Dismissal for a social networking faux-pas can be fair, but not always

In a recent case it was found fair to dismiss an employee for derogatory comments about Apple products on a “private” Facebook page. The Gross Misconduct dismissal from an Apple store was fair because private pages do not necessarily remain private and the company had a clear policy in place.

But in another case, where an employee was making insulting comments about a client’s employees, the Tribunal in question found the dismissal to be unfair. In that case, the Tribunal was very critical of the employer’s failure to follow “its own disciplinary procedures, rules and policy’.

These cases show how crucial it is for employers to set out clearly what is expected of employees in their use of social media both inside and, as in these two cases, outside work.

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