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Off the clock social media: is the training in place?

27 September 2013 | 12:02 am

ban social mediaDespite so much press coverage about employees being fired for actions and comments made on social media, it seems that the message is not getting through to many. Employees, even when posting from the privacy of their own homes, on their own time can come a cropper.

Recently an Australian employee was dismissed when he posted a crude and threatening Facebook rant on his home computer outside of business hours. The employee posted he “wonders how the f**k work can be so f**king useless and mess up my pay again. C**ts are going down tomorrow”.

The employee thought it was enough to block the person who manages the wages from receiving the post. Yet he didn’t consider that 11 other members of staff also received the post and this constituted a breach of the company's employee regulations.

In another incident an employee of a call centre posted derogatory sexual comments about a female colleague from his home computer. Unfortunately for him another colleague complained to his manager and he was fired for violation of the company’s Dignity at Work Policy which states that harassment of employees during working or non-working hours and whether on or off the company’s premises could be a breach of the policy and could potentially lead to dismissal of the employee responsible.

Reading about these cases and the many more out there, one wonders whether there is enough training and education from employers suitable to keep up with the increasing use of social media in everyday lives. Have companies simply changed working practices without fully briefing the people they employ on what is regarded of acceptable behaviour both on and off the clock.