I just read an interesting article entitled "Leave Workplace Issues off Facebook" in the career section of the Apr 18, 2012 Ottawa Sun.
It is abt an employee who, while on maternity leave, posted a message on her colleague's Facebook and accused the latter of stealing her job and the employer of sexual harassment/discrimination, etc. She was fired and subsequently lost her appeal to the Ontario Employment Standard Tribunal.
Based on the conclusions of the Tribunal as reported by the Sun, two lessons can be learnt from this case:
1. An employee can still be fired if his/her conduct outside of her workplace and work hours (in this case on Facebook, during her "private" time while on maternal leave) is deemed inappropriate.
2. Freedom of speech has limits and consequences. The Tribunal sided with the employer's decision to terminate the woman's employment with just cause and concluded that the employee ".... attempted to bully other employees and was hostile and intimidating in her dealing with them .... and generally 'bad mouthed' her employer on a website ... etc"
I still recall reading on the news several weeks ago abt some companies requesting access to potential employees' personal Facebook accounts to presumably evaluate their characters. While you can refuse the request as a job applicant (and equally the company can refuse offering you a job), but once you are hired as a worker, your duty to your employer is now extended to go beyond your workplace and work hours.
Thus: If you have a beef, arrange a meeting with your employer and talk it out. Try leaving workplace issues off Facebook and other social networks, or be prepared to face the consequences.
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