Your employees are talking about you whether you like it or not. We’ve all heard stories of employees posting inappropriate content on Facebook and Twitter then got themselves fired.
INDUSTRIAL COURT OF MALAYSIA
ROSLAN BIN AYOB
PARKROYAL PENANG RESORT
- Roslan working as Chef de Partie at Parkroyal Penang Resort (“Employer”).
- Roslan also held the position of Secretary of the House Committee of the National Union of Hotel, Bar & Restaurant Workers, Peninsular Malaysia (“Union”).
- On March 6, 2015, F&B Captain En. Faisal complain to Roslan that he was assigned a haphazard work schedule which was in breach of the collective agreement between employer and the union.
- F&B captain En. Faisal passed away later that day before the Roslan could raise the complaint with the management.
- Roslan posted comments on Facebook that company viewed as blaming F&B Captain’s Manager for causing tremendous emotional pressure on the deceased, and instigating others to believe that the Manager was responsible for the F&B Captain’s death.
- A domestic inquiry was held, and Roslan was found guilty of misconduct. Roslan was terminated and filed a complaint of unfair dismissal.
FIND OF THE COURT
The Court dismissed the claim of unfair dismissal. In reaching its conclusion, the Court considered the following:
- Since Roslan’s Facebook comments, other employees were passing unwanted and hurtful remarks against the manager.
- After the Facebook comments were posted, the Manager received several telephone calls accusing him of being responsible for the death of the deceased. The callers used words like “pembunuh (murderer), torturer, lelaki kejam (cruel man)”. The Manager feared for his life and had to lodge a police report.
- Roslan was advised by the owner of the Facebook page where he posted the comments, not to make such provocative comments. Despite this advice, Roslan persisted to make the Facebook comments.
- Roslan admitted during his testimony that he did not know that it was not the Manager who prepared the work schedule of the deceased. As such, without knowing the truth, he made comments against the Manager which drew the anger of other employees.
From the case study above, we could see Roslan acting on his emotions bring harm to innocent person and bring disharmony to the workplace via social media.
As employee, you may use social media to express your personal views but is good to be wise on choice of words and prevent any possibility of causing disharmony in the workplace.
On the other hand, employers should not take this case as a right to automatically terminate employees for expressing views or grievances on social media. Employers still have a legal duty to ensure that any disciplinary action is proportionate to the misconduct committed and the effect on the company.
Wish to learn more on how to handle disciplinary action or misconduct?
Read more about Domestic Inquiry in our blog:
6 Steps of Domestic Inquiry to avoid unfair dismissal
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