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Woman Gets Fired For Emailing in All Caps, Bold, and Red

Most people agree that typing in all capital letters is the Internet equivalent of shouting, and one company interpreted an employee's habit of emailing in all caps, red, and bold as confrontational. So confrontational, that the company told the employee to hit the road.

Vicki Walker was an accountant for ProCare until she was let go for her style of communication. ProCare claimed she "caused disharmony in the workplace by using block capitals, bold typeface and red text in her emails." But Walker had the last say in the dispute, when The Employment Relations Authority in New Zealand ordered ProCare to compensate Walker with $11,500 for unfair termination.

What do you think of the situation; was the company in the right or wrong with its reasoning for firing the employee?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
syako syako 7 years
I would think that someone who writes email this way, has other characteristics and attitudes that could lead them to being fired.
millarci millarci 7 years
I think she should have definitely known better than to write in all caps. Part of me can see the reason why they fired her. Writing e-mails in all caps is the equivalent of shouting, so it is like shouting to your customers/clients/colleagues which is inappropriate. However, firing is still too harsh.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
bchicgrl: not sure what the law is there, but many states in the U.S. are "at will" when it comes to employees. That means that an employee can be terminated for any reason (except race/ sex/ national origin/ age) at any time. and I agree with dienliv .. sounds like they wanted a reason to terminate her.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
Agree with the others, they should have asked her to change her writing style before they fired her. She should sue them.
Angelica Angelica 7 years
Seriously, it's called "feedback"!
Liss1 Liss1 7 years
I agree, couldn't they have just asked her to stop?
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
A warning should have been issued -- this would have immediately stopped. It's poor etiquette on the woman's part as well as the companies. This was truly a senseless firing.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
I am fairly sure she would have stopped, had someone told her about it. It doesn't sound like they did. But on the other hand.. if someone writes work emails in all caps, they can't be the brightest, either. Can you fire someone for being generally stupid?
KateK KateK 7 years
I agree with the first post, hello? what happened to three strikes rule? Why wouldn't they say something like 'hey your email etiquette is kind of poor, can you please return to the standard font, size, and color that emails are written in? Based upon this information, this clearly is an instance of unfair termination.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
Couldn't they have told her to stop using that style before firing her? And in the linked article, she claims she used it in one instance only, when emailing instructions that required the particular style ... hmm ... not sure if I'm getting the full story here.
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