Man who boasted about receiving payout from employer penalised for breaching confidentiality

A man who received a payout from his former employer and then boasted about it on Facebook has been penalised for breaching their confidentiality agreement.

Toi Moerua was ordered by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to pay a penalty of $1500 to container cartage specialist Massam Transport (MTL).

In a Facebook post dated February 13, 2018, Moerua said “I beat another a*shole employer in the employment court thanks for the 20k donation d*ickheads…lol.”

Toi Moerua’s Facebook post, according to the ERA.  

The two parties had agreed on a settlement during mediation on February 8, after resolving an employment relationship problem Moerua raised after his position was made redundant, the ERA said.

The terms of the agreement were binding and enforceable.

Moerua offered two defences to MTL’s claim that he breached the confidentiality of their settlement agreement.

First, he suggested that his privacy had been breached by people looking at, and copying his Facebook post.

Second, he claimed the employer referred to in the post was another company that he had worked for after his employment with MTL had ended, and not MTL itself.

However, the ERA dismissed both defences, ruling that by posting the message on Facebook, it was akin to a person talking in a public place or venue and being overheard.

The ERA also ruled that Moerua was unable to provide enough evidence that his post was not about MTL.

Moerua was also ordered to remove parts of the post by Monday April 23.

At the time of the decision, the post had received eight likes and 15 comments.

The Herald has contacted Moerua and MTL for comment.

Reference: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12039244

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