Pay offer fiasco over misplaced decimal point

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A HR team at JPMorgan has just exhaled one hellava breath – the bank doesn’t have to pay a trader a mass payout despite offering an inflated salary due to a typographical error.

Kai Herbert, a Swiss currency trader, sued JPMorgan for lost earnings claiming he signed a contract to relocate to Johannesburg for a salary of 24 million rand ($3 million); due to a misplaced decimal point, the figure should have been 2.4 million rand ($300,000).

Herbert originally sued the company for several million, before dropping the sum to $880,000. In the court ruling however, the judge said Herbert took the commercial risk of accepting the offer, knowing full well that the figure was an error. “Herbert, with his eyes wide open, took a chance and it has not worked out for him,” the court heard.

The trader resigned from his previous employment in June 2010 following the offer from New York-based JPMorgan to relocate to South Africa. Herbert didn't report for work after discovering the discrepancy, and JPMorgan subsequently rescinded the employment offer in December 2010.

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