Thursday, January 19, 2012

Facebook can also bite employers

It appears that it is not only employees that may find Facebook  causing problems in an employment relationship.  A recent Employment Relations Authority decision (Kloeten v Combined Tanning Supplies Ltd [2012] NZERA Auckland 9) indicated that facebook comments may prove counter-productive when defending an allegation of unjustified dismissal.  In this case  the dismissal (by the employee's aunt) shortly after the employee announced she was about to take maternity leave was held to be unjustified.  The employer had claimed the dismissal was for serious misconduct.  The employer's case was not helped by her Facebook status change to  A catastrophic event … is watching everything you’ve worked for, your entire networth, the thing that defines you as who you are & the hopes & dreams you had … all gone which was posted the same evening as the employee announced she was taking maternity leave.  The alleged misconduct, which the Authority did not accept had ocurred, happened a few days later