Archive RSS
Blog  »  May 2024  »  The Most Expensive Sandwich in HR History? - Blog
May 24

Posted by
Gemma Pontson

The Most Expensive Sandwich in HR History?

Potentially the most expensive sandwich in HR history… was it filled with foie gras? Were there layers of lobster? Absolutely covered in caviar?

Well, no. It was a plain, ordinary sandwich by all accounts, coming well under the expenses limit. Yet this sandwich was integral to a Senior Banker’s dismissal (Szabolcs Fekete v Citibank NA 2023).

Fekete, a Senior Banker, put two sandwiches, two pasta dishes, and two drinks, on his lunch expenses during a work trip.

The quantity was suspicious, so he was questioned about this rather substantial lunch. Fekete responded to say the items were all for him and they were well within his expenses limit. He was hungry after skipping breakfast, the drinks were small, and the second sandwich was for his dinner. He asked why he was being put under scrutiny. However, the investigation continued, and Fekete later admitted some items were consumed by his partner, in breach of his employer’s Expenses policy. The Disciplinary procedure concluded with his dismissal.

Fekete then raised an Unfair Dismissal claim. He argued the sanction was unfairly harsh and had not sufficiently considered that he had been going through personal difficulties at the time. However, he lost the case as the Judge decided the dismissal was a reasonable response. The Judge’s conclusions emphasised that as a global financial institution, it was reasonable for Citibank to have high standards for honesty and ethical conduct.

If the Disciplinary Policy had been unreasonable, the case could have ended differently of course!

Bright Contracts clients have access to a comprehensive Employee Handbook, including a template Disciplinary Policy. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Posted in Company Handbook, Dismissals, Employee Handbook, Employment Law, Employment Tribunals, Staff Handbook


The new standard in payroll software, now available for employers in the UK and Ireland.

UK Website  Ireland Website

Bright Contracts

Create tailored professional employment contracts and staff handbooks. Available for employers in the UK and Ireland.

UK Website  Ireland Website