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Court: Store Wrong to Fire Worker for Eating Leftover Hot Dogs

Court decides Nolan Koewler was fired unjustifiably
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 8, 2011 9:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Indiana Court of Appeals says a department store wasn't justified in firing a worker who took two leftover hot dogs from a company picnic, so it must pay him unemployment benefits. The court ruled yesterday in the case of Nolan Koewler, who was fired from a Dillard's store in Evansville a year ago. Dillard's hosted a Fourth of July cookout for employees. Afterward, a manager ordered the leftovers stored in a break room freezer until Labor Day.

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The next day, Koewler took two hot dogs and ate them, an act caught on surveillance video. He claimed he never heard the instruction to save the hot dogs, and the three-judge panel sided unanimously with him. The opinion didn't reveal the amount of unemployment benefits at stake. (Read more Indiana stories.)

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