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The opportunities for employees to harm their employers’ reputations through social media are almost infinite. Employers have struggled to keep up with the fast moving Internet feast, and in maintaining a clear line between what an employee can do in their own time, and the impact on their employment.
Uber is a poster child for this revolution in the way we engage with services on the go. It puts freelance drivers in touch directly with customers who want a ride. It’s disruptive to the incumbent players and it’s refreshing. But the success of the Uber business model hinges on a potentially unstable premise – that the drivers are not employed by Uber.
Dundas Street Employment Lawyers partner Blair Scotland said most employers now had clauses in contracts saying an employee must undergo a random drug test if required.
Employees saying dumb stuff on social media is no longer just a cause for personal embarrassment – it can also have serious employment consequences.
Savvy employers are now seeking to implement more specific non-dealing clauses to restrict employees’ social media activity, for example preventing an employee from sending out updates to their social media contacts or changing their employment status on social media for a certain number of months after the employment ends.
Ensuring that a restraint of trade clause is worded appropriately is critical for any employer or contracting company. When push comes to shove and it needs to be relied on, the employer or principal needs to show that it was reasonable at the time it was entered into. Getting that right is more complex than it sounds.
It seems that every punter has thrown their hat in the ring and voiced an opinion as to whether Key’s conduct amounts to bullying, sexual harassment, harmless fun, or just weird, creepy and childish behaviour that is unbecoming of someone in his role.
The Campbell Live saga may seem a world away from most workplace restructures, but the reality is that the cut-throat environment of commercial television is not too different from any other business.
There is a delicate balance between the human rights and privacy interests of individuals, and the right of employers to understand what, if any, risk an employee presents.
In the past year a disturbing trend has emerged of employees having a crack at their former employers, despite agreeing to confidential and full and final settlements.