A hair salon owner who threatened to break his female employee's bones and make her "suffer" after she failed to respond to a message quickly enough has been ordered to pay compensation.
Australian hairdresser Jaymi-Lee Morris filed an application for unfair dismissal with the Fair Work Commission after being sacked in December last year from Alphaeus Hair Salon by owner Chris Tizzoni.
Morris, who was going to be the manager of his new salon in nearby Bombaderry, was subjected to Tizzoni's bizarre, expletive-ridden online rant, which Fair Work Commissioner Bernie Riordan described as a "regular chat on Facebook which spiralled out of control".
"Hey do I have a 9am app tomorrow," Tizzoni wrote on the evening of December 6, 2017. After Morris did not respond straight away, he wrote, "Still awake but won't answer, have you looked at tomorrow or not."
The messages quickly became aggressive, and Tizzoni told her to "remember I have only offered", not given her the new role. "And now I have two more I will not need you. You need to make a choice you are either with me or against me," he wrote.
"I will not take silence anymore! And I do not need to. I will sever you as I have done to them! If you push me to it! As I have said I have had enough! You are not in control I am girl. And remember I just fixed your detrimental situation with the client you destroyed he [sic] hair! I think you forget my position."
Morris eventually replied, writing, "Sorry my phone died and I was fixing Christmas lights. I did say yes but it must [not] have sent." She added, "What the f**k! What are you [on] about?!"
She then unsuccessfully attempted to phone Tizzoni. "Can you please answer your phone," she wrote. He replied, "You have had a voice for to [sic] long, now you will here [sic] mine! Cut them off or you will not have a job with me!"
Asked what he was talking about, Tizzoni referred to two other women, apparently current and former colleagues, accusing Morris of conspiring against him and saying he was "shown a vision of you leaving me", news.com.au reported.
"I have done everything I can for u and the salon," Morris wrote.
She said she wanted to stay, but didn't appreciate him "saying you'll just get rid of me". "I like my job, and I don't want it to go to s**t just because u can't control what comes out of your mouth. I'm sorry but that is so rude to say. Makes me feel like a worthless piece of s**t. Which I'm not."
Tizzoni replied, "No you are not, and I have never said that about you! But you try to have control over me! Because you think you know better! But I KNOW BEST. I HAVE BEEN AROUND LONGER AND HAVE ACHIEVED MORE! YOU WILL RESPECT ME!"
Morris described the conversation as a "f**king joke". "I'm not gonna come in tomorrow I'm stressed out," she wrote.
Tizzoni wrote back, "Wat eves [sic] your down fall. Good luck with your new job if you can find one. Which you won't get in my presence. I will cut you from my fold. Good luck girl as you will need it. Haha remember Central Coast [sic] no one will [hire] you as you are! Mwah! Keep fighting as you will meet your end."
Morris said, "I quit. I don't need to put up with your s**t. I don't need your luck. I can stand on my own two feet thank you very much. I will come get my stuff tomorrow. Good bye Chris."
Tizzoni then unleashed a series of nearly 40 abusive messages. "Good bye looser [sic]," he wrote. "Everything will fold for you and I will stand and watch. Oh and don't come for me as I will break you.
"You are dead to me! Nothing more! You will suffer as they will! I will have justice and you will receive my wrath! U pieces of s**t! I will make you suffer!"
He warned there would be "nowhere in town" for her "as my family owns it" and that she would be "shunned". "Come after me weightlifter! I will break you! Your bones I'm talking! Depart from me as I will destroy u!
"Have fun finding a job because u won't get one! You f**ked up. I shall destroy you! And you will be shammed! [sic] I will win dumb c**t. U will be nothing haha. Cry as you will cray [sic] forever.
"Take ur s**t u ugly piece of crap because that is all that you are. Mwah you are nothing and I will make u nothing you piece of s**t. Welcome your new status."
In his decision on Friday, Riordan said Tizzoni — who did not respond or make any submissions to the Commission — appeared to have terminated Morris "as a result of some type of 'conspiracy theory' in relation to the applicant's alleged discussions with current and former colleagues".
"The 'conversation' between the applicant and the respondent took place over a social media platform late at night," he said in his written decision. "I am unaware of the sobriety or capacity of either individual during this.
"[It] appears to have escalated from a simple enquiry to an unfortunate conclusion. The conversation was not a disciplinary meeting but what appears to be a regular chat on Facebook which spiralled out of control."
Riordan said there was "no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour" by Morris and she was not sacked as a result of poor performance.
"The applicant was happy in her job and very keen to manage the new salon at Bombaderry," he said. "The type of behaviour displayed by the applicant does not fit within the parameters of an employee trying to undermine their employer."
The Commission ruled Tizzoni "did not have a valid reason to terminate" Morris and that her dismissal was "harsh and unfair". Tizzoni was ordered to pay Morris, who has since started work at another salon, four weeks' wages plus superannuation.
Morris told news.com.au Tizzoni had not yet paid. Tizzoni could not be reached for comment. Alphaeus Hair Salon is listed online as permanently closed, and the phone number has been disconnected.