The Iowa Court of Appeals says a woman who was fired for taking soup from a convenience store dumpster should not get unemployment benefits. The Iowa County case involved Pamela Tompkins-Kutcher, who removed two-day old soup from the Casey’s store where she worked after it could not longer be sold.
She took the soup to the dumpster, but then later took it out and put in her car to take home and feed her dog. Casey’s has a company policy that employees cannot remove any company property from stores without paying for it — including out-of-date items such as donuts and soup.
Tompkins-Kutcher was fired in December of 2009 for violating the company policy. Casey’s appealed when Tompkins-Kutcher was awarded unemployment benefits, and an administrative law judge ruled she had been terminated for improper conduct and should not receive benefits.
Tompkins-Kutcher appealed that decision saying there was no misconduct because her employer had no interest in the wasted soup, as it was garbage or abandoned property.
The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the decision denying Tompkins-Kutcher benefits saying the decision was not based on whether or not the soup was garbage, but was based on the company policy that was spelled out in the company handbook.
See the complete ruling here: Soup PDF