Game Retail Ltd v Laws UKEAT/0188/14/DA

Is it fair to be dismissed for sending offensive tweets not related to the Company from a private twitter account in your own time?

The claimant worked for the respondent as an investigator for fraud and theft and was responsible for 100 stores. He was dismissed after it was found that he tweeted offensive posts from his own private account.

 

The ET found the dismissal to be unfair because the claimant had not registered on Twitter as part of his job but principally in order to communicate with acquaintances outside work, using his own mobile phone and concerning matters that were nothing to do with work. Second, because the evidence was that he only engaged in tweeting the offensive material in his own time and not work time. Third, although the claimant did not dispute that some of the tweets were offensive, he did provide explanations for some of them.

The Employer appealed to the EAT which overturned the tribunal's finding. The claimant's argument that his twitter account was private could not stand as there were no restrictions on his account and some of his followers were other stores and therefore there was potential for any customers or other store employees to see his tweets and take offence at them or link them to the Company in some way.

The case was remitted to the ET to be heard by a different judge.

For full details of the case click here

 

Last modified on Monday, 26 January 2015 20:04
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