The Fair Work Commission has held a pattern of office snubs and innuendo suggesting a sexual relationship was bullying, and has said Facebook de-friending was also indicative of such unreasonable behaviour.
Deputy President Wells accepted that the employer (a real estate agency) had de-friended the employee on Facebook immediately after an incident between them and said that the action “evinces a lack of emotional maturity" and was "indicative of unreasonable behaviour".
DP Wells found the employee was subject to unreasonable behaviour "over an extended period of time" that was belittling, rude, ignoring and damaging to her reputation and which posed a risk to her health and safety. The employee was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
The case is interesting because it is the first instance of stop-bullying orders that were not first determined by consent.
The case also raises some interesting issues about how people deal with each other, both on and off social media.