BlandsLaw - Blog posts from Social Media
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Social media offers enormous business potential but can quickly become a headache for employers if it is misused by employees. A recent FWC decision includes the action of ‘unfriending’ a work colleague on Facebook as unreasonable conduct by an employee.

Facts

In a recent FWC case[1] a bullying application was brought by a property consultant who alleged multiple incidents of bullying behaviour. The issues were primarily between the property consultant and the sales administrator. The behaviour complained of included repeated conduct designed to leave out, humiliate and belittle the property consultant. This variously involved delaying administrative work for the consultant, ignoring her and other inappropriate behaviour.

The Facebook component, which has garnered media notoriety, occurred after the sales administrator attempted to block the complainant leaving a meeting room and likened her to a ‘naughty little school girl’. She then took to Facebook and unfriended the property consultant removing her from her list of Facebook contacts. This latter action was just one aspect within a larger pattern of repeated bullying

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Social media is an emerging and dynamic phenomenon, and consequently social media law is continually being revised. At its intersection with employment law, there are a number of undecided issues including those around non-solicitation, and the use of social media accounts and contacts post-termination. What happens if an employee uses their LinkedIn account to seek business, and sends an ‘invitation’ to all their contacts including their former employer’s clients?

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