A Northern Ireland industrial tribunal has provided a useful example for employers of circumstances in which it can be fair to dismiss an employee for offensive comments made about a work colleague on Facebook.
In this case, an employee claimed that she had suffered discrimination on the ground of religion or belief when she was asked to remove from view a necklace that had religious connotations.
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In this unusual case, an employee was dismissed for offensive material on his computer despite the fact that his manager, who lied during the disciplinary process, had been aware of some of the material and even emailed him a pornographic video at work.
An increasing number of tribunal cases involve employees making work-related comments on Facebook. This case shows that derogatory comments will by no means always justify dismissal.
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