An Auckland woman sacked by her brother's company for allegedly attempting to set up in competition to him has won $3000 compensation for unfair dismissal.
Julie Lavin, an office administrator for Flawless House Washing, was dismissed by owner, and brother, John Lavin on March 3, 2017.
On that day, John Lavin allegedly called Julie Lavin into his office and told her she had breached her contract, before handing her a sealed envelope and saying her employment was over.
Julie Lavin claims that she went to a friend's house to open the envelope which contained Facebook postings that included discussions about purchasing a house washing business, equipment and the employment of another current employee, only referred to in Employment Relations Authority documents as "D".
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John Lavin claims that he was advised by someone else that Julie Lavin's postings indicated she may remove his company database, a database that he had built up over the course of 15 years.
Julie Lavin says the postings were about purchasing Flawless House Washing and not about setting up in competition.
In its determination, the authority ruled that Julie Lavin's Facebook postings on their own were insufficient for an employer to reasonably conclude there had been serious misconduct.
In addition to compensation for hurt and humiliation, the authority ordered Flawless House Washing to pay Julie Lavin $2500 contribution towards her legal costs.
Flawless House Washing is a pressure washing service that operates from John Lavin's home.
The Herald has contacted Flawless House Washing for comment.