Social Media – When can you sack someone? Never?

There is an interesting decision from Fair Work Australia regarding an employee who had, allegedly, engaged in 3,000 email “chats” over a three month period.  His employer terminated the employee because of the “lost productivity” associated with the time spent “chatting” but, when the case got to Fair Work Australia, the tribunal decided the employer was “out of bounds” and ordered the employee’s reinstatement.

The report from the tribunal was detailed in The Age.

Makes for interesting reading for employers and calls in to question employers’ rights regarding the application of their employees to the task at hand and for which they are being paid.

Note that this issue is a vexed one in that we don’t want to create “sweatshops” where our people are flogged to within an inch of their lives, but what is “fair and reasonable” for both parties when it comes to the use of social media in a work environment?

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