SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

February 21, 2014

Iowan fired for using forklift on candy machine

MILFORD, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has lost his job and unemployment benefits for using a forklift to get a candy bar from a malfunctioning vending machine, state records say.

According to state unemployment records released last month, Robert McKevitt, 27, of Spirit Lake, was working at Polaris Industries’ warehouse in Milford when the incident occurred last fall.

McKevitt wanted some candy, so he deposited $1 in a vending machine for a 90-cent Twix candy bar, The Des Moines Register reported. But the candy bar got snagged on a hook and wouldn’t fall.

He banged it and rocked it, but that didn’t work.

The state records said McKevitt then commandeered a forklift, picked up the machine at least six times and dropped it about 2 feet onto the concrete floor. Three candy bars fell.

McKevitt was fired five days later.

McKevitt told the newspaper recently that he never lifted and dropped the vending machine but did use the forklift to move the machine back in place.

“That machine was trouble,” McKevitt said. “They fired me, and now I hear they have all new vending machines there.”

In a ruling released last month, a judge denied McKevitt’s claim for unemployment benefits, saying he willfully disregarded his employer’s interests.

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