The Northern Ireland industrial tribunal has held that the dismissal of an employee for making vulgar comments about the promiscuity of a female colleague on his Facebook page was reasonable in the circumstances and was therefore fair. Although the comments did not bring the employer's reputation into serious disrepute, the harassment of a colleague was sufficiently serious on its own to justify the dismissal of the employee for gross misconduct. Furthermore, having made his comments public, the employee had no reasonable expectation of privacy for the purposes of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The decision adds to the emerging case law on misconduct dismissals involving social media. (Teggart v TeleTech UK Limited NIIT 007904/11.)