Prison Guards Suing For The Right To Bitch About Their Bosses In Private Online Forums

from the unfair-discipline dept

A group of five prison guards in Australia wanted to bitch about their boss... and did so in a private group on Facebook. Yet, somehow, their superiors found out about it and accused them of misconduct and threatened to have the guards fired. In response, the guards are suing, and saying they should have a right to speak their mind on a private message board like that. As a union official notes: "It's more like people getting together in a pub and having a beer and bagging the boss because the boss wants to privatize their jobs." Indeed. Though, it seems like these sorts of things are becoming more common. As the entire work/life dividing line continues to blur, expect many more such situations, where things that were previously considered safely on the "life" side of the line, suddenly find themselves thrust into the "work" side.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 3:52am

    So pretty much anything they said about their boss proved true? I'll never understand why people expect others to like it when they act like turds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Doh, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    Wait! They banned all guns there and now the is no crime ... why do they need prison guards?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 4:44am

    Hey Dumbasses - WHATEVER YOU PUT ON FACEBOOK AND THE LIKE WILL/CAN BE READ BY ANYONE, IT IS NOT PRIVATE.


    DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 5:04am

    What? Just because they employ you they think they can own you. Guys best be getting paid for 24 hrs/day then.
    And by the way DUMB-ASS, whatever you put on Facebook IS private.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    mr.thraz, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 5:04am

    a pub isn't privet either, but the conversation is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 5:24am

    Re:

    Ten points for the most capital letters used in a post this week. Ten more for a gaggle of exclamation points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    Re:

    and in there lies the problem, Idiots like you that don't know what your talking about, I can get into every single facebook site out there. It isn't all that hard really. And if you think it is private, then how did they find out.

    Oh,

    DUH!

    Go back to school for reality and get out of your fantasy world where you think that what you put on the WWW is private.

    HA!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    NullOp, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    Rights!

    It is every employees God given right to bitch about the boss! Bitching about the boss is a time honored tradition and is to be expected by the boss.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Sep 18th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    It does seem pretty easy to eavesdrop on Facebook, but to me this is non-sequitur to the topic introduced here.

    I'm generally supportive of the "employment at-will" practice, and supportive of employers being able to hire/fire for most any reason they deem necessary. In general.

    However, "employment at-will" does not correlate 100% to the legal environment here in the U.S. or (as I indirectly understand) in Austrailia.

    Every boss SHOULD know there are potential liabilities for certain kinds of conduct in disciplining employees.

    In the case from the article, this particular "boss" is so monumentally stupid, he actually called out this group "bitch session" as the reason for bringing disciplinary action.

    In light of the expressed ignorance of this "boss" and the company who allowed him into that position, I wholeheartedly support the full litigation of the colon they are about to receive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Damien, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    Alright genius, two points:

    1) Explain how you can legally access a private page on Facebook.

    2) Explain how, if it's not a legal method, it won't get either thrown out of court or get the person who uses said private information arrested for felony access to a computer system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Re:

    "Hey Dumbasses - WHATEVER YOU PUT ON FACEBOOK AND THE LIKE WILL/CAN BE READ BY ANYONE, IT IS NOT PRIVATE.


    DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    You can alter Facebook's setting so only your friend and read cretin posting, beside the Government of Australia is not a business, they should allow worker and citizens to speak their mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    I think this is part of a much larger and mouch more interesting question than "How to hack Facebook and use Caps Lock".

    Libel and Slander laws are undergoing a huge shake up in the US and other countries due to the move away from written word is actionable because publishing was so expensive as to be only the realm of the newpaper and professional publisher. Now we are ina world were publishing your thoughts is the equivalant of spoken unoffical speech because anyone can do it. However the laws still hold that things published can be grounds for libel... so what is free speech now when it's published for the world to read?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Alright genius, two points:

    1) Explain how you can legally access a private page on Facebook.

    2) Explain how, if it's not a legal method, it won't get either thrown out of court or get the person who uses said private information arrested for felony access to a computer system.

    A subpoena from the appropriate court will do the trick nicely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    TheStupidOne, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Rights!

    My boss did just threaten me with a bad performance review after I showed superior knowledge of the German language than him ... of course during the same time he paid for my lunch and the beer I drank while sitting across the table from him ... but that's a separate point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    you missed the point, Im not surprised though.

    Idiots are often ignorant of their own stupidity

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 5:34am

    If I overhear something at a bar there is NO law that states that I can't repeat it, It is hear-say, but it is certainly not private. If you expect privacy, then write what you want said and have it destoyed at the end of the conversation, don't post it on facebook and then wonder how someone found out.

    As I have said before, DUH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Ben Zayb, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    From the article:

    "...they had made 'unauthorized public comment' on their department's work and 'comment to the media without permission.'"

    Bitching in a private Facebook group of five (or so) members is now making a public comment to the media?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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