In a legal dispute over an employee of Citibank submitting lunch expense for two sandwiches, the court has ruled that the company has the right to terminate his employment.
The former employee identifies as Szabolcs Fekete’s, who was working with the company as a financial analyst. While on a business trip to Amsterdam in July 2022, Fekete stated that he had two small coffees, two sandwiches, one for lunch and other for dinner. However, the company alleged that Fekete had been dishonest in claiming to have consumed two dishes during a business trip, when, in reality, he had shared these items with his partner, and hence, terminated him from his role.
Fekete then filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful and unfair dismissal. He stated that he’s not bound to provide his food preferences in such detail.
Following the commencement of a bank’s investigation, Fekete confessed that his partner, who was not employed by Citibank, had accompanied him on the trip. However, he maintained that he had consumed all the food himself. He even mentioned that he had been going through personal challenges and he was on medications when he responded to the email inquiries regarding his expense claim.
After hearing both sides, Employment Judge Caroline Illing ruled in favour of the employer, stating that the issue wasn’t the specific monetary amount involved but rather Fekete’s failure to provide a complete and candid disclosure.
The judge emphasised that Citibank expects its employees to uphold a standard of honesty in their actions. She also affirmed that a dismissal based solely on the allegation of misrepresentation would be considered a reasonable response by a rational employer.
Subsequently, Fekete explained that he had been going through personal challenges stemming from his grandmother’s passing, was on medical leave from work, and was taking medication when he responded to the email inquiries regarding his expense claim.