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NSW Employer Read My Facebook Private Messages - Unfair Dismissal?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Tish69, 26 May 2016.

  1. Tish69

    Tish69 Member

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    On my days off, my employer went into my Facebook account (I didn't log out) and went through my private messages. On my return, I was put off and told he had proof I told people confidential things. I don't recall ever telling anyone anything confidential and can only find conversations about how I don't like him and his wife who I had a fight with at work.

    I have filed an unfair dismissal claim and I know under the Telecommunications Act of 1979 Sect 7 it is unlawful what he has done.

    What can I do about this as I am a mental wreck knowing they have been reading my private conversations with my friends. He has also sent these messages to his parents who have got involved as well. These messages were done on weekends and nights so they can't say I used the work computer.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) ACT 1979 is not the one you want. This is an old antiquated act badly in need of updating in today's world.

    Look to section 308 of the NSW Crimes Act. He can potentially end up with 2 years jail. Unlikely, but might be worth mentioning at the right time. Though you do need proof this has happened.

    You've done the right thing going to Fair Work Australia, hope it works out for you.
     
  3. Tish69

    Tish69 Member

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    Thank you for the help. I knew he had done that when a person I only ever speak to over private messaging contacted me yesterday to inform me that the mother of the man contacted him about our conversation which was done so out of work hours and on my phone or laptop. He wouldn't show me the proof when asked and she wouldn't say how she found out either.
     
  4. Yevgeni

    Yevgeni Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Based on my experience, it sounds like a pretty good unfair dismissal claim, provided that you meet the criteria, even if you cannot prove that he had read your messages as it does not look like you were offered you procedural fairness.

    How long have you been employed with this employer? Is it a a small business employer with less than 15 employees? If you do not meet the unfair dismissal criteria you should look into whether you can bring an adverse action claim if you meet the requirements for a such a claim, as you are not restricted to the 6 months pay threshold as maximum compensation and do not have to meet the unfair dismissal requirements.
     
  5. Tish69

    Tish69 Member

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    I have my unfair dismissal conciliation hearing on the 22nd June so am now playing the waiting game. I'm speaking to legal aid next week about what to do about the invasion of my privacy with the messages. I was with the company for 18 mths and it only had about 6 or 7 employees.
     

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