Smart businesses have a social media policy. But they don’t just have one, they monitor how their employees use social media and they take immediate action when there’s a breach.
In Miss Sally-Anne Fitzgerald v Dianna Smith T/A Escape Hair Design
 FWA 7358 Fair Work Australia Commissioner Bissett found that an employer’s termination of an employee was “harsh, unjust and unreasonable” and was ordered to pay $2340.48 less tax.
The employee was initially fired over a range of issues including posting to her Facebook profile: “Xmas ‘bonus’ along side a job warning, followed by no holiday pay!!! Whoooooo! The Hairdressing Industry rocks man!!! AWSOME!!! [sic]”
The Commissioner found that, while the Facebook post was “…a foolish outburst”, it was not detrimental to the business as it remained published for around two weeks and was only visible to the employee’s friends.
According to Kate Jenkins, a partner at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, “…if the employer had had a clear policy about appropriate use of social networking tools and acted promptly when she became aware of inappropriate comments, the employer’s position would have been different.”
It’s a timely reminder for employers to not only have a social media policy but take active steps to educate their employees about their obligations and to take action when a breach of their policy is identified.