vending machine

Instant Dismissal for Stealing Coffee at Work?

Dismissal with immediate effect for stealing cups of coffee at work in the Netherlands?

A driver at a transportation company uses a key (received from a colleague) to open the coffee veding machine at the company where he works; providing himself and others with free cups of coffee. A cup of coffee normally costs € 0.20 – € 0.30

The employer finds out about this and dismisses the employee with immediate effect. Will this dismissal stand before the Dutch Court?


Yes, even if the amount per cup of coffee is small, the employee is guilty of theft. On January 2020, the employer announced to all its employees that theft is absolutely not tolerated. The employee believed that his actions where not too bad and he is not guilty for theft, so he went to the subdistrict Court in Gouda to challenge his dismissal with immediate effect: he received zero on the petition and also had to pay a legal allowance of € 720.00 to his employer.

Source: ECLI: NL: RBDHA: 2020: 9453

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