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Boss justifies actions after taking £170 from student's pay for getting caught using phone at work

Dominic Smithers

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Boss justifies actions after taking £170 from student's pay for getting caught using phone at work

A bar owner has hit back after she docked a worker £170 from their wages for excessive use of their phone.

A member of staff at Birdies Mini Golf and Sports Bar in Melbourne, Australia, took to social media to complain after they were basically fined by their boss.

In a post to Reddit, the employee explained that they had checked their payslip and found that he had lost £170 (AU $298.65; US $208) from his wages from working a shift during a public holiday.

The slip, which he shared to the site, showed that he had been been 'deducted for over five hours on mobile phone during shift (unauthorised)'.

The worker has since quit his job, and though he admitted to using his phone, said he didn't think it was fair.

The employee had over five hours of wages deducted. Credit: Stephanie Doyle
The employee had over five hours of wages deducted. Credit: Stephanie Doyle

“I single-handedly worked at the place from open to close.

“I did use my phone when there are no customers. Is this legal?"

And though many agreed with his insinuation that it was wrong, the bar's owner Stephanie Doyle has come out and defended her decision to dock his wages.

Speaking to 7 News, she said: "Normally, all you have to do is have a conversation about an issue with staff to move forward.

“He’d been warned his phone usage was excessive, he was reminded of the policy, said he wouldn’t do it again.”

Ms Doyle claimed that she spoke to the employee a number of times during the shift about his phone use, and warned him of the consequences should he continue.

She explained: “I don’t have a problem with someone checking their messages as a 20-second thing and then it goes back in their pocket, but there’s a big difference between that scenario and what happened here.

“He started at 12 and by 12.25pm he was on his phone and wasn’t doing any of the tasks for the day."

The student was seen using his phone. Credit: Stephanie Doyle
The student was seen using his phone. Credit: Stephanie Doyle

Ms Doyle also took issue with the former worker's decision to post on social media rather than speak to her or go through the proper channels to make a complaint.

And now, Ms Doyle says she's received abuse as a result of the disgruntled employee's post.

“People are calling my business to threaten and abuse my staff – awful calls no one should have to receive, and emails with the most vile things in them are being sent using the worst language," she said.

“I don’t see why there have to be threats, why there needs to be an inbox full of hate, why people are destroying our business reputation with one-star reviews.”

According to the owner, all employees sign a policy agreement on their first day, which states that money can be deducted from their wages for excessive phone use.

Featured Image Credit: Stephanie Doyle

Topics: Australia

Dominic Smithers
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