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Out-of-hours Employee Misconduct and Social Media Misuse

Out-of-hours Employee Misconduct and Social Media Misuse

Picture this. It is Monday morning and the phone rings.

You are told that over the weekend one of your employees, whilst a spectator at a sporting event, loudly heckled a star player.

Worse still, the employee then went on to initiate a ‘twitter war’ with the player, who happens to have over 2 million twitter followers.

You find out it is ‘all over the internet’ and the employee’s twitter account identifies him as your employee.

Well, a similar situation confronted an employer this year.

What if it happened to you? What action could you take? Read on to find out…

FWC gets gnarly with employer over sacking of web-surfing worker

FWC gets gnarly with employer over sacking of web-surfing worker

The Department of Defence found its workplace investigation of an IT worker and subsequent dismissal under fire from the Fair Work Commission.  

Despite relatively serious allegations of excessive personal internet use in the workplace, when the employer’s HR investigation was put under the FWC’s microscope a number of fundamental flaws were exposed.

An important lesson for any employer who wants to be able to stop employees whiling away their work hours surfing the internet. 

Two social media dismissals, two different FWC outcomes – why?

Two social media dismissals, two different FWC outcomes - why?

Social media misuse by employees continues to present unique challenges to employers.

Two recent dismissal cases demonstrate the delicate balance between an employer’s right to control the out of hours use of social media by employees and the communications about work related matters by employees on social media that are regarded as truly private.

Read on to understand the key differences between these two recent cases, and how their outcomes affect your next social media workplace investigation.

Employee ‘de-linked’ over social media misconduct on LinkedIn

Employee "delinked" over misconduct on LinkedIn

Once again employee social media misconduct has been highlighted by the Fair Work Commission, this time involving LinkedIn.

An employee with his own personal design business that was doing “work on the side”, used LinkedIn to contact his employer’s current and recent clients.

Find out what happened and why controlling employee social media use is so important…

Tweeting employee’s wings clipped by court


Social media use is not without risk, particularly where the employee/employer relationship is concerned.

Employees do not have open slather to say what they want about their employer especially online. However what one person may consider acceptable social media usage, another may not.

Some employees even have a skewed notion that publishing personal opinions on social media is somehow constitutionally protected ‘free political speech’.

Read on to find out what the court said about one employee’s twitter rants about her employer.

HR investigation fail over employee’s info disclosure to media

A far cry from our recent ‘Bart Simpson’ “I didn’t do it” article, this employee admitted from the outset that the alleged misconduct had occurred.

The employee’s inappropriate attempt to force senior management’s hand over unresolved workplace issues was a valid reason for the employee’s dismissal.

However what should have been a textbook workplace investigation instead ended up in blunder and a successful unfair dismissal claim. Read on to find out why …

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