By Rizelle Botha
Improper comments on social media. When is a dismissal justified?
The abovementioned question is discussed with reference to the case Hanniker/One and Only Cape Town (Pty) Ltd – 26 CCMA 8.37.9 also reported at (2017) 11 BALR 1191 (CCMA).
The commissioner found in this matter that dismissal was fair because the employee posted negative and destructive statements on Facebook about the employer’s security manager – a co-worker. The statements were also in violation of the employer’s policy and the employee initially denied that she posted the statements.
The commissioner found that although the statements had not yet caused damage to the hotel’s name, the potential for damage existed and that the statements might have been shared widely on the social media platform.
Employees must be very careful wat they post on social media, including posts about their employer or colleagues. Negative statements could be in violation of the employer’s policy and disciplinary code, which could lead to dismissal.