Harvey Norman has been dragged into a “Lord’s Prayer” row after an employee, texted a message containing the Lord’s Prayer to her senior line manager and some colleagues following a disciplinary “counselling” at a Harvey Norman Store.
Employee Alicia Long claims she faces a sanction tantamount to dismissal after complaints about the text were made, Long, worked at a Harvey Norman’s store in Naas in Ireland.
The woman, who was an administration manager, initiated High Court proceedings after the incident where she secured an interim injunction yesterday restraining an appeal hearing from taking place.
The incident blew up after the employee took maternity leave from her work as administrative manager from September 1st, 2009, to February 10th 2010. On returning, she noticed many changes and that her workload had increased considerably, she said.
Currently the Harvey Norman operations in Ireland are bleeding profits with cuts made in an effort to control costs.
Long, said that she found her manager’s tone abrasive and excessive demands were made on her.
On January 24th, 2011, she attended a disciplinary counselling meeting and was criticised by her manager for not complying with directions from head office.
When she went home, she was very upset and sent a text message to a number of friends, including her manager, containing the Lord’s Prayer. On January 31st, she was suspended on full pay due to two serious complaints from colleagues regarding the text message.
On February 4th she attended a disciplinary meeting. At a further meeting on February 16th, she was told her conduct amounted to gross misconduct.
She was told that she was going to be removed as an administrative manager and relocated to other work at Harvey Norman.