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Fair Work Commission – Social Media Posts

Fair Work Commission – Background

The Fair Work Commission found an employee dismissal to be unfair. Mr Somogyi was dismissed because of vulgar social media misconduct. However, a fair dismissal procedure must be followed by employers.

Fair Work Commission – Facts

In essence:

  • Somogyi was employed as a merchandiser at LED Technologies Pty Ltd
  • on 24 August 2015, he posted on Facebook: “I don’t have time for people’s arrogance. And your not always right! Your position is useless, you don’t do anything all day how much of the bosses c*** did you suck to get where you are?”
  • the post was seen by several of Mr Somogyi’s colleagues before he removed it after five minutes
  • his employer dismissed Mr Somogyi in a sixty second telephone call. The employee was told: “it doesn’t matter. You’re fired”
  • the employer failed to provide the employee an opportunity to explain his conduct
  • furthermore, the employer mistakenly interpreted that the post was referring to employees of LED Technologies Pty Ltd
  • Continue reading…

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Employment Law – Protecting Company Connections

Employment Law – Background

Employers can take pre-employment steps to safeguard intellectual and commercial property such as company information or Linkedin connections. Furthermore, HR needs to establish a compliance framework for employee conduct, expectations and obligations.

In addition, an ex-employee’s Linkedin connections are ‘unlikely’ to be defined as trade secrets belonging to the former employer.

Employment Law – Tips for Employers

Our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team recommends employers:

  • insert key restraint of trade provisions. These should explicitly refer to the use of social media connections
  • include restrictive terms for the post-employment period. For instance, restricting the use of social media to publish or share content
  • obtain a list of the employee’s current social media connections
  • include terms which provide that connections gained during the course of employment are the property of the employer
  • creating appropriate social media policies and guidelines. These should cover the course of employment and post-employment.
  • train employees to ensure understanding of obligations
  • Continue reading…