Last year Damian O'Keefe, a computer tech at The Good Guys, posted on Facebook that he "wonders how the f**k work can be so f**king useless and mess up my pay again. C**ts are going down tomorrow." Management took it as a threat, fired him, and Fair Work Australia has just upheld the rights of his bosses to do so.
Picture by Nicola Jones.
A member of the Good Guys management team told O’Keefe that "I can't keep you employed. What do I do if there are females who want to sue for harassment? It's best for you to just go."
For me, it’s a tough call. I do feel that it was a bit of an overreaction, but then again Damian should have made sure his Facebook privacy settings excluded certain colleagues from the post.
In handing down the decision, the tribunal said that "The fact that the comments were made on the applicant's home computer, out of work hours, does not make any difference.”
So the lesson here: If you have your colleagues on Facebook, think about your privacy settings and what you post very carefully. Even better, don’t add your boss. [Fair Work Australia via The Australian and Lifehacker]