Big Brother May be Watching You!
Personal comments are often posted with little thought as to the eventual audience. It is prudent therefore to think twice before posting that derogatory comment about a work colleague or your employer as it may lead to disciplinary action or at worst dismissal; particularly if the comment was posted during working hours!
The danger of indiscreet remarks posted on social networking sights was highlighted in the recent decision in Adams v Wellington Free Ambulance Service Incorporated. Ms Adams had been dismissed from her employment, following a dispute with a co-worker that spilled over into Facebook.
Ms Adams was found to have been unjustifiably dismissed, due to errors on the part of the employer in relation to the evidence that it considered in making the decision to dismiss her. However, her award was reduced by a total of 60% due to her contribution to the situation in which she found herself, and subsequently discovered misconduct on her part. With regard to the Facebook entries and in declining Ms Adams’ application for reinstatement, the Authority Member commented “Also significant is Ms Adams’ failure to understand that her interactions on Facebook were legitimate areas of concern for her employer… An employer is entitled (and indeed obliged if the issue relates to workers’ health and safety) to investigate problems between co-workers, even if the problems occur outside of work, especially if the genesis of those problems is the workplace. This is because such problems can clearly affect relationships in the workplace, which the employer is in control of and responsible for…”.
If you have encountered problems in the workplace, either as an employer or employee, please contact Helen Wendelborn or Michael Robinson of this office. We would be pleased to give you some practical advice on how to proceed.
“I have struggled with different legal firms over the years, but over the past few years I have engaged with Turner Hopkins with various requirements from personal relating to wills, family trust, property settlements and contracts through to commercial engagements including employment advice, commercial lease agreements and general legal advice. I have engaged with a number of the people in the firm and always found them professional, punctual in their responses and very sound in the advice provided.”
“To Michael Robinson – I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for many years of excellent service to the Bank. You have an outstanding business that has proved to be one of the most reliable and ethical businesses that Collections have dealt with in the almost 9 years I was with the Bank.”
“Joy, we cannot thank you enough for your help with our purchase! You have been wonderful to deal with and so proactive (and patient with my numerous emails). We will be visiting NZ in April so will make sure we drop in to thank you in person.”
“I have used Turner Hopkins for my legal services for over eight years. I have always found their level of service excellent and their work to a very high standard. I have used various lawyers at their firm for various businesses I have been involved with and have always had very positive experiences. I would highly recommend them.”
“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.”