Employer not liable for online comments
A Queensland Judge recently concluded that a manager’s derogatory comments about an employee on her personal Facebook page did not constitute a breach by the company or bullying.
The Facebook comments included things like ‘oxygen thief’ and ‘difficult to soar with the eagles when surrounded by turkeys’.
The court found no evidence to suggest the company knew of or encouraged such behaviour, and acted immediately to have the comments withdrawn when it became aware of them, and reprimanded the manager.
The worker had alleged psychiatric and physical injuries, and lodged a claim totalling $570,000 against the company.
The court referred to the Deatons Pty Ltd High Court precedent case to support the decision that the manager’s Facebook comments were not in the course of, or connected to her employment.
This case highlights the importance of having effective policies on social media and code of conduct for employees and promptly acting on breaches.