". . . Simon and his team are extremely quick to respond . . ."
Game Retail Ltd v Laws | EAT | 2014
Mr Laws used a private twitter account to follow and monitor over 100 of Game Retail’s stores’ accounts. His role was risk and loss prevention investigator.
His account did not identify him as an employee of Game Retail but his account was followed by 65 of the stores. His account had no privacy restrictions set and his tweets were publicly available.
A manager reported tweets by Mr Laws to Game Retail and his account investigated. 28 of the tweets were considered offensive and Mr Laws was dismissed for gross misconduct. He was considered to have breached a policy which prohibited making offensive comments…or derogatory or stereotypical remarks.
Mr Laws largely accepted that the tweets in question were offensive but challenged that dismissal was a reasonable sanction. The employment tribunal concluded that dismissal as a sanction was unfair.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal concluded the employment tribunal decision could stand. The case has been sent back to be reconsidered but the EAT reached this decision:
- Despite the twitter being a personal account with no evident link to Mr Laws’ employment and that the tweets were posted in his own time.
- As it was possible actual damage could have been caused (even if none had in fact been caused) to its reputation given Mr Laws’ followed over 100 stores and around 65 followed him back.
The EAT refused to give general guidance but did comment that factors such as:-
- Whether the employer has an IT or social media policy;
- The nature or seriousness of comments made;
- Previous warnings; and
- Actual and potential damage
were all factors to be taken into account.
These are well known factors and are not unique.
Book a phone consultation
Apply for a FREE phone consultation with one of our employment law solicitors to discuss your case, how we can help and find out how much it is likely to cost.
Selected evening and weekend appointments available.
Tell us about your case
Our online form is the easy way to tell us about your case and employment details.
Short of time? Our ‘save and return’ feature lets you save your answers and complete the form later.
Reasons to Choose
Attention to attention
Speed of response
Becoming our client is a straightforward process. However, before choosing Quantrills as your employment law solicitors you’ll want to be completely sure we are the right people to help you achieve your objectives. Having looked at our web site, if you like our approach and would like to discuss how we can help you, getting started is easy.
At Quantrills we are flexible in how we work with you and how we progress your case...
01473 688 100Or request a call back
By Online Form
Latest Employer Knowledge Bank Articles
Use our knowledge bank of employer focused briefing notes, checklists and case reports to obtain trusted and accurate information about key employment law and HR topics to help you learn more about your employment law rights.View more