Colder Than Winter: Getting Fired Via Facebook

The newest way to avoid a face-to-face sack

Facebook/Brooke AdamsBrooke Adams worked at a New Zealand fast food franchise location that fired her over Facebook.
Getting fired is never fun. Neither is firing someone. Who wants to feel like the bad guy while someone pleads, cries, or otherwise tugs on the heartstrings? So, sometimes the powers that be find intentionally impersonal ways to give workers the official heave ho, rather than facing the person they're about to send packing.

The arms-length treatment used to be a phone call, or even email, and even that was considered tacky by experts. But things have only become worse, like the Florida restaurant owner who fired everyone via text messages. And now there's a new variation: firing someone via Facebook.

No, not getting fired for something you put on Facebook. Getting fired through Facebook. The most recent example is from Wellington, New Zealand, where women were fired on a fast food store's private Facebook page, according to The Dominion Post.

Cases in point
One 20-year-old, Taryne Cullen, had worked for a Pita Pit franchise location for a year and then was out for knee surgery. When she returned, the shop was under new management and her name was absent from the work roster. When she asked the owners, she was allegedly told on the Facebook page "you don't have a job anymore."

"I felt brushed aside, like I was no-one," Cullen told the Post.

Another worker, 19-year-old Brooke Adams, reportedly said that after working for the company for more than a year-and-a-half, she received one day's notice after also finding herself missing from the work roster. A third, who remained anonymous, went through the same routine after three years on the job. When she contacted the owners, they told her to bring in her uniform.

And the warm response when contacted by the news organization? Owner Wayne Cui allegedly said he was new to running the store, could have done better, and that the "door is always open" if the three "want to talk to us."

Sadly, this wasn't a first. The phenomenon is officially years old. In 2010, 16-year-old Chelsea Taylor was allegedly fired from a U.K. cookie shop for losing a ten-pound note (roughly $16.50). The note -- riddled with grammatical and spelling errors -- was on her page and visible to any of her Facebook friends.

A couple of years ago, talk radio host Angel Clark claimed that she received notice from a radio station in the form of a Facebook message. At least it wasn't public.

Classic boss rant
Though there are times most people might understand a public Facebook firing, like the woman known as "Lindsay" who ranted about her boss and apparently forgot that she added him as a friend on the social network, as the London Evening Standard reported. The boss -- "Brian" -- reminded her that menial tasks were part of her job, there were two weeks left in her trial period, and she was fired.

So, what's next? An official Hallmark humorous "You're fired!" card? Or e-card. After all, what boss would want the expense of an actual stamp and the inconvenience of having to stop at the local mailbox?

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Facebook is a social media network. There is nothing social about your job. So keep your job and personal life separate.

February 05 2014 at 10:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lee Xioshin

Unprofessional and should be illegal. It goes against the privacy act. It\'s public ridicule. Any supervisor that uses Facebook to fire someone, should be fire as well.

January 28 2014 at 3:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Dan Embody

To me, this seems very unprofessional. I would do it in person. Further, firing should always be done by the highest authority the employee deals with on a regular basis. In any case, it should never be delegated below the level of a person who has the direct authority to higher and fire.

January 28 2014 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Myers

If anyone I know were to get fired using this tacky method, I would tell them two things: 1) if in CA paycheck must accompany notification and if it does not, the employer owes a days wage for every day it's not paid (up to 30), and 2) I would take legal action for slander, as employee matters are confidential. I do not much like the many and abundance of laws that exist today, most of which drive up costs, but these laws are good. Respect is a two way street and this is beyond tacky. I would not do business with any employer who did this to any employee.

January 28 2014 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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