Bizarre HR: Apple fires over negative Facebook comments
Fired on the account on "gross misconduct," the British government's Employment Tribunal said Apple had a formal and straightforward policy forbidding comments about its stores and company on Facebook.
The employee, only known as "Crisp", claimed the posts were tagged as private, only to have the tribunal rebut that even private comments on Facebook could be copied and shared.
And that was exactly what happened. A colleague who was Crisp's Facebook "friend" had copied the comments and alerted the Apple store manager to them.
Attorney Jamie Hamnett from Addleshaw Goddard LLP noted Apple "made it absolutely plain throughout the induction process that commentaries on Apple products, or critical remarks about the brand, were strictly prohibited".
One of the comments Crisp made, "Would be particularly damaging for Apple as image is so central to its success".
Hamnett also noted Crisp posted, "Apple successfully argued that it was justified and proportionate to limit this right (of posting) in order to protect its commercial reputation against potentially damaging posts".
She said this should serve as a warning for those who used social networks and that they ought to be aware of how posts and comments made can be easily and quickly passed on.
She reminded employers to have "a comprehensive social media policy that prohibits derogatory remarks about the business and its products on social networks".
In short, employees of Apple are allowed to post on the internet, but are forbidden to mention the company's itself or their employment at Apple.
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