Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I be fired for comments made regarding a fellow employee on a social media site?

If the decision by Fair Work Australia in O’Keefe v William Muir’s Pty Ltd T/A Troy Williams The Good Guys [2011] FWA 5311 is any indication, then yes, an employee may be liable for comments made on a social network site, in the privacy of their own homes, and outside of work hours.

In O’Keefe v William Muir’s Pty Ltd T/A Troy Williams The Good Guys, the main point of contention during the hearing was focused on whether the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, in accordance to the legislation.

Finding for the employer, Fair Work Australia in their judgment alluded to the fact that there were still channels in which the applicant was able to use if he had any issues regarding pay, which included the appropriate internal processes. Furthermore, the applicant also had the option of raising any concerns with the Fair Work Ombudsman, but instead, the employee chose to vent his frustrations on a social networking site where his comments were able to be viewed by fellow co-workers, which ultimately resulted in his dismissal.

 



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