Worker Fired After Calling In Sick, Then Using Facebook At Home

from the lessons-learned dept

Usually when somebody gets fired for their use of a social-networking site, it's because they say something about their coworkers or boss online. But a worker in Switzerland got fired after merely logging on to Facebook at home. The rub, though: she'd called in sick with a migraine and told her boss she couldn't use a computer and needed to lie in a darkened room. The woman claims she was accessing the site while laying in her bed on her iPhone, and also claims the company's story that a coworker noticed her updates and told her supervisor isn't true. She instead is blaming "a fictitious Facebook persona" created by the company that she became friends with on the site, alleging that its only use was to spy on her. It sort of makes you wonder why she friended the company's account, but regardless, her treatment does seem a little harsh. There's no word if the company has fired other people for playing hooky, online or off, nor is there talk of the employee's previous record, but firing somebody based on their Facebook updates seems a bit over-the-top. Would they have reacted the same way if she'd updated from a doctor's office waiting room as opposed to her home?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:57am

    Who says

    Who says that she hasn't had an awful track record in the past, calling in, wasting large amounts of company time on personal web sites, etc. Maybe this was the straw that broke the camels back.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:15am

    Alternate title: Attention Whore Gets Just Deserts

     

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      Rezendes, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:14am

      Re: Alternate title: Attention Whore Gets Just Deserts

      I think the word you want here is "dessert" because there is no mention of sand, lizards, snakes or any other type of things you would find in a "desert".

       

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    DS, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:40am

    I didn't know that you could turn off the backlight from an iPhone.

     

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    lulz, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:51am

    Re: Theory of Everything

    This is irrelevant...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    The "arrrgh I can't use computers" thing sounds like a load of crap. However I have had something like that when I suffered from EXTREMELY dry eyes and light sources would give me migraines if I tried to look at them.

    Sounds like the employee had a bad past and they were getting sick of her.

     

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    Motschmania, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:58am

    Sweet....

    There's a job opening in Switzerland. Only requirement - don't be a complete idiot.

     

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    Tgeigs, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Wow

    "She instead is blaming "a fictitious Facebook persona" created by the company that she became friends with on the site, alleging that its only use was to spy on her"

    I think I've been out-conpiracy'd. I didn't really think that could happen.

     

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      David, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 6:30am

      Re: Wow

      It is funny. It proves to you, don't just "Friend" anyone :^)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 3:06pm

      Re: Wow

      "She instead is blaming "a fictitious Facebook persona" created by the company that she became friends with on the site, alleging that its only use was to spy on her"

      I think I've been out-conpiracy'd. I didn't really think that could happen.


      Not really, it could be a Facebook Group... the Lawyer-speak can throw you.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    As an employer; quality employees, that do there job - don't get fired for calling in sick. The ones that get fired are the slackers, complainers, and the ones who call in sick all the time, especially on the day they know they are needed. If your last review got you a "thanks for doing such a great job, you are a much needed asset around here, and thanks for being such a team player." You are not getting fired next week when you call in sick and come to work the next day with sun burn.

     

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    B, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 6:56am

    Too bad

    The company should be able to fire whoever they want for whatever they want. Gaurantee you that if she was a good worker shed still have a job. I go in with headaches all the time. Migraines are an urban legend propogated by lazy people.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 7:05am

      Re: Too bad

      "Migraines are an urban legend propogated by lazy people."

      Yea, ok skippy. Now you just jinxed yourself into being prone to having migraines for your remaining years.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 7:08am

      Re: Too bad

      Migraines are not an urban legend, they're scientific fact. They're not just headaches. Also, different states/regions/countries have various rules governing employment. In the US (i'm unaware of the situation in Switzerland), some states have what's called "at will" employment. They can hire/fire at will, no reason required *unless* a contract is signed. People who talk about how a company should be able to fire whoever they want forget that sometimes contracts are signed. Employers have to stick to those contracts. They should like contracts that are strictly between employer and employee. If employers hadn't tried to routinely screw over employees in the past, unions would never have existed. Employers forget that they're absolutely nothing without employees. Its very similar to the business/customer relationship. Employers need good employees to be successful. The employees are more important than the employer in this aspect. To ensure good employees, employees must be happy to work there. If there was no job security and you're always worried about getting fired, the stress level will ruin overall morale. Companies don't try to increase morale for no reason. They do it because a high morale *will* improve business.

      B, you obviously would not be a successful business owner. You don't even understand basic concepts involved with running a good business. Google will always get so much more from their employees than you ever will because they practically treat them like gods over there because no one other than the employees can make you successful.

       

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        Freedom, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re: Too bad

        >> Google will always get so much more from their employees than you ever will because they practically treat them like gods over there because no one other than the employees can make you successful.

        People are all motivated from very different things. Do you have the real facts to support this? If you spend $X on the Google Programs does it really get you Y back in productivity?

        It is the business owner, supervisor, etc.'s job to figure out what motivates each employee and tailor their environment for it within reason.

        Freedom

         

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      Steve, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:15am

      Re: Too bad

      You're obviously an idiot "B". Smash your computer and get the fuck off the internet.

       

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      sanity, May 25th, 2009 @ 2:06am

      Re: Too bad

      Tell that to the hundreds of suffers who have committed suicide to escape the constant pain. Or those who have had mini-strokes and strokes due to the increase in blood pressure during a severe migraine...or to those who have bloody noses, lose of vision, and paralysis in extreme cases....etc

      *People who say "Too Bad" are simply urban legends...too lazy to get informed or have any kind relevant opinion!!!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 4:31pm

      Re: Too bad

      you've never had a migraine... Shut up if you know that you don't know what you're talking about!

       

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    Ron, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    Facebook

    Why is the company spending so much time on Facebook? It's a waist of most companies resources to be playing around on Facebook....The Facebook police. BUT, if the employee is on Facebook at work too much then....

     

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      sanity, May 25th, 2009 @ 2:09am

      Re: Facebook

      Ya, I was thinking myself...someone AT WORK was on FB to nab her right? Whats worse, using it while at home after calling in, or using at work while 'WORKING'?

      And using anything online for minutes while sick is a big difference between using it for hours...We are all technologically perverse...many people would Tweet, Google, FB, And check emails while under kidney transplantation if possible...*sigh*

       

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    Mike P, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Slow news day?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 7:15am

    I guess I ought to stay off of facebook today.

     

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    jonnyq, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    I have had days where I can happy piddle around on a computer but absolutely can't do anything productive on one, and could possibly do something lazily dangerous on a computer if I did try to be productive. So, I can sympathize with going home and piddling with facebook instead of going to work.

    That said, this woman sounds fishy.

     

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      Freedom, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 9:40am

      Re:

      >> I have had days where I can happy piddle around on a computer but absolutely can't do anything productive on one, and could possibly do something lazily dangerous on a computer if I did try to be productive

      I'd avoid mentioning this in your next interview :)


      Freedom

       

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    The Mad Patent Prosecutor, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:34am

    Sorry, Rezendes, but you are incorrect. Although there is no mention of sand, there is also no mention of cake, pie, or ice cream.

    Desert, from the American Heritage dictionary:

    1. Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment. Often used in the plural: They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.
    2. The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.

     

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      Rezendes, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:50am

      Re:

      As I chew on the shoe that is obviously in my mouth due to my own lack of knowledge I'm wishing it tasted like ANY kind of "dessert"! Lesson learned....ouch!

       

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      bigmac, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 10:59pm

      Re:

      mad dude you are a fucktard. des·ert 1 (děz'ərt)
      n.
      A barren or desolate area, especially:
      A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation.
      A region of permanent cold that is largely or entirely devoid of life.
      An apparently lifeless area of water.
      An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland: a cultural desert.
      Archaic A wild, uncultivated, and uninhabited region.
      adj.
      Of, relating to, characteristic of, or inhabiting a desert: desert fauna.
      Barren and uninhabited; desolate: a desert island.

      [Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin dēsertum, from neuter past participle of dēserere, to desert; see desert3.]
      de·sert 2 (dĭ-zûrt')
      n.
      Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment. Often used in the plural: They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.
      The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.

      [Middle English, from Old French deserte, from feminine past participle of deservir, to deserve; see deserve.]
      Word History: When Shakespeare says in Sonnet 72, "Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,/To do more for me than mine own desert," he is using the word desert in the sense of "worthiness; deserving," a word perhaps most familiar to us in the plural, meaning "something that is deserved," as in the phrase just deserts. This word goes back to the Latin word dēservīre, "to devote oneself to the service of," which in Vulgar Latin came to mean "to merit by service." Dēservīre is made up of dē-, meaning "thoroughly," and servīre, "to serve." Knowing this, we can distinguish this desert from desert, "a wasteland," and desert, "to abandon," both of which go back to Latin dēserere, "to forsake, leave uninhabited," which is made up of dē-, expressing the notion of undoing, and the verb serere, "to link together." We can also distinguish all three deserts from dessert, "a sweet course at the end of a meal," which is from the French word desservir, "to clear the table." Desservir is made up of des-, expressing the notion of reversal, and servir (from Latin servīre), "to serve," hence, "to unserve" or "to clear the table."

      de·sert 3 (dĭ-zûrt')
      v. de·sert·ed, de·sert·ing, de·serts

      v. tr.
      To leave empty or alone; abandon.
      To withdraw from, especially in spite of a responsibility or duty; forsake: deserted her friend in a time of need.
      To abandon (a military post, for example) in violation of orders or an oath.
      v. intr.
      To forsake one's duty or post, especially to be absent without leave from the armed forces with no intention of returning.

      [French déserter, from Late Latin dēsertāre, frequentative of Latin dēserere, to abandon : dē-, de- + serere, to join; see ser-2 in Indo-European roots.]
      de·sert'er n.
      The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
      Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
      Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
      Cite This Source

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    Durrrrr migraines are a myth... and we never landed on the moon...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    I get migraines sometimes. I was diagnosed by my optometrist: I'm lucky, I don't get headaches, what I do get is bright flashes of light that are very uncomfortable and don't allow me to watch TV or look at a computer screen except very briefly. The only "treatment" is sit on my bathroom with the lights off and eyes closed for an hour.

    So any idiots claiming that migraines don't exist, well go to hell.

    Shouldn't this company be firing itself for looking at Facebook?

     

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    batch, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    I'd rather go back to my old nicotine addiction than use facebook or any other social service. Risking cancer is a better use of everyone's time.

     

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    Anonymous12, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 8:56am

    @bigmac: Way off topic, but WTH are you blabbering about?

    Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin dēsertum, from neuter past participle of dēserere, to desert; see desert3.]
    de·sert 2 (dĭ-zûrt')
    n.
    Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment. Often used in the plural: They got their just deserts when the scheme was finally uncovered.
    The state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.


    You just repeated what The Mad Patent Prosecutor said on - Apr 29th, 2009 @ 8:34am! HE WAS CORRECT. Now STFU.

     

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    Rhonda Wudarczyk, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Amazing!

    I find two things quite funny, 1 yes that she befriended this factious person from her work, and 2 what lengths companies go to, to downsize. Maybe they aren't in the middle of downsizing and just getting rid of a few bad apples or whatever, but my goodness, I do think this is a bit harsh. Only if it wasn't something she always does. That part is what we do not know, has she done this before many times?
    One great reason to have your own online business! :-) No Boss!

     

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    identicon
    l.h, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    I can't believe someone would say that getting migranes is just an excuse for being lazy or a legend. You're obviously very ignorant to the illness, and if so you should comment because it makes you sound utterly stupid. Nowadays you can find answers to everything on the internet so i suggest : GOOGLE IT!!!!! ...
    "A migraine is usually an intense pounding headache with nausea that occurs from time to time. The pounding or pulsing pain usually begins in the forehead, the side of the head or around the eyes. The headache gradually gets worse. Just about any movement or activity seems to make it hurt more. Nausea and vomiting are common. Bright lights or loud noises make the headache worse. The headache can last for two hours or even up to two or three days"....and that's just the least of it...moron!!!

     

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