Facebook sacking upheld by Fair Work Australia

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The growth in the use of social media continues to present difficulties for employers in managing their employees' social media activities. This is especially the case when managing reputational damage that may be caused by an employee’s social media activities outside of working hours. In a well publicised decision, Fair Work Australia has recently upheld an employer’s decision to dismiss a retail worker for his facebook tirade.

What happened?

In this case, the employee had worked for a large retail chain for more than three years. From 1 January 2010, the employee’s role changed so that he worked under a different commission structure. For three periods of around four weeks between January and May 2010, the employer did not pay the employee his correct commissions. On the first two occasions, the non-payment was rectified. However, after exchanging emails with the operations manager who was responsible for paying commissions, and having discussions with her, the employee became frustrated in relation to the third occasion for which the non-payment had not been rectified. One night at home, the employee posted a facebook status update reading...

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