In the recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case of British Waterways Board v Smith
the employee posted comments on his Facebook page criticising his employer and managers as well as alleging that two years before he had been drinking whilst on standby (against Company rules).
Upon reading the comments on his Facebook page the employer commenced disciplinary action against the employee. During the investigation the employee alleged that the comments were false and simply ‘banter’. Notwithstanding this the employee was dismissed for gross misconduct as the comments had undermined the trust the employer had in him.
The EAT held the dismissal to be fair in all the circumstances.
This case shows yet again the risks to employees of commenting about their work on social media and the potentially extreme consequences of comments made on Facebook and similar sites even when those comments are made whilst at home. If you have any queries about social media in the workplace please do not hesitate to contact Gary Smith on 01279 712576 or via email.