Social media employee dismissed fairly after making derogatory comments about employer on Facebook

An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case provides a useful reminder to businesses of the importance of maintaining an effective social media policy, and to employees of the importance of exercising caution when posting online.

The EAT held that it was fair to dismiss an employee that made derogatory comments about his employer on Facebook. It did not matter that the misconduct had taken place two years before dismissal or that the employer had been aware of the misconduct throughout that period. This case shows that an employer that has failed to respond to an employee’s earlier act of misconduct will not necessarily lose the opportunity to take action at a later date. The misconduct in this case predated the dismissal by two years and the employer had known about it for a considerable part of that time.