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Do I have to answer to my employers about comments I made on Facebook concerning the company I work for.

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RATTER15 | 17:57 Mon 12th Sep 2011 | Civil
65 Answers
I have made a few disparaging comments on facebook about the home I work in, I havent named the company that I work for or the name of the Home or any person. A few other staff have also made similar comments.

Today the Manager called in one of the staff members concerned and she was questioned about these comments and was made to make a statement.

The comments were made whilst off duty and on our own personal PC's.

Are we bound to answer any of these questions in this investigation about what was said on Facebook.

What is our legal position with all this, I will be leaving this employ as soon as I find another job.


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I think you'll be leaving quicker than that!
Question Author
Wrangler, and that is based on?
Just going to say that too!
I can't see what they can do if you haven't named names.
Question Author
Thats what I thought ummmm, im just not sure about the legalities, I imagine they will want a statement from me tomorrow!

What is my position if I refuse to answer their questions?
i'd also remind them that you can sue for unfair dismissal/constructive dismissal etc if they try to bully you. as you have not mentioned names, you have not broken confidentiality, nor brought the company into disrepute. i'd be interested to know what they reckon they can get away with....after all, anonymous comments in your private life. oh, and tell them to get stuffed until you can get a union rep to go with you. good luck - i'll be thinking of you x
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I have made these remarks out of anger at some of the new staff that have been employed and other issues of abuse that have been raised but ignored by my manager. The Manager is new and totally incompetent!!

I will take this through the proper authorities if I need to.
Question Author
ICG, my employers wont lift a finger or say a word without consulting "Mentor" they are their solicitors and advisor's, every question asked will be put by Mentor. So I need to be a little careful, also they have not even suggested that I remove the posting.
If you have to make a statement, Ratter, first check your contract as to what they have written, if anything, about confidentiality. If that is clear:

"I have made comments of Facebook about working in a home. I did this in my own time, on my own PC and have never mentioned the location and/or employees with whom I worked. I believe my comments to be an accurate reflection of what I have seen and heard and would welcome an inquiry, held by an independent auditor appointed by the directors of the Company to verify what I have seen and make proposals for the change of care and performance to the benefit of all, care clients, staff, management and shareholders.

Having read my contract and taken counsel as to my right of such expression, I believe that I am fully in my rights and any action deemed to undermine confidence in my employment with the Company may necessitate appropriate counsel with my lawyers."

Modify the text according to the confidentiality clause and if you have the contract with you, it would be useful for you to let us "see" that.....
If you are a member of Unison Ratters, get first class advise from them, I am going through something on the same line! the person in Question is an evil bitch, but as you know, the care service is full of brownie pointers.
I assume your friends and relatives know who you work for though - those able to read your facebook page.
Negative comments about other staff may be seen as bullying.
Really bringing your company into disrepute on FaceBook is never a good idea.
No company name here:

Question Author
Thanks all, I have not mentioned any other staff members but a few have commented on my behalf.

I will have a look at my contract and see what it says.
I would refuse to answer anything - it is private end of, you havent slandered anyone if you havent names names...they have to prove you wrote these 'comments' too, you could have had your FB hacked for example...deny everything...admit nothing. If they do question you just act dumb and answer 'no comment' ...
As you mabey aware, you address person by Initial within the job, I hope you have not done that on F.B.?
Question Author
TWR, Im not sure what you mean, I have not pointed the finger at anybody but obviously my manager will know im talking about her.
Ratter can you not simply deleted any comments from your FB page relating to this ??
Ratter, yes you are accountable for comments made on FB in your own time. One of my colleagues (not one I work with, but elsewhere in my organisation) made some comments (in her own time and from her home computer) about her employment and the quality of work she was facing her job, and the pay - she was severely reprimanded as "bringing the organisation into disrepute". She too didn't name names, but she was well known enough that everyone who saw her FB page knew exactly what she meant.

You can seek independent advice from ACAS, if you Google ACAS helpline they are indeed impartial and helpful.
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Purple Popple, I can delete it, yes, however they havent even suggest that I do so.
OK, but to err on the side of caution do you feel you should delete them, depends how worried you feel about this..
If they are evidence, you can bet that someone will already have done a screen dump...

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