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Can you dismiss an employee for bad comments on social media?

by , 08 November 2015
According to Fin24, an attorney makes it clear that a defamatory statement by one of your employees can hold them accountable.

According to specialist attorney, Russel Luck, an employee who expresses herself on social media may, under South African law, be subject to damage claims and even dismissal.

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He went on to state that, if an employee is dismissed for saying damaging things on social media, she can't get her job back as the legal relationship between employer and employee is one based on good faith.

"An employee-employer relationship is based on uberrima fides the utmost good faith. Where the trust relationship is broken, the employee may be dismissed. If the dismissal was found to be wrongful, the employee cannot ask for their job back and force the employer to re-employ them. They can get the employer to pay damages to them," he said.

But all this is not necessarily absolute. For example, if an employee was to hop onto his computer and shed light on a truth, regarding a rather serious matter, within your company, regardless of the negative image it lays upon it, then the he'll be protected under the Protected Disclosures Act.

Nevertheless, employees should be careful as to what they say about you and your company on social media – lest they be held accountable for theirbad comments.

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