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Insult your boss on Facebook, and then take them to court!

facebookI blogged recently about candidates ruining their chances of securing a role due to their actions on social networking sites – namely Facebook. We have also heard about employees being fired due to their comments on social networking sites. But now it seems that the tables are turning and employees are fighting back. But is this right?
On a long train journey yesterday I picked up a copy of the Metro and read a story about a paramedic in the US that is taking her previous employer to court. Why? Because she was fired for criticising her boss on Facebook. The individual in question posted a series of rude comments about her manager, culminating in her dismissal once the organisation got wind of it.

So why is this case different from other claims that employees have been wrongly dismissed due to their actions on social media sites? For the first time the employee is being supported by the National Labour Relations Board (an agency created by Congress) who believe that comments on Facebook are a private matter.

We will have to wait and see the outcome of this case, but if the former employee wins it will certainly change things. What I wonder though is why it has even got to this stage? Why do people not understand that what they post in the public domain really is public – for all to see? Time and again we read stories of people posting negative comments – it’s not a secret, everyone knows about it but yet it still happens. If an individual chooses to vent their frustration for all to see then surely they should pay – whether this is a warning or actually losing their position? We all experience frustration at work and in our personal lives, and I’m sure we have all said something we have regretted but to say it is one thing, writing it in the Cloud for all to see is, in my opinion, plain stupid!

What’s your view? Should individuals be allowed to simply insult their organisation and then take them to court over it, and should Governmental bodies be supporting them?

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1 thought on “Insult your boss on Facebook, and then take them to court!”

  1. I think that if you’re part of an organisation, you become a representative of that business by default. If you choose to combine your work and private life online, then you have to be more careful about your personal online profile, as it will affect the business.

    Moreover, if you bring your organisation into disrepute by, for want of a better phrase, ‘slagging it off’ on Facebook or Twitter, then you’re not performing an essential function of your role within the company and can no longer be considered a credible member of the team.

    As Steph said, everybody has their bad days and frustrations, but the place to vent these is in private with trusted friends and family, not in public, to colleagues and especially not on the internet where mud really does stick.

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