The first case involving a dismissal for comments published on Twitter has made the EAT. In this case, the employee had a personal account not linked to his employer Game Retail Ltd but was followed by about 35 stores. He made offensive comments that were not work related but a fellow manager complained to the employer. At first instance the Tribunal found the dismissal to be unfair but the employee contributed 40% to his own dismissal.
The EAT found that the Tribunal had erred by either substituting its view, reached conclusions inconsistent with its findings, failed to take account of relevant matters or was simply perverse. The EAT found that such a dismissal could be potentially fair but remitted it back to a new Tribunal to consider the range of reasonable responses test.
The EAT said that the Judge had failed to consider the public nature of Twitter but it declined to lay down guidelines for consideration in social media cases. You can read the full Judgment here. As the use of social media continues to grow it is likely that we will start to see more cases concerning social media. We have already seen unreported cases concerning the use of Facebook and heard stories in the media about people being dismissed due to comments on the same.