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article imageNew Zealand worker nearly fired by Burger King over Facebook post

By Adeline Yuboco     Feb 9, 2011 in World
Dunedin - A New Zealand worker learned the hard way to be careful of what she puts on her Facebook account after she nearly got fired from her job for posting a complaint about her employer.
27-year-old Julie Tyler, a crew worker employed at Burger King located on Andersons Bay Road, was called in for a disciplinary meeting on Tuesday after she posting a comment on the Facebook page of one of her friends saying "real jobs don't underpay and overwork people like BK does," the Otago Daily Times reports.
Restaurant General Manager Kurt Douglas cited in his letter to Tyler that her act of posting the comment on her friend's Facebook page was in violation of the Serious Misconduct policies of the company which included "posting on social networking sites any statements that are contrary to the employment relationship, or likely to bring the organization into disrepute."
According to the New Zealand Herald, the matter was brought to the attention of the management of the fast food giant by another employee.
Instead of being fired, Tyler was instead given a second final written warning. Last year, she was issued a final written warning by the management of Burger King after telling off an abusive customer "like you need it" along with the warning that she will be dismissed from the fast food restaurant if she is involved in any further incidents.
The issuance of the second final written warning has not fazed Tyler who told reporters that she was extremely happy that she still has her job.
"I said the truth from day 1," she said. It is about freedom of speech and I have the support of my colleagues."
Meanwhile, one of the unions that took Tyler's cause will be filing an appeal on the decision made by the management of Burger King.
"We will be appealing for Julie because a company can't control what people think," Joe Carolan—Union Campaign Officer for Unite Union—explained. "The company doesn't have a right to control the opinions of its staff in a democracy. [We] would take the issue to court if necessary [because] many workers might be feeling like this and should have a right to hold their own opinions."
"Young workers communicate via Facebook today as others in the past exchanged words about their jobs socially over a drink," Unite National Director Mike Treen points out. "In any case, the comment is innocuous and simply repeats what every New Zealanders know about fast food jobs."
Burger King spokeswoman Rachel Allison refuted the claims of Unite Union stated that they merely had chosen to single out Tyler's incident in order to draw public attention to their cause.
"This has had the effect of distorting the matter substantially, and threatening the privacy to which she is entitled," she said.
Treen counters the statements of Allison in an interview with 3 News saying: "These comments by the company are a serious breach of her privacy and far exceeds any offense she has allegedly caused by talking about being overworked and underpaid on a private site," referring to the fact that the comment used against Tyler was posted on a private Facebook account.
More about Burger king, Facebook, fast food workers, new zealand workers, serious misconduct
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