Bar worker who sacked over Facebook post

An employee was fired after liking and sharing her boyfriend’s post on social media which made a series of claims against the owner of the student bar where she had worked, an employment tribunal heard.

The post alleged that the owner had tried to kiss female staff, asking one for a ‘threesome’ and that he had ‘creeped’ on underage girls at the bar. The employee was dismissed for liking and sharing her boyfriend’s post on 2 social media platforms – despite deleting it hours later and apologising.

The post, which was written after the boyfriend had left employment in the same bar, read:

‘a messed up place. I’ve worked there over a year until tonight.

‘The owner is a creepy and wildly inappropriate man.

‘He has made countless creepy comments to most of the female staff including asking a member of staff who still works there if he could have a threesome with her.

‘He came in drinking one night and tried to kiss a member of staff, she had to stop him 3 times before he finally f***ed off.

‘These are just a couple of the many times he’s acted like this with staff.’

The employee who shared and liked the post was invited to a disciplinary meeting, during which managers accused her of supporting defamatory statements made about the bar. The employee argued that she was in fact supporting allegations made against the owner, and said she wished to make a complaint about his behaviour.

At the end of the meeting she was suspended and no investigation into her complaints was carried out.

However, she was dismissed for gross misconduct just six days after sharing the Facebook post as it was claimed that her actions were ‘detrimental to our business’.

The Employment Judge ruled that this was unfair as her behaviour fell below the threshold of detrimental actions, especially seeing as there was no social media policy in place.

Her claims of unfair dismissal succeeded, and a remedy hearing has now been arranged to decide upon how much compensation.

If you have any concerns about the strength of your social media policy, contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk.

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