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New Zealand Court Orders Facebook Disclosure To Employer

timothy posted 1 year,9 days | from the employment-at-will dept.

Privacy 243

An anonymous reader writes with a story out of New Zealand: "Gina Kensington was sacked by Air New Zealand earlier this year following a dispute over sick leave she took to care for her sister. She said she did not misuse sick leave, and went to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) seeking reinstatement. Air New Zealand responded by demanding to see her Facebook and bank details. Kensington refused, saying it did not have that information when it dismissed her and that 'it is well accepted in New Zealand there are general and legal privacy expectations about people's personal and financial information.'" At least in the U.S., Facebook isn't keen on employers getting access to employees' Facebook account details.

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243 comments

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Anything you say online... (4, Insightful)

Kardos (1348077) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533687)

WILL be used against you.

Re:Anything you say online... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533745)

Which apparently includes all financial transactions as well

Re:Anything you say online... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534027)

Which apparently includes all financial transactions as well

They're just asking for proof. She is the one filing a complaint.

http://www.howtolaw.co.nz/bring-a-wrongful-dismissal-claim-against-your-employer-xidp392272.html
http://www.era.govt.nz/

These are interesting, ERA apparently is not a court, but is a government run arbitration system. Sounds like a good thing, otherwise like in a US wrongful termination suit, she'd be the plaintiff and the company innocent until proven guilty. In this system she still has to prove the company unfairly dismissed her, but it seems like that's a lower bar.

following a dispute over sick leave she took to care for her sister

Can I read that as she was warned?

Re:Anything you say online... (5, Insightful)

wmac1 (2478314) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534193)

She is the one filing a complaint.

http://www.howtolaw.co.nz/bring-a-wrongful-dismissal-claim-against-your-employer-xidp392272.html
http://www.era.govt.nz/ [era.govt.nz]

Are you serious?

She is just seeking reinstatement. They sacked her from her job claiming she has abused sick leave. The proof is on the employer and it should not require the person's privacy to be ruined for that.

Re:Anything you say online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533815)

Anything online that could even be misconstrued as representing "you" could be used against you without you ever knowing.

HR: "These hits from googling "smith" are opinionated against the political party dogma I know is correct. I'm pretty sure this is the applicant so we better toss this one"

Yes I doubt the honesty of HR employees, and for that matter given the IRS debacle about non-profit orgs recently, I don't doubt that discriminatory orders come from higher up the chain in many cases.
 

Re:Anything you say online... (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533889)

WILL be used against you.

So maybe it would be a good idea to not post every detail about your life on the Internet.

Maybe it would be any even better idea to not post ANY info about your personal life.

Re:Anything you say online... (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533925)

Oh, there's plenty of details of my personal life online. My charity work. My breakthroughs in security research. The various projects of my spare time.

Huh? No, they have very little to do with reality. And should a recruiter ever ask whether they are, I will answer truthfully. But to ask that, they'd first of all have to admit that they were trying to snoop on me with online means, which they never will.

Re:Anything you say online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534043)

what life?

Re:Anything you say online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534047)

You're assuming she did skip work or whatever. If she didn't then she's made no mistake in using facebook or posting personal stuff online, because they'll find nothing incriminating if they get to her personal online stuff.

Re:Anything you say online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534123)

or better yet, to have a decoy account so that they won't keep looking for the real one.

Re:Anything you say online... (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534153)

Or basically, respect the fact that your boss is the one with the power and gets to decide who to hire as he darn well pleases.

Like it or not that is unfortunately the reality of an economy where unemployment is high and bosses can get away with being stinkers because they know they can get away with being jerks to people that are expendable.

And if someone is willing to sell his soul to get a job, and you aren't, guess who gets hired?

Re:Anything you say online... (-1, Flamebait)

chikko1 (3007995) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534033)

evden eve nakliyat istanbul [evdeneve-n...tanbul.com] firmalar inaat sektöründe uygun fiyat kaliteli hizmet tamaclk sunan sosyal ulamdr Her zaman güvenilir haritalar gezip dolaarak 7/24 bize ulaabilirsiniz.Sizda ayrcalklardan yararlanp deerlendirmek için frsatlara katln. www.evdneeve-nakliyat-istanbul.com

Re:Anything you say online... (1)

hyperdell (722892) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534045)

Exactly, nothing good comes of letting your employer access your social life.

evden eve nakliyat atasehir (-1, Flamebait)

chikko1 (3007995) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534061)

evden eve nakliyat atasehir [http] firmalar inaat sektöründe uygun fiyat kaliteli hizmet tamaclk sunan sosyal ulamdr Her zaman güvenilir haritalar gezip dolaarak 7/24 bize ulaabilirsiniz.Sizda ayrcalklardan yararlanp deerlendirmek için frsatlara katln.

Seconds post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533693)

PSOSTSST WSESCSONCSONSD SEONDSD post second post seoncd spo sono

Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533701)

What is surprising here us the court is making a summary judgement as to who is guilty until the prove their innocence. The unbelievable stretch in that allowing the airline access to information they didn't have in making their judgement to fire someone, as now somehow being proof of validity for firing them, is shockingly biased towards the airline and against the individual ie. we didn't know that but that's the reason why we sacked them. All that was required and should have been allowed was the companies policy regarding sick leave and the evidence obtained by the company to determine that she broke that policy, no further court ordered investigation should have been allowed.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (4, Informative)

Maelwryth (982896) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533759)

It isn't a court. It's a quasi legal jump through these hoops before you can go to court so we can settle your case at a lower cost to the government.

Firstly you go to the ERA [era.govt.nz] then to the Employment Court [justice.govt.nz] .

Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533763)

No, in Civil court it works differently - it always has

Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533793)

Which is 100% disgusting. Any civilized country would employ these rules no matter the type of case. Sadly, there are no civilized or sane countries.

Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (2)

myowntrueself (607117) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533941)

Which is 100% disgusting. Any civilized country would employ these rules no matter the type of case. Sadly, there are no civilized or sane countries.

Pretty soon, North Korea is going to seem normal.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1, Troll)

foniksonik (573572) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533769)

So you would be perfectly okay with a coworker taking off at a critical time and without notice on sick leave - forcing you and those around you to pick up the slack while actually going on a trip somewhere to play at the beach?

What if you found out about this but had no proof? What if you had proof but were not legally allowed to reveal it?

What if this happened several times? Always the same MO - at the worst possible time when all hands were needed? Again, no usable proof - except that you could see the proof right there on Facebook, taunting you.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533799)

Given that TFA says nothing even remotely along those lines - why are you making up such a ridiculous story?

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

joocemann (1273720) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533829)

Good point. And one further... If you don't like your employee, you're not married to them. Its not hard in most cases to figure out a way to let someone go. I'm not from New Zealand though... Maybe they can't be:
- fired from job without reason (like At Will employ)
- let go (layoff for vague reasons about not needing them)
- scheduled for very few hours until they quit because they need more income
- see pay cuts for under performance (sounds like they could probably validate that)
- told they cannot take leave without significant prior notice
- made to have unpleasant, but legal, work conditions like a crappy office near noisy/smelly things, etc.

These things happen to people a lot here in the US. FAIK they are legal-enough (aka arguable if challenged).

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534373)

The US is very lax with employment law, in the UK at least (and I expect NZ too since their legal system is pretty similar:

fired from job without reason (like At Will employ)

Not allowed. You can't be fired without activating some clause in your contract. The two typical ones are gross misconduct (doing something dangerous, or illegal at work), or repeated misconduct (doing something the boss has asked you not to do repeatedly, and having a paper trail proving that the boss has repeatedly asked you not to do it).

- let go (layoff for vague reasons about not needing them)

Not really possible –if you lay people off you are not allowed to hire people into the same or similar roles for the next 6 months, which in practice makes it impossible to "fire" someone this way, as you still need someone to do the job.

- scheduled for very few hours until they quit because they need more income

Very very risk –likely to land you a Constructive Dismissal law suit. Constructive dismissal is where you make conditions so bad that the person is forced to resign instead of be fired.

- see pay cuts for under performance (sounds like they could probably validate that)

Also likely to get you for constructive dismissal. Also, being off sick is not poor performance.

- told they cannot take leave without significant prior notice

Their contract is almost certain to specify exactly what leave they're allowed to take. Sick leave is legally mandated to be allowed (in the UK for up to 3 days without a doctors note, and indefinitely if the doctor attests to you being incapable).

- made to have unpleasant, but legal, work conditions like a crappy office near noisy/smelly things, etc.

Again, likely to get you done for constructive dismissal.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (4, Funny)

rudy_wayne (414635) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533869)

Given that TFA says nothing even remotely along those lines - why are you making up such a ridiculous story?

You must be new here.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533801)

If the individual is so desperate to take off that they use sick time to get away, I don't want them anywhere near my project during crunch time. They are far more likely to make mistakes that will cost more time than we would lose if they left. If there was no good reason for them to ditch like that, then I would imagine said individual would also have a long trail of behavioral and performance issues that could be used to defend the decision to fire them.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533857)

I bet you believe in a 40 hour work week too! The new economy is different this time. The global marketplace is too fast and competitive for your antiquated management style any more.

At the start up where I work: I manage a team of 10 Stanford grads. We give our employees free red bull and 2 weeks notice in advance of drug testing. All of our projects are done with half as many people as our competitors would require because we work 80 hour weeks. This translates in to better profit margins and gives us the competitive edge to hold our ground when fighting the H1Bs off of Elysium.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533871)

What an absolutely awful workplace you must have. Come back in two years and tell us how healthy and happy everyone is. Work to live, don't live to work.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (3, Insightful)

MrL0G1C (867445) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534295)

What a complete load of pointless conjecture, I really don't see why your post was modded up.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (2)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533817)

Excuse but what could not be clearer than, "The companies policy regarding sick leave and the evidence obtained by the company to determine that she broke that policy", I didn't make any claim about validity of policy or nature of evidence. Just quite simply prove the reason they claimed for firing the individual, nothing more nor nothing less. As for your silly 'what ifs' I could fire back with a whole range of pointless what if but reality is what ifs are just pointless bullshit this is a matter going before a system of public review all that counts is facts and substantiation about what actually happened not what might have happened in some alternate reality.

P.S. Facebook is proof of nothing, it is bland social marketing representation of the way people wish to be viewed, absolutely chock a block full of lies and exaggerations. People trying to look cool and win as many 'er' Facebook friends, likes, follows or what ever other silly social addiction motivations Facebook chose to employ to click counts going. Facebook is 'PROOF', c'mon seriously, that brass rod you have shoved up there would be really uncomfortable if not for the pharmaceuticals you seem to be on.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (4, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533921)

Funny thing about it, If someone posts about the great vacation they had while "sick", they get fired but I'll bet if they post about how they worked 120 hours/week last month saving the company from their incompetent boss who may actually be working for the competition on the side, they don't seem to get a new boss or a performance bonus. How odd!

Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (4, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533977)

They would probably also get fired.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534181)

It's not odd at all. It's called the cream rising till it sours.

Don't fight the food chain. If your boss is incompetent, then leave and work somewhere else. If you can't, then it sucks to be you and you need to shut up and work.

Beggars can't be choosers.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534413)

WHOOSH! And I didn't even make a joke.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533827)

So you would be perfectly okay with a coworker taking off at a critical time and without notice on sick leave - forcing you and those around you to pick up the slack while actually going on a trip somewhere to play at the beach?

What if you found out about this but had no proof? What if you had proof but were not legally allowed to reveal it?

What if this happened several times? Always the same MO - at the worst possible time when all hands were needed? Again, no usable proof - except that you could see the proof right there on Facebook, taunting you.

Hey man, leave my boss out of this!

What if? (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533859)

What if... What if ... What if...

In an alternate universe where certain facts are known for certain, then sure there may be a problem. Over here, we can make up whatever stories we want about these alternate universes, but they don't affect us.

If the coworker takes off at a critical time without notice (did that actually happen?), then the job will be poorly done and you should raise the issue to management. Point out that the department was understaffed, and it's management's responsibility to have the right talent in-house at the right time.

Or, you take home extra pay pulling overtime picking up the slack, which costs management more than regular time, so they will eventually notice.

Or, you refuse unpaid overtime or have previous commitments that you cannot break and let your boss know this. If your boss can force you to come in to work even though you've got Laker's tickets, find another job.

You shouldn't particularly care if coworkers take time off or not - care about getting the job done on time, under budget, and at good quality. If you can't do this, care about whether it's your fault. Don't let your boss put unreasonable demands on you - that will only shift the blame to you when you can't pull off a miracle. Let them know about problems as they arise, and don't accept blame for things you can't control.

Holding yourself to a high standard of professionalism will work out better in the long run than putting "staying employed" ahead of everything else in your life. It may cost you in the immediate short-term, but the total returns over time far outweigh the immediate costs.

Re:What if? (2)

ultranova (717540) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534249)

Holding yourself to a high standard of professionalism will work out better in the long run than putting "staying employed" ahead of everything else in your life. It may cost you in the immediate short-term, but the total returns over time far outweigh the immediate costs.

Possibly. Or it could end up triggering a vicious circle of permanent unemployability, driving you to a personal bankruptcy, followed by spending the rest of your life on the street as a hobo. In which case you won't be posting about it on Slashdot, resulting in a confirmation bias.

"High standards" are for people who can afford them: the people who don't have to work for a living.

Re:What if? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534357)

As someone who did take the high road of professionalism and found themselves in "a vicious circle of permanent unemployability", I can tell you that being professional and responsible rather than covering your ass does not end well.

I'm not quite a street hobo yet, I live with my parents, but I'll soon be out on my ass and living on the street.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533873)

This is why I think the work sick needs to be taken out of the equation, because everybody is different. For example when I am having one of my migraines as long as I wear REALLY dark glasses i can do basic tasks like follow a list to get groceries, but can I work on PCs like I normally do? Nope because those backlit screens are like jabbing needles in my eyes, even the one on my cell hurts. But if you saw me at the store you'd think "hey there is nothing wrong with him!" because while i couldn't do my job basic tasks that don't involve screens is doable, again as long as I wear really dark shades to block out most of the light.

So we really need to just call it paid time off and be done with it, because sick days leave too many loopholes on both sides.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533961)

I agree. "Sick Time" just encourages people to lie anyway. It encourages an us against them mentality with the employer. This is something the employer should not want. As I explained to one employer a long long time ago. (Wow, 15 years flies by fast.) "I can tell you now that I am going to use 'sick time' when this project is over, or I can call you up that morning and lie to you leaving you without coverage. I am trying to do you a favor."

PTO is the way to go.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534059)

Well like I said there is different levels of sick, there is like my migraines where simple tasks are doable but complex tasks are a no go, there is when you aren't feeling right and you are contagious as hell but are still up and around (walking wounded my granddad called it) and then there is the "get me a bucket to puke in" levels of sick and since everyone is different trying to decide what constitutes sick is just too open for interpretation.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534073)

"paid time off" is called -vacation time- where I work. But it has to be scheduled in advanced to coordinate with the remaining staff's schedule too (workload balance and scheduled projects).

I work for a small company, so they're pretty flexible; within reason. For example: I wasn't sick, but someone needed to look after my son as my wife needed to go to the doctor. I could have taken sick time, but I opted to make up for missing half a day by fulfilling the missing 4 hours of work at night. In the end, I would meet or exceed my 40 hour work week regardless.

Re: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534337)

Take a pill and suck it up.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

ultranova (717540) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534199)

What if you found out about this but had no proof?

Why should you get to examine my private info, my stuff, or anything of mine just because you made an unsubstantiated accusation? Just who the Hell do you think you are?

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534419)

Some airlines are getting infected by the slave owning mentality that I've seen in a few expat US managers - it seems once they get out of the USA a certain type of person decides anything goes and the civil rights they probably wouldn't dare to violate at home are up for grabs. Maybe that's why they were sent out of the place to start with?

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533947)

I don't see your point. The defender here is the company. The woman is waving a legal battle against the company. The court presumed that the company is innocent until proven guity and requests that she must prove her case. Thus, innocent until proven guilty.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534183)

And by even suing, she's gotten herself blacklisted anyway.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534289)

... innocent until proven guilty ...

Why did the company take her job? Did the company assume she was innocent or demand some tribunal review her conduct? This is why we have protection laws for employees and consumers.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (0)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534159)

Indeed, this is a private affair. Companies are usually allowed to fire whoever they damn well please, for any or no reason. Hell, your boss could be a raiders fan and fire you for a picture of you wearing a steelers jersey.

Company policy doesn't mean a hill of beans. If your boss wants you gone, you are gone, end of discussion from you. The only one who has any say after that is whoever your boss reports to, and so on.

Re:Guilty Until Proven Innocent. (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534401)

nz employment law is quite stringent. It is very hard to fire someone here. When a case goes before the era here, it is always up to the company to prove that the firing was justified and that appropriate warming was given and that the correct process was followed.

I am betting they DID have the information (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534243)

I am betting they DID have the information and that somebody in the person's acquaintance told them about her action/party/whatever, or how she put it in facebook. HR manager don't sack people on leave willy nilly so. I am willing to bet that's why they want the facebook access.

These are NOT companies ... (2, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533731)

... you would want to work for.

Re:These are NOT companies ... (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533753)

There will always be someone hungrier who will take the job, regardless of how many people complain that these companies aren't worth working for. This is what corporations like McDonald's or WalMart, and obviously this NZ airline rely on. It may sound counter-intuitive, but somewhat a somewhat bad economy lets these companies flourish because there is less choice. In some ways the system is rigged against the common man, and regulation is required to put an end to such practice. The free market will NOT sort this out on it's own.

Re:These are NOT companies ... (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534201)

The free market could sort it out just fine if new bosses could enter the market as consumers of labor. If workers could leave bad bosses, it would force employers to compete for talent.

You need freedom on both sides, supply AND demand.

And unfortunately, if being an asshole to your employees is profitable, the market will reward it.

Re:These are NOT companies ... (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534367)

But then isn't the only way that your situation could arise is if there are more jobs available than workers to fill those jobs?

Re:These are NOT companies ... (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534383)

If there aren't enough jobs to go around, then yes, either labor is too expensive, or there's a restraint on demand for new workers.

Re:These are NOT companies ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534387)

It's funny you mention regulation.

It's exactly regulation that leads to the thinning out of employers and the deteriorating employment conditions. Regulation that makes it impossible for disenfranchised former employees of a regulated industry employer to go into business in competition with the established employers.

Have you ever noticed how much better employment is in industries that haven't yet been regulated? Unfortunately every industry eventually has some dominant players who figure out if they push for regulation, the government will carve out a monopoly/oligarchy for you, and you can squeeze your employees and suppliers alike, until you are obscenely profitable and completely unbeatable.

Have you noticed that regulations, whether in the form of private standards, qualifications, certifications or authorised agent status all have a price-curve designed into them so that the cost is minimal to someone with large market share, and completely prohibitive to anyone with small market share. This is not accidental. This is by design, as the regulations are always designed by the market dominators who are supposedly regulated.

Re:These are NOT companies ... (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533757)

These are NOT companies you would want to work for.

Sure, of course. But perhaps it's marginally better than unemployment?

Re:These are NOT companies ... (1)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534025)

This is nothing compared to the companies that instate BYOD policy and then require you to sign a "Employment Agreement" that states the employer has the right to inspect the device no matter who owns it and there is no expectation of privacy (email, SMS, MMS, voice, VM, social, GPS data (Facebook and beyond)). People will say, so don't use it for work, but then you are penalized for not being accessible.

Quite a few posts about New Zealand lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533749)

It's sad to see NZ pop up on /. so much lately and for all the wrong reasons.

Even worse to see this person being guilty until proven innocent over something so trivial!

Re:Quite a few posts about New Zealand lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533845)

What's the deal with Coutts? [mercurynews.com]

Re: Quite a few posts about New Zealand lately (2)

dnadoc (3013299) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533957)

Don't feel bad - in America we have "at will employment" by default, so your employer doesn't even need a reason to fire you. For any reason or no reason, just not for an illegal reason. On the other hand, for gov't employees it's almost impossible to fire them; procedural due process applies for some reason, somewhere in the Constitution.

Re: Quite a few posts about New Zealand lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533971)

on the other hand government employers can make your work life super shitty in hopes of you quitting...i.e. giving you horrible or low hours, asking you to do all kinds of tedious shit etc. i'd rather just be fired for no reason that have some creepy boss make your life shit until you quit.

Re: Quite a few posts about New Zealand lately (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534207)

A vindictive boss may make you quit just so he can get your unemployment claim denied and then squeal about it during reference checks.

Never underestimate the damage that can be done by a boss with an axe to grind.

Counterargument (5, Insightful)

recrudescence (1383489) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533765)

"That's fine. However, I suspect the company has ulterior motives behind this decision; therefore I would like to have all emails by the director and finance departments to go through with a lawyer and an accountant to prove their motives. If they have nothing to hide then they shouldn't object, and it's only fair since you believe handing over passwords and examining *MY* private communications with any party to be fair play. I look forward to receiving the company emails. Regards."
Ha!

Re: Counterargument (1)

dnadoc (3013299) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534037)

Overly broad discovery requests are fun but there's a good response - imagine getting 500,000 pages of text from the company's records department, in shuffled order, with hand written notes, and copies of faxed printouts of email so illegible OCR gives up. Oh, and the incriminating stuff is accidentally missing (or did you just not find it yet?)

That's assuming the discovery request isn't ignored or thrown out by the court. Also, their lawyers are better than yours, and they're in-house (not hourly) and really bored. Your only recourse ends up being bad PR, but that makes finding a new job harder, so it's lose-lose.

But if you have a union....

Burden of Proof (0)

sahuxley (2617397) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533767)

If she's seeking reinstatement, I think the burden of proof is on her to show she deserves it. If she doesn't want to give up her privacy, she doesn't have to take legal action against her former employer to try and get her job back. On a side note, would you really want to work a job in which an agency like this forced your employer to keep you on?

Re:Burden of Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533787)

The issue is actually "wrongful termination", so the burden of proof should be on the employer that the termination wasn't wrongful, which, if it was proper, should be very easy. "This is why we did it. Here's our evidence. Thank you and good day."

Re:Burden of Proof (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533893)

Exactly which is why I automatically think something hinky is going on when we see a case like this, because there are tons of dumbasses fired every day and the reason they don't make headlines is it takes the company 2 seconds to show they fucked up constantly. A bad employee will give you enough rope to hang them several times over, no need to get into FB or anything else as their behavior on site should be enough to get them shitcanned, which makes me want to know what the REST of the story is with this case.

Re:Burden of Proof (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534223)

Sadly, it usually doesn't matter.

For a prospective employer doing a reference check, pissing off your prevoius boss is almost always lethal to your career no matter WHAT actually happened.

Even if your previous boss was a big fat liar and set you up on purpose because of something petty and personal, your next boss won't give a shit. All he'll care about is that your last boss hated your guts and that "oh my there must have been some reason".

Especially if there's a bunch of candidates to choose from that don't have any baggage from previous bosses.

Also, your current boss probably knows this and won't have any problems shitcanning you and badmouthing you tacitly to your next boss if they want to put you in your place, or make you pay for something.

Admit it, bosses are in the upper crust of society and get what they want. Us peons on the bottom of the totem pole get all the crap and the bosses get all the glory.

Oddly though, it's the company's time and money being spent on payroll, so unless workers are actually entitled to a job...

Re:Burden of Proof (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533909)

In civilized society, the burden of proof for any legal action falls on the accuser, not the accused.

If she's accusing the company of wrongful termination, she better damn well be able to prove it.

Re:Burden of Proof (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534157)

They're not asking for a download of her entire Facebook history, they're asking for records of her activity for specific days when she was out on sick leave, and they believe she misused the time.

This is, despite the moaning in this thread, a completely legitimate legal request - and in fact, it's pretty narrowly focused. They're not saying "We want all of it, since the beginning of time." Believe it or not, you're allowed to subpoena records in court cases, especially if those records are full of facts relevant to the case at hand.

That "Facebook disclosing these records might undermine my complaint" is not a legitimate argument, unless we somehow have reached the point in our social decline where we feel that the truthfulness of complaints now doesn't matter, as long as somebody is accusing a "big bad company" of wrongdoing?

Re:Burden of Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533805)

> If she's seeking reinstatement, I think the burden of proof is on her to show she deserves it.
That's straightforward -- she's filed suit against them, presumably with evidence.

> If she doesn't want to give up her privacy, she doesn't have to take legal action
Thats' like me telling you "if you don't want to give up your Facebook and bank transactions, don't post on Slashdot."
Something sounds right about this statement, but ultimately it has no justification.

Of course, if Air NZ has evidence indicating foul play, it may be justified in seeking access.

Re:Burden of Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533813)

On a side note, would you really want to work a job in which an agency like this forced your employer to keep you on?

Yes, if the alternative is unemployment and not being able to pay your rent/mortgage.

Public vs private info (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533777)

I can see how an employee could be sacked if his public FB page showed that he lied to this boss about being injured or sick. But an employer demanding access to private pages is very intrusive, that's what you might expect for extraordinary situations such as when the employee has been accused of a felony. Seems that Air NZ needs to tighten up their protocol for granting sick leave, rather than relying on these heavy handed ad hoc methods.

Re:Public vs private info (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533837)

that's what you might expect for extraordinary situations such as when the employee has been accused of a felony.

In which case it would be law enforcement, with a valid warrant (unless we were talking about the US), not the employer, asking for the information. But in this case, they're the ones who did the firing...if the justification was that her private Facebook or financial info showed she was lying about her sick leave, then that would mean they already have that info, why would they be asking for it? If they don't have that info, then what's their justification for firing her?

Re:Public vs private info (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533863)

Maybe they guessed her password and accessed the data but cannot say so publicly as that would be a crime.

This is why... (3, Informative)

MasseKid (1294554) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533783)

This is why courts are setup in tiers. This is why there are appeals. Because a stupid judge somewhere can't think hard enough to realize why this is dumb and the implications of the precedent they're setting. Luckily, the appeals courts generally sort this thing out before it goes too far off the rails.

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533911)

It's also good to have the precedent set at a higher court, because all courts lower than it must adhere to the precedent.

That is, in courts that respect precedent. Not all courts believe in precedent, and many give themselves enough wiggle room to ignore it in some situations anyway.

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533983)

This is why courts are setup in tiers. This is why there are appeals. Because a stupid judge somewhere can't think hard enough to realize why this is dumb and the implications of the precedent they're setting. Luckily, the appeals courts generally sort this thing out before it goes too far off the rails.

This is not a court. It sounds like some kind of arbitration. He said, she said...

Assume the company has enough evidence to protect themselves if it does go to court or they wouldn't have fired her.

If she can't convince them it'd probably go to court, her being the plaintiff, so she'll have to prove them wrong at some point anyway.

Re:This is why... (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534145)

Unless you're unlucky enough to draw the 5th Circuit.

Re:This is why... (2)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534241)

What if the judge uses the appeals process as a crutch to get cases over with in a hurry, but the appeals process uses the lower courts as a presumed good use of judicial discretion?

It's a catch 22. High court trusts low court, low court trusts high court.

I would much rather have no appeals and have each judge be forced to think through each case carefully, with huge penalties if they're proven corrupt or incompetent.

We already saw Koh get fed up with the apple v. samsung suit enough to summary rule on everything and just punt it up to appeals leaving a smoking ruin while they wait in line at appeals court.

Re:This is why... (2)

MrL0G1C (867445) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534309)

Actually, this is why you should have trained judges doing legal work and not some biased person that a politically motivated quango choose to head the tribunal.

"Section 144 establishes the Mediation Service. It is currently run by the Department of Labour with the mediators being employees of the Department." from Wikipedia, it couldn't be much worse.

This is awesome news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533789)

Because I want Facebook to die.

If they can't get you one way... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533839)

Any company with access to ALL the intimate details of an employee's life would easily find grounds for dismissal. The ONLY people that the court should ever insist see 'evidence' like this are NEUTRAL third parties that would carefully sift information pertinent to the specific case. However, in the soft police states of Australia and New Zealand, there are no citizen rights.

Neither of these British colonies (their 'independent' status is an illusion) are proper nations, and neither are under the control of their 'citizens', regardless of what the sheeple there think. As a consequence, scumbags with any power in these two nations behave just as they have been doing since the time of the first colonists, and stick it to those they believe are below themselves in the social scale. The ERA is composed entirely of such petty jumped-up scumbags- in the UK they'd all be Common Purpose graduates.

Want a true horror story- go read what the department of statistics gets up to in Australia, and just how far they are allowed to abuse and threaten ordinary people.

Its obvious (1, Interesting)

Tyr07 (2300912) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533895)

Someone tipped them off that she wasn't caring for her sister and was using it like a vacation. To what extent we don't know.
An argument of 'I was smart and there's no way you could have known what I was up to, so you can't have fired me for that' is exceptionally child like.idea.

Re: Its obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533981)

I wonder if they could prove she erased posts (without facebook's help).

Re:Its obvious (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534349)

Especially when in grown-up land it really doesn't matter. They can fire you anyway.

What really needs to happen is for it to be illegal to even *attempt* to compel your workers to violate contracts with third parties.

It's against facebook tos to give access to anyone else.

Re:Its obvious (4, Insightful)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534369)

Someone tipped them off that she wasn't caring for her sister and was using it like a vacation. To what extent we don't know.
An argument of 'I was smart and there's no way you could have known what I was up to, so you can't have fired me for that' is exceptionally child like.idea.

The argument of "You have no right to invade my privacy" is not a childlike idea.

The importance here isn't whether this particular individual has actually taken care of her sister or gone on vacation. The question is, does the employer have the right to invade the employee's privacy for any reason.

I never had a job that had "sick leaves" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533903)

Seriously, why do some businesses still insist on offering sick leaves? Just keep it as comp days and let the employee decide when they want to use it. People will claim they are sick when they are not, just have the policy "if you're really sick, you can tell us the day of before your shift and if you're not sick, give us a day's notice." If they do that, their business will strive like the ones that don't have the sick leave thing.

Re: I never had a job that had "sick leaves" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533967)

What's a comp day? I've only had jobs with sick days; if you wanted to watch the game, you were shitoutofluck.

Re:I never had a job that had "sick leaves" (1)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,9 days | (#44534079)

Because it's the morally right thing to do and because it's law in civilized countries.

Re:I never had a job that had "sick leaves" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534099)

You're too generous to your employees. Just have it written into their contracts that they will be shot if they don't meet their quota. That way you don't have to deal with sick days or comp days.

Re:I never had a job that had "sick leaves" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534175)

My guess is that you have never been really sick then.

My old (now defunct) employer suspected that I was 'pulling the lead' when I went off sick. On the surface that were no visible signs that I was ill.
They sent someone to snoop on me at home and even when I was taken to hospital, a mysterious person would call the ward to see if it was still a patient. Finally, my boss found out that I was in the ICU and the dogs were called off.
Thankfully, they went bust before I had to return to work. Just thinking about it was making me ill again.
{I have Leukaemia and in some slow growing cases you present no outward signs that you are ill. You just feel like shit all the time}
I would not want to work for an employer who didn't understand that there are people out there who can have a disease and still do a decent days work.

Re:I never had a job that had "sick leaves" (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534403)

This is in New Zealand.

We have legally enshrined sick leave in addition to 3 weeks of annual leave.

Using sick leave when you're not sick is tantamount to fraud.

Losing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533913)

All your Facebook are belong to us.

Bank details (1)

phorm (591458) | 1 year,9 days | (#44533923)

You can get a lot more information than is needed for the case from those. In particular, I wonder what they'd want her bank details for? To show she's got work on the side? To show she traveled somewhere?

Facebook I could understand more as people post dumb incriminating things on there all the time. However there's still a trove of information that the employer shouldn't have access to, such as things indicating sexual orientation, political lean, and many others.

Re:Bank details (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533997)

You can get a lot more information than is needed for the case from those. In particular, I wonder what they'd want her bank details for? To show she's got work on the side? To show she traveled somewhere?

Facebook I could understand more as people post dumb incriminating things on there all the time. However there's still a trove of information that the employer shouldn't have access to, such as things indicating sexual orientation, political lean, and many others.

You guys have it backwards, she's the plaintiff... well it's not in court yet, but it's her filing the complaint.
In a wrongful termination suit, who's the plaintiff, and which side is innocent until proven guilty?

And it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44533985)

This kills the Facebook.

Re: And it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44534007)

Back to myspace?

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