Sacked over a road rage incident when you're not on the clock

Road rage happens. While for most of us it’s a mostly silent exchange only heard within our own vehicles some people take it further. There are people that flash their lights, honk, tailgate, and even some that get out of their cars and yell during a road rage incident. In some of the more extreme cases of road rage, people get in fights, and some have even been killed.

Ad. Article continues below.

Luckily, this instance no one was physically hurt, but a man was sacked from his job even though he wasn’t working during the time of the incident. An electrical technician from South Australia was driving home after work when another driver pulled up next to him, gave him the finger, passed him and then proceeded to slam on their breaks to instigate the man. Unwisely he gave into his road rage and followed the car and even pulled up next to it and revved his engine in a form of intimidation.

The ultimate mistake was when he got out of his car and exchanged “heated words” with the other driver. It is when the initial aggressor saw his employer’s logo on his shirt and made a formal complaint to his employer, Spectrum Fire, where he worked as a security systems technician.

The company stated, “He engaged in inappropriate verbal exchanges over several minutes, purposely detoured in order to follow the vehicle, parking close behind it while revving his vehicle”. Before adding, “He also approached the other road user’s vehicle uninvited.”

The man has taken his former employer to Fair Work for “unfair dismissal”, but the commission claimed the dismissal was valid even though the man wasn’t working at the time. Fair Work said in a statement, “Although [the other driver] was mainly responsible for the initial events … the conduct of [the former worker] in following [them], coming to [their] window, and then aggressively moving his vehicle up even closer behind [them] … would reasonably be understood to be intimidating and aggressive”.

What do you think? Do you think that it was fair for him to lose his job over a road rage incident when he wasn’t working at the time?