Ms Teoh Alvare and Ms Teh Jovaynne, from ZUL RAFIQUE & partners’ Employment & Industrial Relations team, succeeded in defending Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd (the ‘Company’) in an unfair dismissal claim in the case of Ng Seok May @ Angie Sabrina (the ‘Claimant’) v Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd.

The Claimant was employed by the Company as a Contract Strategy and Management Specialist. The Claimant was charged for misconduct in relation to her posting negative comments about her superiors on her personal Facebook account.

On this issue, the Industrial Court found that the Company has proven that the Claimant’s Facebook postings with negative comments about her superior and/or her team members were not only negative but with the very unsavory words used, were blatantly disrespectful and insubordinate in nature. Calling one's superior 'b***h' repeatedly and colleagues 'b***hes' is most unacceptable in any institution.

Although the Claimant claimed that her alleged Facebook postings were very general and had not mentioned specifically Maxis or employees of Maxis, the Court held that it was very clear to any of the Claimant's Facebook friends who she was referring to – without even stating the Company or the Claimant's superior/colleagues' names and this may cause damage to the Company’s reputation and/or its employee(s). The conclusion that can be drawn is that only those familiar with the Company's happenings and the Claimant's colleagues would know when they went on leave, when was salary paid, all that had been posted by the Claimant.

The Industrial Court also found that the Claimant is guilty for being disrespectful towards her superior as per the Claimant’s email correspondence demonstrating a consistent pattern of being disrespectful, evasive, obstructive and insubordinate to her superior.

Thus, Industrial Court ruled that the Company has proven on a balance of probabilities, that the Claimant’s termination was reasonable and justified.

For more insight into this area of law, please contact our Partners in Employment & Industrial Relations Practice Group: 
P Jayasingam 
Wong Keat Ching  
Thavaselvi Pararajasingam