Facebooking while out sick gets employee fired

Swiss insurance worker is fired after surfing popular social-networking site Facebook while out sick. She now accuses her employer of spying on her.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. PDT with quotes from former Nationale Suisse employee.

CNET previously reported that Facebook users risk having a lower GPA . Now, according to Reuters and other sources, using the social-networking site could have another unpleasant side effect: getting you fired. At least that's what happened to a Swiss insurance worker who lost her job after surfing Facebook while out sick, her employer said Friday.

The unnamed woman said she had to be away from her monitor lying in the dark, but was then seen to be active on Facebook. Insurance company Nationale Suisse said in a statement that behavior had destroyed its trust in the employee.

"This abuse of trust, rather than the activity on Facebook, led to the ending of the work contract," a spokesman for the firm said.

The woman admitted to having used Facebooked on her iPhone, but accused the insurance company of spying on her by sending a mysterious friend request that made the company see her activities. The company denied the accusation and said a colleague stumbled over her activity, before Nationale Suisse banned use of the popular site in the company.

But she said she is not suing the company and that she is happy to have gotten a neutral termination letter and doesn't want to go back. "My trust for this employer is gone," the 31-year-old woman told Swiss daily newspaper 20 Minuten.

"Facebook is dead for me," she added.

This isn't the first time we've heard a discussion about losing a job due to Facebook use. Those scared of that destiny might want to watch this CNET TV video: Don't let Facebook get you fired .

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About the author

    Erik Palm, a business reporter for Swedish national television, is joining CNET News as a spring 2009 fellow with Stanford University's Innovation Journalism program. When he's not working, he enjoys kayaking and exploring California's hiking trails. E-mail Erik.

     

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