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Burger Urge ordered to pay $5,421 after firing Dubbo employee for missing a shift

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Read the allegedly ‘inappropriate’ message an employee sent to his boss that saw him fired from a burger restaurant – before the fast food chain was ordered to pay him thousands

  • Cullam Silby was fired from Burger Urge . five days after missing a shift
  • The part-time worker warned bosses about his absence via a Facebook message
  • The Brisbane franchise argued that Silby engaged in ‘gross misconduct’
  • Fair Work Commission ordered Burger Urge to pay $5421 in damages

A hamburger franchise must pay a former employee $5421 in damages after he was fired for sending an “inappropriate” message and missing a shift.

Brisbane franchise Burger Urge fired part-time employee Cullam Silby from its Dubbo branch, in regional NSW, for ‘gross misconduct’ – five days after he missed his shift on May 5.

Bosses were warned of Silby’s absence via a Facebook post asking other employees to “swap shifts” while reporting his stolen bike.

On September 14, Fair Work Commissioner Chris Simpson found that Mr Silby had been fired on the spot and had not committed any gross misconduct – which is limited to offenses such as theft, fraud, assault and threatening or abusive conduct.

The Fair Work Commission ruled in favor of Cullam Silby (pictured) for missing a shift

Burger Urge bosses were alerted to his absence via a Facebook post asking other employees to

Burger Urge bosses were alerted to his absence via a Facebook post asking other employees to “swap shifts” as he reported his stolen bike

Burger Urge Pty Ltd was ordered to pay the former employee $5,421 in compensation despite Mr Silby agreeing to notify his bosses were ‘inappropriate’.

During a telephone hearing, Silby gave oral testimony explaining that his scooter, his primary mode of transportation, had been stolen.

Silby said he called the store in May to notify bosses of his absence — a claim the commissioner refuted — and sent a Facebook group message at 4:26 a.m., 7.5 hours before his scheduled shift.

“Hey, I know it’s early for someone with eod (end of day) access to do my shutdown. I have to settle this with the police on my bike tomorrow and I don’t know how it will go.’ Mr Silby wrote.

“I’m happy to trade shifts with you or anything else to help you.”

Mr Silby said employees regularly used the Facebook messaging group to, among other things, find coverage for services they could not fulfill.

However, Chief People Officer at Burger Urge Matthew Bryant claimed the Facebook messaging group had “no official status” and was not supported or encouraged by the outlet, with employees trained in authorized communication processes.

Mr. Bryant indicated that as team leader, Mr. Silby knew the proper process and had used inappropriate language during a call about the missed shift.

This is the message Mr Silby sent to his colleagues, offering to swap shifts leading to his resignation

This is the message Mr Silby sent to his colleagues, offering to swap shifts leading to his resignation

Burger Urge Pty Ltd argued Mr Silby was guilty of 'gross misconduct' and then fired him from their regional NSW Dubbo outlet (pictured)

Burger Urge Pty Ltd argued Mr Silby was guilty of ‘gross misconduct’ and then fired him from their regional NSW Dubbo outlet (pictured)

The discussion reportedly heated up when Mr Silby called the conversation ‘BS’ [bulls***]’ with Mr. Bryant deciding to terminate his contract without notice to attend a meeting.

The compensation paid by Burger Urge corresponds to seven weeks’ wages.

The franchise has approximately 800 employees across Australia and has 27 stores nationwide, according to the website.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Burger Urge and Mr Silby, now employed by rival fast food chain Carl’s Jr, for comment.

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