Workplace Commission In Australia: Unfriending A Co-Worker Is A Factor In Bullying Case

from the dislike dept

Workplace rules: who can understand them, am I right? I mean, they give me a computer at work and I'm not supposed to use it to find the most hilarious NSFW pictures possible? They give me co-workers but I'm not allowed to question them about exactly where they fit into the Illuminati conspiracy that may or may not be going on and why are you running away? My workplace encourages me to use social media in a responsible way, but I'm not allowed to unfriend people I don't get along with?

No, no I'm not. At least, if I worked in Australia I wouldn't be allowed to, according to the Australian government's Fair Work Commission, which recently claimed that de-friending a co-worker is a form of emotional immaturity in the workplace.

Rachael Roberts, a Launceston real estate agent, complained to the commission that she was bullied by her colleague Lisa Bird, leaving her with depression and anxiety. The Facebook incident took place in January this year, after Ms Bird allegedly called Ms Roberts a "naughty little schoolgirl running to the teacher" during an aggressive meeting in the tea room.

Ms Roberts told the commission she left the office crying and when she later checked Facebook to see if Ms Bird has commented on Facebook about the incident, she found that Ms Bird had deleted her as a Facebook friend. Fair Work Commission deputy president Nicole Wells said in her decision that the unfriending was unreasonable behaviour and that Ms Roberts had been bullied at work.
Can you hear that commotion off in the distance? That's a hundred-million workplace trolls throughout the world rejoicing as though it were troll-Christmas, because a ruling like this is not only nonsensical, but it's also a mandate that the trolled must continue to be trolled in the form of Facebook. Yes, upon review of the incidents that Roberts complained about, the ruling seems to indicate that Bird, whatever her feelings and interactions with Roberts might be, must continue to have her digital space invaded against her will. Even if Roberts is correct that Bird has acted like something of a jerk, and judging from the commission's other findings that seems to be the case, what business is it of government to mandate who a Facebook user must or must not continue to connect with both in and out of the workplace? Put more succinctly: what the ever-loving hell is going on here?

Well, here to provide a non-explanation is a lawyer who is about to not make sense.
Josh Bornstein, from Maurice Blackburn lawyers, argues the Facebook unfriending is bullying but only because it happened in the context of several other incidents.

"The Fair Work Commission didn't find that unfriending someone on Facebook constitutes workplace bullying," he said. "What the Fair Work Commission did find is that a pattern of unreasonable behaviour, hostile behaviour, belittling behaviour over about a two-year period, which featured a range of different behaviours including berating, excluding and so on, constituted a workplace bullying.
I love this kind of argument. Acting hostile towards the victim? That's bullying. Belittling them? That's a-bullying, too. Berating them and otherwise interacting with them in a negative way? Bullying. Cutting all of that off by ceasing communication with the person? Well screw you because that's bullying, too. I do believe this is the first time I've ever heard an argument for any kind of harrassment stemming from non-communication between two parties. The commission went so far as to decide that Mrs. Bird's defriending was emotional immaturity on the part of Mrs. Bird, and saying so in the context of discussing Mrs. Bird being a bully.
[89] The evidence of Ms Roberts as to Mrs Bird defriending her on Facebook immediately after the incident is supported by a contemporaneous text message between Ms Roberts and Mr Bird. 64 It was not refute by Mrs Bird in evidence. This action by Mrs Bird evinces a lack of emotional maturity and is indicative of unreasonable behaviour, the likes of which I have already made findings on. The ‘school girl’ comment, even accepting of Mrs Bird’s version of events, which I am not, is evidence of an inappropriate dealing with Ms Roberts which was provocative and disobliging. 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 behaviour by Mrs Bird in Allegation 17 is made out.
Experts about bullying appear to agree that this is an overreach by the commission.
Bullying expert Oscar Yildiz said the Fair Work Commission has set a dangerous precedent, and Ms Bird's actions on social media did not constitute a personal attack.

"In this case, what is the future threat? That this person has unfriended someone on Facebook? Well, big deal," Mr Yildiz said. "As far as I'm concerned that doesn't constitute bullying and it shouldn't. If it does, what the commission has done here is set precedent."
Of course it doesn't. If anyone in any part of their lives has a negative interaction with a person, it's a perfectly natural thing to un-friend them from social media. Hell, thousands of personal relationships take this course every single day. Government stepping in to decide who a person may or may not keep in their social media circles is an overreach of astounding proportions.

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Filed Under: australia, bullying, harassment, unfriending
Companies: facebook


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 2:57pm

    I don't think my cancer-patient grandfather at his worst had skin as thin as this lady, and he'd look like a murder victim if he put his favorite straw hat on too rough!

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

  • icon
    z! (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 3:30pm

    The first mistake was friend-ing a coworker.

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

  • identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 25 Sep 2015 @ 3:35pm

    Who's on that commission?

    What's the membership requirement? Certfied Lunatics? Couldn't they have at least waited for the super moon on Sunday?

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

  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 3:54pm

    Bullying (begging the question)

    It appears that "Bullying" in 2015 is "Anything one doesn't like."

    I'd quote the OED but I don't want to be bullying the author of this great article nor the readers of the comments.

    Ehud

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 11:46pm

      Re: Bullying (begging the question)

      It's basically criminalizing the offender in hurt feelings.

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

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Sep 2015 @ 5:38am

        Re: Re: Bullying (begging the question)

        This seems like passive aggression by Ms. Roberts against Ms. Bird; there's always more to this stuff than meets the eye.

        I mean, "Unfriending is bullying?" Sounds like drama-troll-ery to me.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 4:04pm

    It's Maurice Blackburn lawyers, get over it

    One of a number of trolling lawyer companies.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 4:19pm

    Whoa, I don't want to think what would have happened if he didn't answer a whatsapp or if he ignored him on MSN.


    Or worse... what if he reported one of his comments on Techdirt?

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

  • identicon
    efefe3f, 25 Sep 2015 @ 4:31pm

    This article incorrectly tries to imply that unfriending was found to constitute bullying. The Commission did not find this. No one has contended this. It was found to be a small part in a long pattern of unreasonable behavior that together constituted bullying.

    I know that over in the rogue state called USA bullying is seen as funny and normal. But here in Australia we have a higher regard for the rights and dignity of workers/citizens. :)

    BTW I hate Facebook and agree that governments shouldn't force it on anyone. But that is not what happened here.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 6:06pm

      Re:

      This article incorrectly tries to imply that unfriending was found to constitute bullying.

      No, it accurately states that the unfriending was one factor in the list of things and we quote the direct section of the report. The post does not say that it, alone, was bullying.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 6:10pm

      Re:

      But here in Australia we have a higher regard for the rights and dignity of workers/citizens.

      Ya sure about that?

      *coff* Aboriginal peoples *coff*

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2015 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re:

        What other group of people have significantly higher rights than everybody else in education, housing, health, funding, etc?

        However, like any group of people, there are both good and bad amongst them. The good amongst them want to better themselves and live their lives as unimpeded as anyone else. But the bad are just a bunch of racist bigots who haven't a clue about bettering themselves and just want to sponge off the rest of us. Most of these have little actual knowledge of their traditional heritage.

        I have aboriginal friends that are outstanding people and I have come across others who have all the hallmarks of just being arrogant racist individuals, no different from any other arrogant racist individuals of any colour or race.

        I have been told of an elderly full-blood aboriginal elder who gets right up the noses of many of the part aboriginal people around his area because he goes into the various primary schools and teaches the young people that if they are born in Australia then they are indigenous individuals.

        It does not matter where you originally come from, if you live here and consider yourself Australian, then you are a true-blue. It matters not what the colour of your skin is, what your heritage was, or any other characteristic you might want to include here, if you consider this your land then so it is.

        Have atrocities occurred? Yes. Do major problems still occur? Yes. How do we solve it? Let's start by treating everyone respectfully. Will that happen? Not likely, as too many people of all kinds have various agendas that only look to their own wants and desires and power without regard to those who are around them.

        Time to get off my ranting box and return to peaceful thoughts. Peace, peace, peace. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

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

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 4:35pm

    Shucks and golly!

    Next thing ya know, obeying the restraining order will be bullying.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 4:42pm

    The internet is blowing up because ABC decided to make the most click-baitey headline and article imaginable. Thanks for contributing to yellow journalism Tim.

    The case wasn't even about Facebook unfriending, it was about workplace bullying between two coworkers, and like most issues like this, both sides threw everything they could think of at the wall in the hopes that enough would stick.

    Unfriending was one incident that was used as an example, among several (18, apparently), and in context it wasn't even "she unfriended me so she's bullying me". It's "she verbally abused me at the work place and cut her out of outside communication as well".

    Which is bullying, under the right circumstances. Not liking you is not bullying, but proactively excluding someone can be if the circumstances are hostile. And apparently the commission felt that it was.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 6:07pm

      Re:

      Unfriending was one incident that was used as an example, among several (18, apparently), and in context it wasn't even "she unfriended me so she's bullying me". It's "she verbally abused me at the work place and cut her out of outside communication as well".

      All of this is noted in the post, including the direct quote from the ruling. Not sure what you're accusing us of, but did you read Tim's full article?

      Which is bullying, under the right circumstances. Not liking you is not bullying, but proactively excluding someone can be if the circumstances are hostile. And apparently the commission felt that it was.

      And that's the point that Tim is contesting. The idea that unfriending someone could be hostile just seems wrong.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 6:24pm

        Re: Re:

        " but did you read Tim's full article?"
        I did, and it couldn't be a bigger piece of rubbish.

        "And apparently the commission felt that it was".
        The commission felt it was "indicative of unreasonable behaviour", they did not specifically say that unfriending someone is bullying, which is the claim you guys are making.
        The woman's own lawyer is quoted in the original article as saying "The Fair Work Commission didn't find that unfriending someone on Facebook constitutes workplace bullying,". You can't get clearer than that.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 7:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But it shouldn't even be a factor. Unfriending is generally a non-workplace action, for one thing.

          If it's a factor, that implies that sometimes it's the deciding factor. Which means that, in some cases, unfriending someone is illegal.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 8:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It isn't really a factor, it's being construed as one by some media. Facebook is an addendum on one complaint.

            Something can be a factor without being a deciding factor, by the way, and this is an employment disputes commission, not a court, it makes nothing illegal.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 10:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Really? Is that written into law? There must be a "deciding factor", and a factor must be illegal on its own? Could you tell me what law/workplace guidelines/definition anywhere suggests something like this?

            Why would you even be looking at that one sole incident in isolation?

            To use a school analogy:

            Child X was bullied. They were pushed around in school, had their shoes stolen, had mud thrown at them, had names written on their desk, and were picked on after school. It is clear they were being bullied.

            Reasonable people in the world: yes, all of these mean Child X was bullied.

            Articles like this: Writing on school desks declared bullying!

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 1:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Writing on the school desk of a kid can be quite bad too.

              Rather than that, it would be something like not playing with him out of school that counts as bullying.


              The FB issue is that is something that isn't related to the workplace, even if it's with a co-worker. One thing is being polite (you don't have to be friendly, just polite) among co-workers and other thing is that you have to be friends of everyone or whatever.

              And no, I don't consider even isolating someone out of the work bullying. What I do on the workplace is one thing, out of it, and out of work hours, I decide what I do with my life and who I want to be friends with.


              The law should be clear about that. If a person still considers himself bullied when the issue is out of work (and when it isn't more than just not wanting to be with you), then, to be honest, it's time for him to grow up.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 1:26am

                Read the source

                And don't be an emotive fool.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 3:17am

                  Re: Read the source

                  I wasn't talking about this case specifically, but about comparing unfriending someone on a social network with desktop bullying.

                  That the comparison isn't too accurate and that workplace issues should be kept to workplace, not to your life out of it, unless one of the parts is actively intruding upon the other's life.


                  And yet, one note about the case: I had read the document, not the article.

                  To be honest, I'm a person somewhat used to legalese (engineer), without being a lawyer. Still, I didn't make much sense out of the document by the Workplace Commission and it wasn't clear for me whether the official had dismissed the Facebook issue as a factor or not.

                  I have to rely on what Tim and Mike say and believe in their word, they are usually pretty accurate and when they aren't, they admit it (as they have done recently in other issue).


                  You see, if you want people (and particularly journalists) not to be confused over legalese, then those documents should be more clearly written. The numbers are confusing and to be honest, it's not clear where an Allegation starts or ends or if it's Allegation 16 or 17 the one involved.

                  All such documents are confusing in any country. So yeah, don't get surprised if people, including journalists, get confused one way or the other.


                  I'm one of those people that think that all legal and technical texts should be toned down and make understandable for "normal" people, as in, those don't involved in the profession.

                  It's quite sad the fact that people don't (rather, can't) really understand the laws they are supposed to obbey.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 12:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yes, writing on a school desk can be bad.

                With the right context and circumstances.

                Which is very much the entire point.

                And yes, Facebook is very much an out-of-work thing, but it ignores that interactions with co-workers do not necessarily end with work. And while it's easy to say you can just ignore people you don't like away from the workplace, the truth is that much of your social life in adult years will inevitably revolve around people you interact with during work hours.

                And one person bullying you in the work place will effect your relationship in and out of work with the rest of your coworkers, including the people you might want to interact with during personal hours.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 4:42pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Writing on the desk is bad depending on what's written, of course. If you insult or slander other person on the desk, is bad and counts as bullying.

                  And of course interactions with co-workers do not necessarily end with work, but that's shouldn't be the purpose of the law.


                  Workplace relationships should be professional, equitative and proper while inside the workplace. You have to relate with everybody in a proper manner, and do the job you're supposed to, no matter who asks you. You can't ignore a co-worker inside the workplace just because you dislike them.

                  But the kind of relationship you choose with a co-worker, even inside the workplace, is your own issue. You might connect with someone and laugh at their jokes, and on the other hand, you might not like someone and keep the relationship purely professional.


                  The issue here is that the law shouldn't define the extent of the relationship (even if you choose to be friends with the rest except that one person you dislike) as long as the job gets done and that person is treated like a professional.


                  Friendly relationships in the workplace are best? Sure, but they shouldn't be shoved down our throats.


                  And btw, the issue here was that she was bullied and with that I mean:

                  - Ignored her calls, including work related stuff.
                  - Disrespected in her work.
                  - Verbally abused.

                  Those are the issues that the law should take care of, not that a person comes to you saying "my co-workers don't want to be friends with me". As long as none of the above (or other similars) happen, being friends or not isn't necessary for your job.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 5:21pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Then what are you arguing here then?

                    Because all this talk about "wanting to be friends outside the work place" is irrelevant.

                    The issue at hand is that one woman bullied another, and that one of the factors brought up did involve something outside of work, but still within the social circle of workers.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2015 @ 7:35pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      It's relevant, because the factor you are mentioning and that brought up the issue is related to "wanting to be friends outside the work place".

                      She was bullied, that's right. But the facebook issue is nothing related to the workplace, even if it's within the social circle related to it.


                      What happens out of workplace isn't something that should be taken care by the authorities, or even considered (as long as it isn't active harassment, for example, as that is illegal whether is work related or not).


                      Decisions taken regarding your personal life are something that is your own issue. Even if the cause was work related (like not being friends with someone because he pissed you at work), it's still your own life. As long as you are behaving properly with the other person inside the workplace, what you do out of it is no one's business.

                      No one should have a say with whom I decide be friends or enemies with in my private life.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 7:21pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, I did, and here's what Tim has to say about that:

        I love this kind of argument. Acting hostile towards the victim? That's bullying. Belittling them? That's a-bullying, too. Berating them and otherwise interacting with them in a negative way? Bullying. Cutting all of that off by ceasing communication with the person? Well screw you because that's bullying, too. I do believe this is the first time I've ever heard an argument for any kind of harrassment stemming from non-communication between two parties. The commission went so far as to decide that Mrs. Bird's defriending was emotional immaturity on the part of Mrs. Bird, and saying so in the context of discussing Mrs. Bird being a bully.

        "Cutting all of that off by ceasing communication with the person? Well screw you because that's bullying, too."

        No, unfriending on Facebook does not cease communication with a person when they are office coworkers, and to say as much is idiotic. When you actually see a person every single day and are forced to interact with them through work, Facebook is the lowest amount of communication you will engage in, not the highest. And as such, unfriending on the internet has almost nothing to do with stopping communication as it is making a workplace statement.

        If it was just unfriending, then yes, this deserves all of Tim's snarky writing. As part of a larger context, which the unfriending was entirely a part of, it apparently was enough to be counted amongst them all.

        Just like highschool bullying, the act of being exclusionary plays a large role. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with it being included as a factor.

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

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Sep 2015 @ 5:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Unfriending a person who accuses you of bullying is not "exclusionary." It's not a factor in bullying at all. I mean, why in the world would you remain in social, out-of-work contact with anyone who accuses you of anything?

          Tim is right to be snarky about that little thing. It's not a straw that breaks the camel's back, it's entirely reasonable in the circumstances. I cut off weirdos and whiners all the time. Is that a hostile act?

          I mean, if I am wrong and the plaintiff actually IS a full-on victim of workplace bullying then surely to goodness it would have been a relief to have the bully remove herself from her friends list. Were I in that situation I'd be glad to be rid of her from my out of hours online social life. I mean, WHO wants to keep the person who bullies her in her online social circle?

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

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Sep 2015 @ 5:44am

        Re: The idea that unfriending someone could be hostile just seems wrong

        The idea that unfriending someone could be hostile just seems wrong

        Constantly exaggerating trivial incidents and accusing others of victimising you because they don't want to play with you is an oft-used bullying tool. If unfriending is being interpreted as a hostile act, who's doing the bullying?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 5:04pm

    The real story

    I think I know what happened here. Tim got unfriended by Tim and became really miffed. Or was it the other way around?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 5:13pm

    A postscript to the seventeenth complaint...

    can techdirt stretch it out to a story? Watch Timmy try.
    Pretty unconvincing.
    Here's a quote from the ABC article..
    ""The Fair Work Commission didn't find that unfriending someone on Facebook constitutes workplace bullying," he [Josh Bornstein, from Maurice Blackburn] said."

    What's that, unfriending someone wasn't found to be bullying.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 5:44pm

    I really hate Facebook but, I mean... come on! Really? You're better than this, Tech Dirt.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2015 @ 6:20pm

    Which side of the fence does this come down on?

    What happens if I didn't include a coworker in the "slap your coworker" activities?http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/131aecc46697ae44f51f4a4e550cf9b3

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

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 25 Sep 2015 @ 11:49pm

    I think you are misreading the findings. The unfriending is being mentioned as collaborative evidence of the verbal abuse that day.

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

  • icon
    justok (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 3:30am

    I'm a-gonna sue everyone who doesn't find this the most insightful and funniest comment.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 9:11am

    Overreaction

    (Disclaimer: I was bullied as a kid---suffered all the creative ways they could think of to bully me including being threatened with a knife and choked to unconsciousness--so I have damned little sympathy for bullies.)

    I think this is an overreaction. The reality is that anything you do can be used as evidence against you in court, in the right circumstances. For example, buying a baseball bat is fairly innocent--unless you are accused of clubbing someone to death, whereupon it becomes very relevant indeed.

    I think a relevant question is, "In the absence of any other bullying activity, would unfriending constitute bullying?"

    Let me quote again, with edits, Josh Bornstein:

    "What the Fair Work Commission did find is that a pattern of [...]

    unreasonable behaviour, [and]
    hostile behaviour, [and]
    belittling behaviour

    over [a long] period

    which [features] a range of different behaviours...

    including berating, [and]
    excluding and
    so on,

    ...constituted a workplace bullying.


    Perhaps his statement isn't the clearest that could be made, but parsed out, it is clear that that it wasn't the unfriending by itself that got Bird in trouble.

    What got Bird in trouble was the (from the ruling) evidence of "18 separate instances of unreasonable behavior" against Roberts, just one of which was Bird unfriending Roberts on Facebook.


    So what is bullying?

    "Mr. Boyd was shocked by the actions and tone of voice of Mrs. Bird." When the third party visitor is shocked, that's evidence of bullying.

    When Roberts complains that a work item is deliberately left undone in an inbox for 9 days and Mr Bird is told it was filed "in the wrong folder", that's certainly of interest. But Roberts showed the request form to Mr. Bird on that date...did she get it from the inbox or from the "misfiled folder"? Evidence of bullying.

    Mrs. Bird willfully damaged Roberts' relationship with clients: evidence of bullying.

    When you accuse an employee of being a lesbian because the client is, when you tease the employee about sexual matters, that's evidence of bullying.


    Etc. Frankly, I think even these few are enough, so I'm not going to bother to continue.

    Unfriending is just icing on the cake.

    So taken on whole, yes unfriending can be evidence. It's not proof by itself, but if you're a bully then you will show lots of nasty behaviors (including maybe unfriending). When all that proof of your misbehavior is brought into court, you will--or at least should--get what you deserve.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Sep 2015 @ 6:03am

      Re: Overreaction

      All of the other stuff, yeah.

      Unfriending, no.

      If Mrs. Bird behaved badly in the other ways discussed, fair enough, you've got her bang to rights for bullying and probably some other counts of professional misconduct. But unfriending on FB? Again, it's not a nasty thing to do, it's what you do when you don't want to be connected to that person. It rang a bell with me, and perhaps I'm over-reacting (drama trolls used me as their personal online pinata for three years), but when not wanting to be connected to a person you're calling a bully is considered a hostile act, I find myself doubting Ms. Roberts' version of the story.

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

  • identicon
    me@me.net, 28 Sep 2015 @ 5:19am

    Work and facebook

    Apple and orange, keep them that way.

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


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