Worker unfairly dismissed for complaining about boss on Facebook, tribunal rules

A paint sprayer was awarded £28,000 for unfair dismissal after a judge ruled his employer’s investigation into whether he had breached social media policy was inadequate. The tribunal ruled that the managing director “unreasonably confused what was required of an employee by the social media policy” after a worker for the firm posted a Facebook status referring to an argument between them.

A number of the employee’s Facebook friends made comments on the post, some of which were homophobic and in which the commenter suggested that the employee should “punch his boss in the face because it would make him feel better”.

However, the judge ruled that the company’s social media policy “did not require the employee to police the comments of others” and that there was no evidence that would have supported to a reasonable employer the contention that the employee was engaging in a prohibited discussion.

This case may be a warning – having a social media policy in place is highly recommended – which covers all of the potential issues which may arise when employees are engaged across a variety of social media platforms.  This is something that 121 HR Solutions can assist with!

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