Firing an employee with a text message cost an Australian boutique $10,700 in fines

Modestie Boutique, located in Sydney, Australia, recently had to pay a fine of $9,992 Australian dollars (roughly $10,700 American dollars) after they fired Sedina Sokolovic with a text message. That’s right, because Modestie Boutique opted to sack someone the humiliatingly informal way, they now have to pay up. Sedina had been working Modestie for about 2 years, and one day she wanted to swap shifts with another employee. The other employee agreed, but Sedina didn’t bother to get permission from her manager. That caused Modestie director Sophia Sarkis to send this text: “That shows me you not taking me serious or the work. Which hurts me enough and you can pick up your pay tomorrow and drop the key. You don’t need to call me and I don’t see that we can work together.” Fair Work Australia Commissioner Ian Cambridge called the text firing “pretty appalling” and said it showed a “lack of courage.” We agree, and to put it bluntly: Sophia is a bitch, and hopefully this fine will teach her a lesson about human decency.

We love text messages here at IntoMobile because they’re extremely versatile. In our busy lives we can reach people without having to interrupt them, and in places like Africa you can purchase nearly all your goods via a simple SMS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can send any sort of message you want using the 160 characters available to you. Even a simple phone call would have been a better way to resolve the issue.

Have you ever had anything important transmitted to you via text message? Has your girlfriend left you, have you found out someone died, or something to that effect? Drop a comment below. We’re curious to see just how many terrible (or interesting) things people would rather type on their keypad than say aloud over the phone or in person.

[Via: Cellular News]

  • Aussie Bloke

    In Australia we use Australian dollars not Austrian. Just saying

  • MVZ

    Arnold is not from Australia, darn it that explains his Bakersfield love child!

  • hilarious typo, thanks guys!

  • Welcome to America, where I believe in all states an employer is legally required to notify employee of their termination in person. Usually this consists of signing paperwork if its corporate, and notification of the last paycheck. State laws require (in some states) that if an employee is terminated, their pay is to be calculated and paid out right then and there, including but not limited to vacation and sick pay and stock benefits. If an employee leaves “at-will” they receive their paycheck within the next available pay period. Most companies however, will “suspend” an employee and have “investigation” if they are going to terminate someone so they can gather the paperwork and paycheck information. California law (in the past, unsure if present) required companies to pay out directly, even out of the available cash register an employees pay if they were terminated on spot. Also of note, if an employee can prove a suspension or investigation was used to delay payment toward terminated employee, the company is liable, and can be fined and sued for a lot more than they pay they were trying to gather. On a side note, I remember I was suspended once when I was younger, and I immediately called the labor board and had the company fined for using suspension as a way to delay my termination and payment of wages. Needless to say, I never went back obviously.

    • William H Anderson23

      So, question for you. I just got fired today via text message. I was suspended two weeks ago for doing exactly what my manager told me to do. The boss found out and went off on her, so she said I did it and lied about not telling me to do something. So I got suspended. When my two weeks was up, I let her know I was going to be out of town this weekend, but will be available to work next weekend. She text me the following day, (today) ” you are not on the schedule, I don’t think (the company) is a good fit for you. Good luck to you.” I replied, ” so is this your professional way of firing me?” her response, “Yes…If you have a problem with it call (the owner).” I live in Texas. Is this legal, and what actions can I take if any through legal recourse or Texas Workforce Commission? 

  • That would be an improper process of terminating an employee.
    Such actions should do fines.

  • Shand56

    I disagree w the wording of the txt msg, but not with using it as a tool for firing. I think it’s more humiliating to have a firing done in an office full of people in front of whom the employee has to keep their cool, pack up their things, and head out. That’s HUGELY embarrassing. I also think txting gives an important heads up so the emp can prepare how to interact when they pick up their personal items or hand in keys. If handled professionally, txt msgs ease the pain for all involved. And a business owner should be able to fire however they want. I’ve had to fire a lot of people, and the only reason was because they wouldn’t do their jobs. No one actually WANTS to fire anyone who is performing well. If I have an employee not doing their job, getting fired is their fault and I have the right, after putting up with their bad behavior or poor performance, to minimize any additional stress on me and fire them however I want. I’ve also dumped people by txt, and would prefer to be dumped by txt. Who wants to have ugly conversations anymore? I have enough stress without that. Just my preference…txt or email me if you’re setting me free.

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