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Social media and employee termination

Terminating an employee over inappropriate social media use may seem like appropriate action; however, employers need to be mindful of the legal minefields that can occur if the termination is unfair.

Social media blurs the boundaries between public and private, and employers are often worried that an employee’s “private” posts on social media can have a negative impact on their business. It is no surprise that the Fair Work Commission has had to rule the lawfulness of an employer terminating an employee’s employment over a “private” post on social media.

A social media policy should be implemented to provide employees with guidelines on what is (and is not) considered appropriate use of social media. Social media policies are the best way hold employees accountable for their social media conduct and can help protect employers from legal claims such as unfair dismissal.

Here are three things employers need to keep in mind when deciding whether to terminate an employee over a social media post:

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