What should an employer do if they find an employee’s Facebook post that’s critical of the business, fellow employees, or in someway potentially damaging.
According to WorkplaceInfo there are 5 steps to take before making the decision to terminate.
- Act on issues promptly when they occur
- Beware of forming a view about allegations prior to the conclusion of any investigation
- Consider whether the requisite connection or nexus between the conduct and the workplace/employment relationship is established before taking any disciplinary action
- Take into account the surrounding circumstances, including the employee’s length of service, previous performance or disciplinary issues, reasons given, and whether there was a clear policy in place at the time of the incident, and
- Beware of making a decision to terminate an employee before all relevant information has been gathered and considered.
The message here for employers is to make haste slowly. Instead of reacting, consider the consequences of being heavy-handed. A disproportionate response usually brings with it a concerted effort on the part of employees to avoid any form of surveillance. This might include de-friending the employer, manager, or other staff or, in the worst-case scenario, heavily restricting their privacy settings or blocking people they think could pose a threat.
It’s smarter for employers to take a more enlightened approach by letting people know that they know about the offending behaviour and working with them to address any issues that might give rise to posting negative comments on Facebook.