Employment Law – workplace fridge politics!
The politics which surround the work fridge and its contents are often the cause of significant workplace friction. Employees who have their lunch taken and eaten are often seriously aggrieved. Usually, HR can resolve such issues by way of a polite note on the fridge door and a suggestion that food is named.
However, one employee in the US recently revealed on Reddit that he had taken more dramatic steps to identify who had been eating his sandwiches. Upset that his lunch kept being taken from the work fridge, he laced his sandwich with prescription-strength laxatives.
He then reported to HR that his lunch (and his medication) had been stolen. The culprit was found by HR in a nearby toilet. HR took no action against the employee who had set-up the prank but sacked the sandwich-stealer (who was also, according to the Reddit article, interviewed by the police in relation to theft of prescribed medication).
Although this example is an extreme one, it is a reminder to HR that theft of any sort within the workplace should be taken seriously. As one person commented on the Reddit article – “This is why employers shouldn’t disregard lunch thieves. It’s only a matter of time until they turn their thieving hands on the employers’ things or somehow cause damages to their employer.”