee appears in uniform as a representative of the State of Berlin and is particularly obliged to stand up for the free and democratic basic order within the meaning of the Basic Law at all times," it said. By publicly showing the swastika, an unconstitutional symbol, he violated this obligation in a special way.

2. Electricity stolen

In Oberhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia, a man was fired for charging his cell phone. The boss of the company for industrial sealing justified the termination with the theft of the electricity.

However, the court took the side of the employee: It calculated that the amount in dispute was 0.014 cents - and saw no legitimate reason for termination in this amount.

3. Adopted in faith

A "goodbye" was obviously not enough for this man: A call center employee was fired because he ended every phone call with "Jesus loves you, thank you for your purchase".

The then 29-year-old from North Rhine-Westphalia, on the other hand, went to court and won the trial in the first instance. In the second instance he lost the process - and his job for good.

A man in a call center was fired because he always ended his phone calls in a very idiosyncratic manner. (Source: Symbolbild / Business Images / Stockbroker / Thinkstock by Getty-Images)

4. The colleague locked in the toilet

Locking your colleague in the toilet can cost you your job. This is shown by the case of a warehouse clerk from Siegburg. He kept getting into arguments with a colleague - and one day he unceremoniously locked him in the company's toilet. According to the court, the colleague stayed in the toilet until he suddenly kicked in the door.

As a result, the warehouse clerk who locked up the colleague lost his job. Now he sued the court against the termination without notice - but the court sees the employer in the right. Because the plaintiff had "at least temporarily deprived his colleague of his freedom and the unhindered possibility of leaving the toilet". According to the court, this represents a "very significant breach of duty".

In addition, the property of the employer was damaged with the toilet door. In such a case, the employer does not have to warn the employee beforehand, according to the court. The decision is not yet final. The plaintiff can still appeal the judgment.

5. Professional mails forwarded to private account

Employees are not allowed to forward business emails to their private email accounts without further ado. This can also lead to termination without notice - at least under certain conditions. This is what happened in a case that was heard before the State Labor Court in Berlin-Brandenburg.

It was about a manager of a company in Frankfurt that manufactures cooling systems for industry. From the beginning of 2016 he was negotiating a change with another company from the same industry. At the beginning of April, the competitor sent him a specific offer. A few weeks later, the employee forwarded several emails with information about customers and projects from his work to his private email account. When his current employer found out, he gave him notice without notice.


The employee complained against it, but was unsuccessful. According to the ruling, forwarding emails containing operational information was a serious breach of duty. The plaintiff had stated that he wanted to work at home with the e-mails. But his employer had provided him with a work laptop for this purpose.

In view of the special circumstances, termination without notice is justified, according to the court. The employer's business interests were directly endangered here.

6. The boss's partner is too old

She jumped on the run: a 19-year-old trainee estimated the 31-year-old friend of her boss on a photo at 40 years. There was also the termination for this. The boss, a lawyer from Edingen-Neckarhausen (Baden-Württemberg), justified this with insults and other trivialities such as small errors in work and disrespectful behavior.

In the end, the trainees and employers agreed on a settlement. He paid her an outstanding training allowance, and she looked for a new training position. And will probably never guess someone's age again.

7. Got to work intoxicated

The assembly line at the BMW plant in Munich stood still for half an hour in March 2017. The reason: Two employees came to work under the influence of alcohol and drugs and were so intoxicated that they collapsed during their shift.

No wonder it was terminated - at least for one of the two employees, the other was transferred. The failure cost BMW a five-figure sum.