Aussie tribunal rules ‘unfriending’ on Facebook constitutes ‘work place bullying’

Aussie tribunal rules ‘unfriending’ on Facebook constitutes ‘work place bullying’

[Ed. – 50,000 years of homo sapiens (or whatever it is at this point), and you STILL can’t make this stuff up.]

I base my foreboding on a case that has just been adjudicated by a labor tribunal in that country. As News.com reports, Australia’s Fair Work Commission was hearing the case of Rachael Roberts, who worked for a real estate agency in Tasmania.

Roberts’ allegation was that Lisa Bird, a sales administrator, and her husband James constantly “belittled and humiliated” her. …

Roberts claimed almost 20 incidents from her three years with the company. These included being forbidden from changing the temperature on the AC in the office. One of them, though, was deeply heinous: Bird unfriended Roberts on Facebook. …

The commission clearly felt that the unfriending was bullying. In finding for Roberts, it said: “This action by Mrs. Bird evinces a lack of emotional maturity and is indicative of unreasonable behavior.”

Moreover, the commission’s Nicole Wells decreed: “I am of the view that Mrs. Bird took the first opportunity to draw a line under the relationship with Ms, Roberts on 29 January 2015, when she removed her as a friend on Facebook as she did not like Ms. Roberts and would prefer not to have to deal with her. I am satisfied that the evidence of Ms. Roberts, as to the incident on 29 January 2015, is to be preferred and that the allegation of unreasonable behavior by Mrs. Bird in Allegation 17 is made out.”

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.