Facebook abuse could cost bullies their jobs

Company was right to sack an employee for posting a derogatory comment about a female colleague on Facebook

Posting comments about colleagues on social networking sites could lose cyber bullies their jobs.

A tribunal in Belfast has upheld a company’s decision to sack an employee for gross misconduct after he posted a lewd comment about a female colleague on Facebook.

In the case of Teggart v TeleTech UK Limited, the tribunal rejected Teggart’s argument that his human rights had been broached, maintaining that online abuse is a matter for employers.

The tribunal found that Facebook comments posted by Teggart, insinuating his co-worker had been promiscuous, amounted to sexual harassment.

‘When Teggart put his comments on his Facebook pages, to which members of the public could have access, he abandoned any right to consider his comments as being private,’ says the tribunal.

Sending offensive email and tweeting or texting abuse to other colleagues outside of work could also result in employer involvement.

Many employers have already taken action against cyber bullying, drawing up policies to monitor acceptable conduct at work.

As social networking becomes more infiltrated in modern day communications, employees need to be aware of what they post online.

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