Dismissal for Tweets from private account may be fair
In Game Retail Ltd v Laws 2014 the Employment Tribunal considered whether an employee’s posting of offensive Tweets on a personal Twitter Account in the employee’s own time was fair. The Employment Tribunal considered the dismissal was not fair. The employer appealed and the Employment Appeal Tribunal stated the employment Judge had erred in substituting his view for that of the reasonable employer. In unfair dismissal claims the tribunal has to consider whether the employer acted reasonably in treating the reason for dismissal as sufficient for dismissal. This is called the range of reasonable responses test. The Employment Appeal Tribunal remitted the case to a new Employment Tribunal to make a decision on the range of reasonable responses test.
It may be that on the facts it is fair to dismiss an employee for posting offensive tweets on a personal Twitter account in the employee’s own time. Employers should review their social media policies.
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