A hair salon owner has been ordered to pay a former employee compensation, after he sacked her during a heated expletive-ridden online exchange, during which he threatened to break her bones and make her “suffer”.
Fair Work Commissioner Bernie Riordan considered if the employer was drunk when he sent the text messages.
‘You are either with me or against me’
‘Alphaeus Hair Salon’ owner Chris Tizzoni unleashed on hairdresser Jayme-Lee Morris during the bizarre Facebook chat, which began when Ms Morris didn’t answer his messages quickly enough.
Mr Tizzoni wrote:
“I will not take silence any more! 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.”
Mr Tizzoni reminded Ms Morris that her new role as manager of another store was not guaranteed, and sent her this ultimatum:
“U need to make a choice you are either with me or against me.”
Ms Morris eventually replied, writing:
“Sorry my phone died n I was fixing Christmas lights. I did say yes but it must [not] have sent.”
“What the f**k! What are you [on] about?!”
She then tried to phone Mr Tizzoni, who didn’t answer.
Ms Morris said she wanted to stay working for Mr Tizzoni, 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.”
Mr 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!”
Manager sends nearly 40 abusive messages
When Ms Morris described the conversation as a “f**king joke” and told Mr Tizzoni that she wouldn’t be at work the next day because she was stressed, he replied:
“Wat eves [sic] your down fall. Good luck in your new job if you can find one. Which you won’t given my presence. I will cut you from my fold. Good luck girl as u will need it. Haha remember Central Coast [sic] no one will [hire] you as you r! Mwah! Keep fighting as you will meet ur end.”
Ms Morris then 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.”
Mr Tizzoni then unleashed a series of nearly 40 abusive messages:
“Good bye looser [sic] Everything will fold for you and I will stand and watch. Oh and don’t come for me as I will break you.
“You r 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 r. Mwah u r nothing and I will make u nothing you piece of s**t. Welcome ur new status.”
Never seen a dummy spit like it
Miles Heffernan, Director of Litigation at Industrial Relations Claims, said he hadn’t seen a dummy spit like it.
“I’m no psychologist, but it seems that Mr Tizzoni has a healthy ego, a short temper, and perhaps even some narcissistic tendencies – all are common with many bosses – but that’s no excuse for the online tirade he subjected Ms Morris to,” he said.
“No boss should ever speak to a staff member that way, no matter what the circumstances.
“It appears that the only reason he sacked Ms Morris was because of a perceived lack of loyalty, and that she didn’t respond to his messages quickly enough – it sounds to me like she had a strong case for unfair dismissal.”
Worker files claim for unfair dismissal
Ms Morris filed a claim for unfair dismissal in the Fair Work Commission.
In his judgement, Commissioner Bernie Riordan said he was not aware whether Mr Tizzoni or Ms Morris were drunk during their online exchange, but did find there was “no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour” on behalf of Ms 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 Mr Tizzoni “did not have a valid reason to terminate” Ms Morris and that her dismissal was “harsh and unfair”.
Mr Tizzoni was ordered to pay Ms Morris, who has since started work at another salon, four weeks’ wages plus superannuation.
If you have been unfairly dismissed from employment, you may be entitled to compensation or reinstatement.
But you only have 21 days to make a claim, so don’t delay!
Please call our specialist team at Industrial Relations Claims today on
1300 045 466