Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Refusal to Sign Social Media Policy Grounds for Dismissal

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Refusal to Sign Social Media Policy Grounds for Dismissal

Article excerpt

IN THE recent case of Pearson versus Linfox Australia Pty Ltd, the Fair Work Commission held that the employee's dismissal was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable, given the string of evidence relating to the employee's failure to follow company policies and procedures, including his resistance to signing the company social media policy.

The employee had a history of not following policy including failures to follow the company mobile phone policy, absenteeism and safe working procedures policy on different occasions. The final straw arose when the employee refused to sign the company's social media policy. The employee attended group training on the new company social media policy but failed to register his attendance at that training session. Consequently, he was then provided with further training in the form of a one-on-one session. At the conclusion of the session he refused to sign an acknowledgement that was to confirm that he had read and understood the policy.

He justified his refusal by saying the policy restrained his actions outside of work, which he considered a breach of his individual rights.

The commission rejected the employee's argument, noting:

"It is difficult to see how a social media policy designed to protect an employer's reputation and the security of the business could operate in an 'at work' context only. …

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