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I have an employee who has been slagging off the company on Facebook. I am worried it is damaging the business. Can I take action against them?
Yes, the last thing you want is for employees to vent their feelings in public via social media. This could really make you look bad and might mean you lose customers, the respect of your staff and suppliers. Staff members might also be badly affected by the statements. These are things you can take very seriously.
The key is the company’s social media policy. The policy should make it clear what types of statement would be deemed to be gross misconduct. Generally these will be statements that bring the company into disrepute, disclose confidential information or are just plain embarrassing.
To decide whether to progress to a disciplinary you need to look at the nature of the breach of the policy and then decide whether it has a negative impact on the business. You will need to look at how serious the comments are, the subject matter and how they were made online. You then need to assess the impact they will have on your reputation.
You need to think about whether it's worth making a claim against the employee or ex employee for any loss that you have been caused by their behaviour.