When an employee posts defamatory comments on social media in his/her personal capacity, either during or outside of the employer’s working hours, using either his/her private or company resources, the employer has the right to discipline the employee as it has a prejudicial effect on the employment relationship.

However, the employer must ensure that it affords the employee the right to make representations as to whether he/ she is guilty or not and what the appropriate disciplinary sanction should be, before the employer make or imposes any findings in this regard. It should also be noted that any sanction taken by an employer against an employee, based on the above principles, does not need to be grounded in an existing social media or other policy that prevents the employee from making posts.

Based on the above, the employer may have sufficient grounds to justify dismissing the employee.


For further information you can contact Bernard Reisner:
W. Tel: 021 423 3959
Fax: 021 423 2105
Cell: 082 433 3959
Email: bernard@capelabour.co.za