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Facebook sacking deemed ‘illegal’

Businesses who sack staff for comments posted on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter could be acting illegally and abusing their power, according to lawyer Steven Penning.

Following reports that the NSW Department of Corrective Services threatened to sack prison officers over Facebook posts, Penning has said that businesses are in the wrong, as employment contracts are unlikely to cover the use of social networking sites, and it exceeds their powers as a boss.

What employers are doing is they’re scrambling and trying to make out that present policies can be stretched to cover these new areas, and in many respects they can’t.”

Penning believes that if bosses want to limit their employees use of social networking sites, it needs to be implicitly stated in employment contracts and business policies.

“The first thing that needs to be done is a thorough audit of all of their policies, employment agreements and contracts to determine if those documents refer at all to social networking controls and social networking obligations, and that’s the first step.”

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Jessica Stanic

Jessica Stanic

Jessica has a background in both marketing and journalism and is dedicated to making the website the leading online resource for small to medium businesses with ambitions to grow.

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