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Woman Fired for Using ALL CAPS in Email

An article in the New Zealand Herald claims that an accountant for ProCare Health, serving as the company's financial controller, was fired because she sent "confrontational" emails. The emails consisted of some words typed in bold, red letters, all of which were in caps. However, Vicki Walker was quickly avenged by the Employment Relations Authority, and was thus awarded $17,000 for an unfair dismissal.

The emails, sent to co-workers, caused "disharmony" in the workplace due to the block capitols, red text and bold typeface according to ex-employer ProCare. The company dismissed Walker back in December 2007 after just two years of service. ProCare also claimed that she sent multiple emails, however only one example showed up in court.

Strangely enough, the email presented to the court didn't offer any specific slandering, but rather instructions on how to fill out staff claim forms. Time and date were specified using bold red, and there was also a sentence written in capitols and highlighted in bold blue reading: "To ensure your staff claim is processed and paid, please do follow the below checklist."

"To say that [email] is confrontational is ridiculous," says Walker. "I have spent thousands defending myself and there are so many issues that are unresolved that I want to take them up on." Walker added that she plans to lodge an appeal for further compensation.

  • jellico
    Somehow I doubt she was fired for merely using caps to explain how to correctly fill out a form. I suspect we are all quite familiar with the person who comes across as a real a-hole in their email messages (usually in person too, for that matter). Anyway, there's something to be said for being polite in the workplace, even if you can't stand the person you're communicating with.
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  • lifelesspoet
    Not any fault of tom's, but todays news is kinda boring. And should have been a reprimand not out right dismissal.
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  • hellwig
    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!

    It sounds like she was using the capitals, bold, and red font to emphasize important parts of the email. I know that's what grabs my attention in the endless stream of worthless business emails I receive daily.

    Now if it were something like "DONUTS IN THE KITCHEN, GET THEM WHILE THEY LAST!!!", that would be a different story.
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  • salem80
    Mis-coordination .......

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  • teeth_03
    BOLLOCKS!!!!
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  • dbzpic1
    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THIS CAN BE AN ISSUE IN THE WORKPLACE WITH ANYONE. IF ANYTHING, IT IS EASIER TO READ CAPITAL LETTERS. I ALSO ENJOY DEFFERENT COLORS BECAUSE IT MAKES IT SPICIER TO READ. I WISH MORE PLACES WOULD USE ALL CAPS. ESPECIALLY ON FORUMS.
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  • Major7up
    I wonder if they have a statute in New Zealand like they do here in California where you employed at will and can be fired for any reason (according to most applications or offer acceptance letters). But it sounds like she was fired unreasonably. We will never know the full story I suspect.
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  • WheelsOfConfusion
    Can we have boomaga narrate the email?
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  • leafman420
    Well I don't know abut the all caps thing, but I also like a little color in my mail. Sounds like they just didn't like her, and that is not a reason to fire someone. We all have a right to be an ASSHOLE sometimes. :)
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  • rexoverbey
    i was fired for using all lowercase in pink.
    Reply