Darryn Smith

Sacked woman ordered to show Facebook pages

NEW Zealanders fond of pulling a sicky may need to be more careful about what they post on Facebook while they are off.

Air New Zealand has forced a sacked flight attendant to let bosses examine her bank records and Facebook pages in a row over her claiming sick leave.

Gina Kensington was sacked by the airline earlier this year after the company claimed she misused two days leave she took to care for her sister.

Ms Kensington took her case to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) in a bid to be reinstated - but the airline countered by asking to see copies of her Facebook pages and bank records for the disputed days.

The former employee argued she should not have to disclose the details as there was an expectation of privacy about personal and financial information.

The ERA disagreed and forced her to hand over the details. Both parties are now awaiting a ruling.

The case mirrors that of another New Zealander, Bruce Taiapa, who was sacked after taking sick leave for a week but was pictured on Facebook at a school canoeing carnival.

In that case the ERA ruled the sacking was justified.

Founder of pressure group Tech Liberty, Thomas Beagle , told the National Business Review that he was shocked by the decision in the Kensington case:  "Employers should not have the rights to snoop on everything we do," he said.

"We wouldn't let them search our homes on demand and we shouldn't let them ransack our online lives looking for dirt."