Facebook comment could cost job

Burger King crew worker Julie Tyler outside the Andersons Bay Rd, Dunedin, outlet. Photo by Craig Baxter. A Dunedin Burger King worker may lose her $13 an hour job after posting comments on the social networking site Facebook.

Last month, Julie Tyler (27) wrote on a co-worker's site "Real jobs don't underpay and overwork people like Burger King does!"

While her comment was "liked" by four Andersons Bay Rd co-workers, it has drawn the disapproval of the fast-food company.

Burger King management, after being given a printed copy of the Facebook page, decided to charge Ms Tyler with serious misconduct, and held a disciplinary meeting at the restaurant yesterday.

"I feel like I haven't done anything wrong," she said.

Ms Tyler, who was supported by Andrew Tait, of Unite Union, met managers of the two Burger King Dunedin stores to discuss the issue.

Following that meeting, Mr Tait confirmed another meeting with company representatives would be held next Tuesday in Dunedin, as the company was seeking further legal advice.

"They don't know how to deal with social media," he said.

The case highlights a growing trend for remarks made on social media sites to rebound on those writing them.

Earlier this week, renegade Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira posted on his Facebook page that "dickheads" were out to expel him from the Maori Party.

Media commentator Jim Tully, of Christchurch, said people in public life knew items posted on social media could get "picked up" and the same rule could apply to anyone else.

"If you don't accept that, you are living [in] cloud cuckoo land."

University of Otago School of Business (management) head of department Prof Alan Geare said when it came to social media, people would be well advised to remember any posting should be treated "like putting a note on a public noticeboard".

Burger King confidentiality

Right on, Max_Power.

An employee's record, owned by the company, is only availabe to the appropriate company personnel, and the employee. It may be made available outside the company (eg for job reference) with the permission of the employee. Only other access is for certain Govt departments (Section 17).

It is not to be used to "score points" through the media.


Working in hospo

I work in hospo as well. Hospo is paid by the hour, so I expect to work as hard as I can every hour I work and therefore don't see how it's possible I could be 'overworked'.

I also know that it is not a 'career job' in New Zealand and therefore expect to be paid not much more than the minimum wage. Therefore I don't understand how you could be underpaid.



Not illegal but...

The comment don't seem to be illegal, but unwise to make in a public forum.

However, I'm sure that the following statement made by Burger King management might be breaching privacy regulations: "The employee in question has been the subject of disciplinary action before". 


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