Facebook posts get bank worker the sack"I can't believe I've been treated so appallingly for what essentially amounts to having a chat with my mates outside of work," said Kate Furlong, 23, who was sacked by Royal Bank of Scotland after she posted taunts on Facebook.
The bank worker had posted on Facebook about being made redundant and about a £6,000 payout she was due to receive. A colleague reported her posts to the bank, who held a disciplinary hearing before deciding to sack Furlong without a penny of the money she was expecting. The bank says she broke a secrecy agreement.
What Kate Furlong said on Facebook
After receiving the redundancy notice by telephone while she was off sick, Furlong wrote on her Facebook wall, ''I speak for myself when I say WoOOOOooooOooooHOoooOooOoo' it was pretty damn obvious something like this was coming. I'm neither stupid nor naive ... and quite honestly it is the best news ever as far as I am concerned!''
Later, in response to comments, she added, ''It was not unexpected. I've just hung on by my fingertips to stick around long enough for a nice payout when they could've had me out long ago without a penny! More fool them! Haha! Xx.''
Furlong said after the sacking, "I'm taking them to a tribunal because I don't feel I should have been sacked. They got rid of me so they didn't have to pay any redundancy."
The case is one of numerous others where Facebook users have lost their jobs after posting on the social networking site - forgetting that it is a public space and not a private one.
In February last year, Kimberley Swann was fired for moaning on Facebook about her job being boring. The teenage office worker posted what seemed like innocuous comments, such as "First day at work. omg (oh my God)!! So dull!!" and "all i do is shred holepunch n scan paper!!! omg!"
In August 2009, a woman was sacked after she complained about her boss on Facebook - forgetting she had added him as a friend. She had said on Facebook, "My boss is always making me do s*** stuff just to p*** me off!!" She also accused her employer, known as Brian, of being lecherous towards her.
In Wellington, New Zealand, ambulance worker Alana Adams, 22, was sacked by the Wellington Free Ambulance service after an altercation with a co-worker took place on Facebook. She mounted a legal challenge to try to get her job back in August 2010, but an employment tribunal decided against her. Adams might have won her job back, said the tribunal, had her public posts not included abusive language.
Adams was encouraged to take her case to tribunal by lawyers who believe companies may be acting unlawfully when they fire employees for posting on Facebook. Australian lawyer Steven Penning, for example, said, "What employers are doing is they're scrambling and trying to make out that present policies can be stretched to cover these new areas, and in many respects they can't.
"If an employer hasn't told people in advance what the rules are, what the conditions are, then that greatly increases the likelihood that an employee can say well, I can't be terminated for this because I wasn't aware that this is something I was not to do."
In November 2008 Virgin sacked 13 cabin crew after they posted on Facebook criticising some of the airline's passengers.
The messages on the social networking site related to planes flying from Gatwick and described the passengers as "chavs". They also alleged an aircraft was full of cockroaches and that the airline's jet engines were replaced four times in one year.
In 2009. call centre worker Jan Long fell foul of the private vs public nature of Facebook when she was sacked after criticising her boss, thinking it was a private conversation. Jan, from North Tyneside, said, "I was off work and talking to my friends online, I made a comment about my boss, but I have a private account so I assumed it was a private conversation."
In 2010 a travel agency worker was fired after posting on Facebook about a colleague that she wanted to "smack the brown-nosing cow in the face".
A Facebook post also got Philadelphia Eagles worker Dan Leone fired. He said, "I was ticked off, and I let my emotions go, but I didn't offend any one person or target a specific individual. I was just upset that we lost such a great guy. Dawkins was one of my favorite players. I made a mistake."
James Brennan was fired by retailer John Lewis Partnership in London after he posted “F— the Partnership” as his Facebook status.
According to social media monitoring website Mashable, 8% of US companies have sacked social media miscreants while 15% have disciplined an employee for violating multimedia sharing / posting policies.
27 November 2010
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Telegraph: Kate Furlong seeks legal action over Facebook furore
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