Think twice before exiting office WhatsApp group

Woman holding phone - Whatsapp

How many times have you felt like exiting your office WhatsApp group, especially when you are on leave?

The messages are annoying since you are on holiday and just want to have a good time with your loved ones.

Don’t you just want to quit the group?

Be forewarned. If you do that, it could cost you your job.

A. Thilagavathy learnt a bitter lesson when she was dismissed by Maxis Mobile Service Sdn Bhd on April 1, 2015 for leaving¬† her office WhatsApp groups twice without the approval of her superior. She was also said to have not submitted her day end sales and service reports despite repeated reminders and had “conducted herself in a disruptive manner”.

She was warned not to exit the WhatsApp group without permission when she first did so in 2014. The following year, she left the group again, without the permission of her superior, during her holiday.

Thilagavathy filed an unlawful dismissal suit with the Industrial Court.

She claimed among others that she was not aware she had to seek approval to leave the group and that her husband wanted a phone/WhatsApp-free holiday.

She took up her grievance with the Industrial Court but it backfired when the court ruled in her employer’s favour. And her sacking was declared legal.

Industrial Court chairman Bernard John Kanny held that the evidence showed that Thilagavathy had deliberately exited the office WhatsApp group in December 2014 and for the second time in February 2015.

He also held that the claimant’s misconduct “had marred the trust and confidence of the company in the claimant” and that the punishment meted out to the claimant “is appropriate in the circumstances of the case”.

So, do you still want to quit your work group when on holiday? Think twice.

The full judgment can be read here.

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