TECH
25/09/2015 12:40 BST | Updated 25/09/2015 12:59 BST

'Unfriending' A Colleague On Facebook Considered Bullying According To Australian Employee Tribunal

It has happened. Unfriending a colleague on Facebook could be considered bullying, an Australian industrial tribunal has said.

The case as reported by The Australian, involves two women, Rachael Roberts and Lisa Bird, who worked at an estate agent's.

Both reportedly fell out over a sale that did not go through.

facebook friends

The last straw came when Bird unfriended Roberts after a rather unpleasant meeting that left her in tears.

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However, the Fair Work Commission said the action showed a "lack of emotional maturity" and was "unreasonable behaviour."

The uneasiness between both women escalated when Roberts told the head of the company that her properties were not getting enough of a showing in their office windows.

Bird then called her colleague into a meeting and told her that she was naughty little schoolgirl running to the teacher, the Mirror reports.

Roberts later discovered that Bird had unfriended her on Facebook, when she logged in to see the if her colleague had posted about the incident.

The build up of tension allegedly resulted in Roberts being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, which the tribunal said was due to her colleague's behaviour.

While this ruling can not be applied to all employee tribunals, it does set an important example of how Facebook friendship can play into work-related grievances.