Fired Facebook fan to fight back

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A BANK worker who was sacked by the Royal Bank of Scotland after boasting on Facebook about her redundancy payout has mounted a legal challenge against her dismissal.

Katie Furlong, who had told her online friends she would collect a 6,000 payout from the Edinburgh-based bank, now plans to take the firm to an employment tribunal after she was dismissed without receiving a penny of her severance cash.

The 23-year-old had posted on the social networking site about the size of her settlement just moments after RBS announced they were to axe 3,500 back-office jobs after 318 of its branches were bought by Spanish bank giant Santander.

She said that it was "the best news ever" and that she would receive a "nice payout".

However, the bank claimed she breached the company's "declaration of secrecy" which amounted to gross misconduct, and sacked her without paying her any redundancy.

Yesterday, Ms Furlong, who worked for the bank for three-and-a-half years as a debt officer, announced she was planning to pursue an unfair dismissal claim against RBS.

She 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.

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"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."

On 2 September, Ms Furlong, from Telford in Staffordshire, who was off work sick, received a phone call from her manager telling her she would have to take redundancy or relocate to another office. Minutes after the call she wrote her first message on Facebook at 5:58pm.

She said: "I speak for myself when I say WoOOOOooooOooooHOoooOooOoo' it was pretty damn obvious something like this was coming.

"I'm neither stupid nor naive . . . and quote (sic) honestly it is the best news ever as far as I am concerned!"

She went on to say that she had: "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"

A colleague who saw the comments reported her to her boss who suspended her when she returned on September 13.

Days later she was hauled before bosses who told her she was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

She was later sacked but yesterday started legal proceedings of her own. She said: "It's so unfair."I can't believe I've been treated so appallingly for what essentially amounts to having a chat with my mates outside of work."

Last night, an unrepentant Ms Furlong returned to Facebook to reiterate her views on RBS.

Under "employment", she said that she was now a driving instructor and had written next to her RBS tenure: "I used to work here but they're a bunch of f***-tards . . . I hope the government lets you fail next time. I can think of far better things to spend my tax-payers money on"

A spokesman for RBS said: "We do not comment on individual staff matters."