The act of ‘unfriending’ on Facebook has long been considered one of the easiest ways to quietly end ties with less-favoured online acquaintances. Too many statuses about the weather, or shares of Farmville activity? Unfriending is just a single click away.
But it now appears that the online action could legally constitute workplace bullying, after real estate agency employee Rachael Roberts went to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) claiming unfair treatment by her colleagues Lisa and James Bird.
Among the claims which also include not saying ‘good morning’ and refusing to adjust air conditioning temperature, Roberts stated that after a verbal altercation within the workplace, she went to check whether Mrs Bird had written about it on Facebook—only to find out that she had been unfriended.
FWC deputy president Nicole Wells found that the actions of Mrs Bird “evinces a lack of emotional maturity” and were “indicative of unreasonable behaviour”, with the Commission issuing an official order for the bullying to stop.
Let this be a lesson to everyone thinking of deleting a workmate off social media—try to be mature and resolve your issues IRL before hitting that unfriend button.
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