HR Strange But True!
March 22, 2012

For how brief rest periods are, there is no shortage of HR Strange but True stories about breaks gone bad. Here are a few of the oddest:

Drugstore Tells Employee When Chips Are Down, You’re Out—How did a national drugstore chain get into trouble with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over a bag of potato chips and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Is Your Lunch a Career Killer?— Is your lunch of leftovers holding you back from job advancement? It could be, says e-columnist Helena Echlin. She believes that toting Tupperware “is like wearing an old cardigan to work; there’s nothing wrong with it, but it doesn’t project power and success.”

Ill-Timed Lunch Break Proves Costly—Timing is everything, even when it comes to meal breaks. When a batch of flawed Wisconsin quarters entered circulation in 2004, the Treasury Department and its Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched an investigation.

The Case of the Hot Dog Thief —In 2010, a man was terminated for stealing from his employer. What was in his loot? That would be two leftover hot dogs from the company Fourth of July picnic. In addition to losing his job, he recently had to battle in court for unemployment benefits.

New Meaning to Break Time—A police officer in Painesville, Ohio, was fired after being accused of having sex while on duty. The officer filed a grievance. An arbitrator concluded that he should be reinstated because the tryst occurred while the officer was on a break.

What's the weirdest thing that has happened to you on the job? Share your story.

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