It is happening more and more as employees believe they can post or text whatever they like with impunity. Unfortunately for them employment tribunals often take a different view.
Recent decisions include:
- Upholding the dismissal of an employee who posted offensive comments about a work colleague on Facebook. The Tribunal rejected his argument that his comments were “private” under the Human Rights Act 1998.
- An employee who sent a racist email from his home computer to the home computer of a colleague was fairly dismissed when the email was forwarded to work based computers of colleagues.
- Derogatory comments about an employer posted on Facebook, even though the posts had been restricted to the employees “friends”, warranted dismissal.
- An employee’s posted comments about a customer were clearly in breach of the employer’s social media policy. Dismissal upheld.
Some Employment Tribunals have taken the view that our basic right to privacy and freedom of expression does not override the rights of employers or work colleagues to freedom from harassment, unfair criticism, abusive comments or damage to their reputation.
Employers should have a social media policy .The policy should list the type of conduct that would be considered to be gross misconduct. They must also follow a fair disciplinary procedure.
Employees should ask themselves what they could possibly achieve by posting comments on Facebook or any other social media platform which are done in haste, in the heat of the moment or through spite.
If losing your job is the outcome then it will have been a very expensive post.
For the full article go to www.markdavidhr.co.uk