Our employment law colleagues blog on another employment law decision relating to the use of social media by an employee. Appears to protect an employee’s right to privacy when using social media.

Brodies Employment Blog

The recent case of  Smith v Trafford Housing Trust illustrates the extent to which an employee’s posting on Facebook can impact upon their job.

Mr Smith was demoted after he had been found guilty of gross misconduct for posting comments on Facebook opposing ‘Gay Church marriages’, describing them as ‘equality too far’. The Trust believed this amounted to gross misconduct because:

• an employee had been deeply offended;

• Mr Smith’s Facebook wall disclosed that he was a manger of the Trust;

• the terms of the Code of Conduct and Equal Opportunities policy had been breached; and

• as a manager Mr Smith had failed to uphold the Trust’s policies.

Mr Smith suffered a 40% salary cut and brought a claim for breach of contract. The High Court held that Mr Smith’s demotion and resulting reduction in salary amounted to a serious and repudiatory breach of contract. He was…

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