unfriending

Workplace bullying and Facebook

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dislike_ink_stamp_1600_wht_9113I’m not referring to cyber-bullying here but the facility on Facebook to “friend” people.

An Australian employment tribunal has ruled that “unfriending” someone amounts to workplace bullying.

In this case a row developed between two people in an estate agent’s about a lost sale after which the  owner’s wife, Lisa Bird, stopped saying “good morning” to her colleague Rachael Roberts who had worked there for ten years. Roberts had already complained to the boss that she wasn’t getting a fair share of her properties displayed in the front window. After that the boss’s wife accused her of  being “a naughty little schoolgirl running to the teacher”.

Miss Roberts immediately checked her Facebook account to see if Mrs Bird had posted any comments about the row and saw that she had deleted her as a friend. (At this point I’m thinking is that what intelligent adults actually do at work? Check their Facebook accounts?)

Anyway the tribunal said that the act was “indicative of unreasonable behaviour” and ruled in Miss Roberts’ favour. Mrs Bird had “behaved in an unreasonable manner” and shown “a lack of emotional maturity“. I’d love to have eavesdropped on the conversation between Mr and Mrs Bird after that decision!

Once again Facebook has been someone’s downfall. What happens when Facebook introduces its “dislike” icon?

Save Facebook for your personal life, if you need it,and don’t assume all your work colleagues are friends

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