An Alberta woman fired from her Canada Post job for posting derogatory comments about her supervisors and the Crown corporation has lost her bid to overturn the dismissal.
The Toronto Star reported a labour arbitrator ruled against the unidentified woman, who was sacked in 2009 after 31 years of service.
According to The Star, the Edmonton sorting depot where the woman worked was the scene of labour unrest related to management's efforts minimize on-the-job socializing to increase productivity.
The woman had been given a three-day suspension without pay after being part of a confrontation between older workers and a younger supervisor.
Later, the company discovered a series of Facebook postings by the employee that included derogatory statements about her supervisors and Canada Post. She claimed she had a voodoo doll of one manager and also if she hadn't been drinking she would "take her out on the driveway and run her over," according to the ruling.
The posts were sent to more than 50 Facebook friends, including some co-workers, The Star reported.
The two targeted supervisors, after learning about the posts, took time off work for emotional distress.
Canada Post justified the firing by saying the posts were grossly insubordinate, could potentially harm the corporation and had hurt the supervisors involved.
The employee was also unapologetic, the company said, and blamed her supervisors for creating an intolerable work environment.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers filed a grievance calling for her reinstatement, arguing Canada Post had created a toxic workplace, which forced the woman to vent her frustration on Facebook where she believed her postings were private.
Outright dismissal was too harsh a punishment for an employee of long service who was close to retirement, the union said.
The arbitrator acknowledged those might be grounds for reinstatement but said her attitude made it unlikely she'd be able to mend her relationship with management and she refused to accept responsibility for her actions.
The moral of this story, said Star blogger Sheryl Smolkin, is don't post beefs with co-workers or supervisors on social media such as Facebook.
"You do not know who your 'friends' really are," she wrote. "And even if think you are restricting access to a select few people, you are leaving a digital trail that can come back and bite you."
The courts have dealt with several important cases holding people accountable for what they put Facebook, CBC News reported.
They include cases of defamation, spamming, trying to dupe Revenue Canada over employment status or insurance companies over injury claims, not to mention alleged threats like the postal worker's.