An employer has been ordered to pay more than $28,000 in compensation to an employee who was held to have been unfairly dismissed over a social media incident. The case (Clint Remmert v Broken Hill Operations) involved an employee who posted comments on Facebook mocking a supervisor. Although the comments were made outside of work and did not name the supervisor, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) found that there was a ‘relevant and sufficient connection’ between the online bullying and his employment. Despite this, the FWC ultimately found that the dismissal was unfair, in part because the employer did not have a clear social media policy. The FWC pointed out that the employee had not knowingly breached a social media policy, and that it was not made clear to the employee how the business’ code of conduct applied to social media posts outside the workplace. This decision serves as a reminder to employers of the importance of having a comprehensive social media policy, which is effectively communicated to employees. Lawyers at M+E can assist you with developing adequate policies and procedures.


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