Be Careful with your Social Media

Be Careful with your Social Media

Careful Social Media

Employee with 17 years’ service and unblemished record is sacked over Facebook comments

A recent case has highlighted just how important it is to refrain from making unfavourable comments about your employer on social media.

Even though she had worked for API Microelectronics Limited for 17 years, and had no previous disciplinary record, Mrs Plant was still dismissed after she indicated on Facebook that she was opposed to a proposed move of premises. Her post read:

“PMSL bloody place I need to hurry up and sue them PMSL.”

The company’s decision to sack her was backed by an employment tribunal, which noted that the company had a rigorous social media policy. This policy gave examples of what would constitute unacceptable practice, and one of these examples was posting comments that could damage the company’s reputation. The policy also warned staff not to rely on Facebook’s privacy settings, and that any breaches of the social media policy could lead to dismissal.

Make sure you understand what your company’s social media policy is. You may find this in your contract of employment, or more likely, in an Employee Handbook or similar document that supplements your contract.

Some simple tips to ensure you don’t upset your employer via social media include:

  • TRY TO DELETE ANY OF YOUR OWN POSTS THAT SHOW YOU IN A BAD LIGHT
  • WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN TAGGED IN POTENTIALLY EMBARRASING PHOTOS BY OTHER PEOPLE, TRY TO GET YOURSELF UNTAGGED
  • IF YOU USE TWITTER, PIN A TWEET THAT SHOWS YOU IN A GOOD LIGHT AT THE TOP OF YOUR PROFILE
  • CONSIDER STARTING A BLOG THAT DEMONSTRATES YOU KNOW YOUR CHOSEN CAREER WELL, AND POST A LINK TO THIS BLOG ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
  • THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCEPTING FRIEND REQUESTS AND THE LIKE FROM YOUR COLLEAGUES, ESPECIALLY THOSE AT HIGHER LEVELS IN THE COMPANY. EVEN ACCEPTING REQUESTS FROM COLLEAGUES AT THE SAME LEVEL COULD CAUSE ISSUES IF THEY SUBSEQUENTLY GET PROMOTED ABOVE YOU
  • DON’T INCLUDE YOUR PLACE OF WORK ON YOUR PROFILE
  • POST DETAILS OF WORKPLACE ACHIEVEMENTS, BUT LEAVE OUT ANY GRIPES ABOUT YOUR EMPLOYER
  • IF YOU ARE OFFERED A NEW JOB, DON’T ANNOUNCE THE GOOD NEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA UNTIL ALL FORMALITIES HAVE BEEN COMPLETED WITH BOTH THE OLD AND NEW EMPLOYER
  • ABOVE ALL, NEVER UPDATE A PERSONAL PROFILE ON A SOCIAL MEDIA SITE WHILE AT WORK

Search For a Job