Facebook 'unfriending' can constitute workplace bullying

2015-09-22 Philip posted:

Australia’s workplace tribunal ruled that a woman was bullied after she was unfriended on Facebook following work dispute.

A woman in Australia who unfriended a colleague on Facebook after a dispute at work was found by a tribunal to have committed workplace bullying.

The incident occurred after Ms Roberts, a property agent, complained that her properties were not being adequately displayed in the store window. She left the office crying and later discovered she had been “unfriended” on Facebook.

Ms Roberts said she had been bullied and was left with depression and anxiety – a claim the tribunal accepted.

The case does not mean that unfriending a colleague on Facebook will automatically constitute bullying though an Employment Tribunal here in the UK could also decide that a pattern of unreasonable, hostile, belittling behaviour which features a range of different actions including berating, excluding the employee or the unfriending on Facebook could constitute workplace bullying.

The Fair Work Commission, a type of tribunal, said the decision to unfriend Ms Roberts showed a "lack of emotional maturity" and was "indicative of unreasonable behaviour."

Ms Roberts listed other claims of unfair treatment by her colleague, who was accused of failing to say hello in the morning and of delivering photocopies and print-outs to all staff but Ms Roberts. The commission has issued an order to stop the bullying.

Share this post

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Share this post

Twitter

Holiday season is coming up and for some legal profession companies that can mean events leading to HR and legal imtwitter.com/i/web/status/1…i4

Twitter

For the first time in over 100 years the law on restrictive covenants and restraints in #employmentcontracts was chtwitter.com/i/web/status/1…c4

Twitter

Beware - even if a case is in your favour, if you do not follow correct protocol that can be grounds for dismissingtwitter.com/i/web/status/1…Hn

Testimonial

I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and assistance in this matter. Your help and professionalism has been of great help to me and provided much needed support at this time of instability.

Private client on 5th January 2016

Testimonial

I was very pleased with the speed of dealing with my business. From the appointment - which was also made quickly- to the advice given and speed of resolving my issues.

Lynn Harrison