There aren’t many of us likely to have million-dollar typos in our job offers, but it happened to a guy named Kai Herbert, a currency trader who got an offer from JPMorgan to relocate to Johannesburg.
When he got the offer, a typo showed the salary as 24 million rand ($3.1 million). It should have read 2.4 million rand, which is more like $312,000. Big difference.
He accepted the offer in June 2010 and then apparently realized the error and decided not to report for work. JPMorgan rescinded the offer that December.
This could have just been a “whoops” situation, but Herbert then decided to sue JPMorgan for the equivalent of $921,000. He didn’t win, as The Star reported
He also still doesn’t have a job. He quit his job in Switzerland when he accepted the offer from JPMorgan, and lost a subsequent position at Credit Suisse Group AG in a round of layoffs after eight months on the job in November 2011.
JPMorgan apparently didn’t have much sympathy for Herbert. “How can you possibly suggest that they would pay you so much money for an executive director level job?” Charles Ciumei, a lawyer for JPMorgan was quoted as saying during the trial.
The judge was slightly more sympathetic when he spoke of the moment Herbert realized the mistake as the moment his heart must have sunk. He still didn’t find in Herbert’s favour, though, ruling that “Herbert took the commercial risk of accepting the offer, knowing full well that the figure was an error.”
Well, so much for that. The problem is Herbert is now notorious in the industry for being litigious, arrogant and probably a little bit naïve. I wonder what he’s going to do next?