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Snap Fitness threatens legal action over reporting of Futsalroo sacking

Snap Fitness threatens legal action over reporting of Futsalroo sacking
September 22, 2016

Gym operator Snap Fitness is reportedly considering legal action following controversy surrounding the sacking of a former club manager while he represented Australia at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia.

The brother of Futsalroo and former Snap Fitness Craigieburn Club Manager Jonathan Barrientos had claimed on Facebook that he was unfairly dismissed in spite of getting approval for leave to compete in international tournament.

Carlos Barrientos' widely shared post stated "Absolutely disgusting! My brother goes to represent his country, fulfil a dream & then gets fired from his job after his time off was initially approved."

He later added he would not stop "until justice is served".

A Facebook post from Snap on 22nd August (see below), but since deleted, had congratulated Barrientos for representing Australia.

However, SBS has reported that a spokesman for Snap Fitness advised yesterday (Wednesday 21st September) that its Craigieburn franchisee dismissed Barrientos for performance and conduct issues - not because he was representing Australia.

The spokesman said the issue had been dealt with through third-party mediation and Snap Fitness believed the dismissal complied with Fair Work regulations.

The spokesman stated "Snap Fitness Australia encourages employees and its members to strive in their personal pursuits and that planned leave had no bearing on the decision."

The spokesman suggested that the fitness chain was considering defamation action against those who made "incorrect statements" about Barrientos' dismissal, althought as companies are prohibited from suing for defamation it is not certain that this could be done.

Carlos Barrientos' Facebook post was shared almost 600 times, including on two pages with more than 10,000 likes.

At the World Cup, Australia missed the knockout rounds after losing two of their three group matches.

Barrientos currently plays his domestic futsal for the Vic Vipers, and the club’s general manager Garry Liakoureas said the entire situation was “unfortunate” adding that Barrientos was “the best of people” who financed his own trips abroad for club and country.

Liakoureas told SBS “Jon has represented the state and national teams on several occasions, and had to make many sacrifices along the way."

Images: Carlos Barrientos (top) and a Facebook post from Snap Fitness, now deleted, congratulating Barrientos for representing Australia. Comments against being sacked are attached (Courtesy of Facebook).

19th August 2016 - SYDNEY PERSONAL TRAINER SENTENCED TO MINIMUM FIVE YEAR JAIL TERM FOR DRUG DEALING

8th August 2016 - FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN STEPS IN TO STOP CANBERRA GYM UNDERPAYING PERSONAL TRAINER

3rd July 2016 - RECORD CROWD FOR FUTSAL EXHIBITION EVENT AT MELBOURNE’S STATE NETBALL AND HOCKEY CENTRE

18th August 2015 - SNAP FITNESS PARTNERS WITH QANTAS FOR MEMBERS TO EARN FREQUENT FLYER POINTS

3rd August 2014 - FFA RENEWS COMMITMENT TO FUTSAL


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