A giddy young banker who was dismissed for gross misconduct after she boasted on Facebook about the size of her severance payout launched a legal challenge for unfair dismissal this week.
23-year-old Katie Furlong used to work as a debt officer for Royal Bank of Scotland in Telford in Staffordshire. On September 2, following the bank's takeover by Santander Group, she received a call from her manager informing her that she was being laid off and would receive a severance payment of around £6,000 ($9,500/Ä7,000)
Moments later, at 5.58pm, Ms Furlong posted the following comments on Facebook:
"'WoOOOOooooOooooHOoooOooOoo' it was pretty damn obvious something like this was coming. I'm neither stupid nor naive ... and honestly it is the best news ever as far as I am concerned!"
At 8.17pm, she added:
"I've just hung on by my fingertips to stick around long enough for a nice payout when they could've had me out long ago without a penny! More fool them! Haha! Xx."
One of her 'friends' on Facebook clearly took umbrage at the comments and decided to report her.
Following a disciplinary hearing, RBS dismissed Ms Furlong for gross misconduct for breaching the company's "declaration of secrecy" -- which meant she lost the right to claim severance pay.
Announcing her decision to sue the bank for unfair dismissal, Ms Furlong said: "RBS say that this is a breach of their 'declaration of secrecy' but I don't think so. The information was already out there and all I was doing was having a chat with mates.
"I'm taking them to a tribunal because I don't feel I should have been sacked. They got rid of me so they didn't have to pay any redundancy."
"I can't believe I've been treated so appallingly for what essentially amounts to having a chat with my mates outside of work," she added.
The RBS Credit Management Services office in Telford where Ms Furlong worked will close in 2012, with the loss of around 500 jobs.
Nationwide the bank will shed around 3,500 employees and 318 branches as part of 'restructuring' in the wake of the Santander takeover.