Iceland Mag

9 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Subway Iceland drags employee to court for "stealing" a sandwich, gets sued in return

By Staff

  • Back in court Subway in Iceland dragged an employee to court over a sandwich. After being acquitted the employee is now suing the company for damages and back pay. Photo/Vísir.

A woman who was fired from her position as a manager at a Subway restaurant in the Vestmannaeyjar islands, off the south coast of Iceland, has sued the Icelandic Subway franchise for punitive damages and wages owed. Yesterday the South Iceland District Court acquitted the woman of charges brought by Subway. Subway had accused her of theft and embezzlement.

According to the local news site Vísir the woman is demanding 1.3 million ISK (11,500 USD/10,800 EUR) in back pay in addition to 1 million ISK (8,800 USD/8,300 EUR) in damages.

Acquitted of absurd allegations
Subway alleged the woman had stolen from the restaurant when she gave her husband a 12 inch sandwich and a soda worth 1,568 ISK (13.9 USD/13 EUR). She was also accused of having embezzled money from the cash register, 12,000 ISK (106 USD/100 EUR). The crimes were supposed to have taken place in March of 2015. The woman had been working as a manager at the Subway restaurant in question for two years when she was fired and dragged to court.

Yesterday the court found both charges were without merit, acquitted the woman and ruled that her legal costs should be paid by the state. 

Acted in accordance to instructions
The woman explained that the sandwich she was accused of having stolen was actually a reward to her husband, who had worked all kinds of odd jobs for the restaurant she managed, including fixing the restaurant oven which was broken. She argued that her superior at the franchise office had actually suggested that the jobs be paid for with a sandwich.

The supposed embezzlement, she argued, was in fact caused by the cash registers at the restaurant malfunctioning. The registers kept freezing up, and the only way to get them to work was to delete the latest entry. In court she argued that she had actually been instructed to do this by her superior.

This caused errors which explained the discrepancy in the accounts of the restaurant.

Witnesses and other employees at the restaurant backed up her story, while the prosecution was unable to produce any witnesses to prove the woman had stolen money or engaged in other criminal activity.

The Subway franchise has come under intense fire on Icelandic social media, with many woving they will never shop at Subway again. In a statement to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service the franchise declined to comment on the suit brought by the woman.

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