WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
derisive of the company or employees of the company but are generally offensive remarks that may or may not be racist or amount to hate speech. Such conduct, at best, amounts to off-duty misconduct.
What an employee does after work generally falls outside the scope of the employment relationship and, accordingly, the employer has no right to discipline an employee for this conduct. However, if it can be shown that there is a link between this conduct and the employer’s business, an employer may be entitled to discipline the employee.
Misconduct on social media takes “off-duty” misconduct to a new level. Social media posts are both written and, more often than not, published to a wide or potentially wide audience. Therefore the potential for brand damage or workplace tension is significantly higher.
The inevitable question is whether an unsavoury post or tweet constitutes a fair reason to dismiss an employee. To answer this it must be determined if the conduct of the employee on social media caused damage or had the potential to cause damage to the employer’s good name and reputation and if the conduct of the employee impacted negatively or had the potential to impact negatively on the workplace. Where this is found