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Unemployment denied for man who used forklift on vending machine

Feb. 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM   |   Comments

MILFORD, Iowa, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- An Iowa administrative law judge denied unemployment benefits to a man who was fired for using a forklift to get a candy bar from a jammed vending machine.

The ruling, which became public last month, stated Robert McKevitt, 27, of Spirit Lake was ineligible for unemployment benefits because the incident leading to his dismissal from the Polaris Industries' warehouse in Milford last fall demonstrated a willful disregard for his employer's interests, the Des Moines Register reported Friday.

McKevitt said the incident began when he put a dollar into a vending machine and selected a 90-cent Twix bar, which became stuck on its spiral hook.

"I was, like, 'Oh, man,' " McKevitt said. "So I put in another dollar, and then it wouldn't do anything."

He said he banged on the side of the machine and rocked it back and forth repeatedly before retrieving the forklift.

McKevitt said he only used the forklift to return the machine to its place after rocking it back and forth pulled it out from the wall, but state unemployment compensation records accuse him of lifting the vending machine two feet off the ground and dropping it repeatedly, causing three candy bars to fall.

McKevitt was fired five days later.

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

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