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Lawyer issues major warning to employees about work group chats after bartender is fired for using one

Lawyer issues major warning to employees about work group chats after bartender is fired for using one

The Australian practitioner had a word or two to say about talking behind your bossses back.

A lawyer has stated that employees run the risk of being fired if they routinely use group chats to communicate negatively with their colleagues.

Australia’s Roxanne Hart, from Hart & Co Lawyers, has issued a warning via social media after learning a hotel bartender had been fired after posting messages to her online chat group.

Taking to TikTok to explain the dire situation, Hart recounted that this unnamed woman had been part of a chat with work friends whom she believed were loyal.


It’s said that the bartender had trusted everyone in the group not to relay her messages back to management.

After prefacing the conversation, the lawyer described that the woman had been complaining about her bosses to her work friends.

The anonymous woman apparently tried to rally the other hospitality workers to her cause and had been using the digital setting to rant about her lack of shifts.

Unfortunately, the group wasn’t as tight as she expected and the woman allegedly found herself being hauled into a work meeting with her bosses.

In the hearing, it’s alleged that the employee had been threatened with sacking if negative sentiments continued to be posted on the group chat.

The woman, believing she’d identified the tell-tale, decided to make another online space to talk with fewer colleagues - but it seems they remained true to their cause and dobbed her into management again.

Making good on their word, the woman’s bosses decided to send the woman packing - citing her negative sentiments and 'decline in work standards and behaviour'.

Goodboy Picture Company / Getty
Goodboy Picture Company / Getty

Despite attempting to say she’d been unfairly dismissed, her case was thrown out at court.

On the decision, Fair Work said: “There is no sensible basis for describing the group as a private group chat.

"As a person working in a supervisory capacity, and who had been instructed to work together and not question management decisions, the actions of the Applicant are all the more unacceptable."

Speaking to Yahoo Finance on the issue, Hart said: “Sometimes employees will do things outside of work that have a sufficient connection to their work.

"By engaging in those acts, they can put their employer into disrepute and breach that duty to act in good faith. So a classic example is the work group chat."

She added: "These are all like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp group chats.

“If you do it on the employer's systems, they've got even better grounds to terminate you because it's probably a bit more obvious that you're in breach of their tech and communication policies.”

So is the moral of the story to be careful who you message or to keep your thoughts to yourself? We’ll let you be the judge.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/roxanne.hartlawyer / Goodboy Picture Company / Getty