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Facebook Bullying Grounds for Dismissal

BullyingA postal clerk in Canada was dismissed from her job in May after her employer discovered Facebook posts she had written that were described as contemptuous, undermining managerial authority, and so harmful to her managers that they needed to take time off work to seek medical care and ease their emotional distress.

The employee stated that she had believed her posts were private and that her toxic work environment was the reason she needed to vent on Facebook. The arbitrator of the case ruled that due to the content of the posts and the effect they had on her managers, the termination of the employee was justified.

This case brought to life an interesting dynamic of the modern workplace: Because of social media, workplace relationships, and sometimes workplace bullying, don’t solely occur at work anymore. After work, employees can still log on to social media sites and harass co-workers or managers, or post hostile things about them.

At a minimum, workplace bullying affects safety, productivity, trust and the workplace culture. Being bullied not only puts a huge emotional strain on someone, but in turn could put a financial strain on the company due to unhappy or less-productive employees.

There has been an increase in court cases pertaining to social media and its influence on the workplace, and the number is projected to get higher. This case demonstrates how an employee can be justly terminated for posting offensive content—more serious than just a normal negative critique—about his or her company, manager or co-workers on social media sites.



© 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


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