Posts tagged ‘Facebook’
In the case of Teggart -v- Tele Tech UK Limited, the Tribunal held that an employee was fairly dismissed because comments which he posted on his Facebook page amounted to harassment of a female colleague and breached the employer’s Dignity at Work Policy.
The claimant was employed at a call centre in Belfast. He posted obscene comments about a female colleague on his Facebook page from home. The comment mentioned his employer’s name and was read by some other work colleagues. It was alleged that the comment had been brought to the employer’s attention by a member of the public. The female colleague heard about the comments and asked the claimant’s girlfriend if he would remove them. However that led the claimant to simply post further comments. Read more
In our last post, Social Media and Employment, we commented that if employers are to implement a social media policy then it needs to fit with their business. We finished off by saying that such a policy needs to be interpreted properly, and that the employer still needs to act reasonably.
We looked at the risks of not having a properly prepared social media policy, and in turn the reasons why employers should have such a policy, in our post Social Media in the workplace – do you have a policy?
However, simply having a policy in place isn’t necessarily going to avoid the risks identified in that post. Employers must still act reasonably in enforcing a policy. The case of Stephens -v- Halfords plc earlier this year demonstrates the point (see xPert HR for the summary) – a Facebook page criticising the employer was not held to justify dismissal. Read more
Following on from our last post about social media in the workplace, it is worth noting that Symantec, a global provider of IT security software, has recently published the results of its 2011 Social Media Protection Flash Poll, which was used to determine how businesses protect themselves from the negative consequences of using social media.
It found that 46% of companies have encountered employees sharing too much information in public forums and that 90% of respondents who had experienced a “social media incident” suffered negative consequences including damaged reputation, loss of customer trust and litigation costs. So, as the popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook continues to rise (see our retweet @thompsons_law from @utv today – bit.ly/pJ9UJV), how can employers ensure that they minimise the risks presented by employees’ use of social media?
The answer? Implement a social media policy that fits with your business.
However you’ll need to make sure that you interpret it properly and act reasonably if it’s breached – more on that to follow soon…