The ‘brothel-car’ from Mönchengladbach. Photo: DPA
Robert W. wasn’t best pleased when he turned up to work to find that his bosses had plastered a huge advert across his delivery van.
He was even less happy to discover that the advert made it look like an attractive woman was frolicking around in the back of his van, apparently wearing nothing but a pair of red high heels.
Robert W. – who had worked for the same company for 20 years – put up with the humiliation at first. But when he was told on the next day that he had to change his gray hub caps for red ones it was all too much.
The 49-year-old stormed into his boss’s office to give him a piece of his mind.
“I’m not driving a brothel-car like that!“ he told him.
A heated exchange ensued and before he knew it Robert W. found himself out of a job – without notice.
But the Mönchengladbacher wasn’t about to take the insult lying down and fought the decision in the employment court.
To add an extra layer of intrigue to the case, Robert W. told the judge that he had been made to drive the bawdy vehicle because he was gay.
As proof, he pointed to the fact that none of the other employees at the firm were given vans with sexual adverts on them. In fact none of the other cars had advertising at all.
But Robert W.’s ex-boss fought back against this claim.
“I don’t have a problem with his homosexuality,” he insisted. “The car was supposed to grab people’s attention in the big cities.”
The court ruled that in view of the fact that Robert W. had an unblemished work history stretching back 20 years, his firing without notice was not proportional.
But the court did not believe he had been mistreated because of his sexuality.
The company was ordered to pay Robert W. until the end of the year at which point he can be released from his contract.
Since September a different employee has been driving the van.