Insulting customers on social media

Employees making inappropriate comments online while away from work
By Tim Mitchell
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

Question: Does an employer have the right to discipline an employee for making insulting remarks about a customer or client on the employee’s personal social media page?

Answer: Off-duty social media and Internet postings by employees may warrant discipline in some circumstances, and summary dismissal in exceptional cases.

While an employer cannot discipline an employee for off-duty behaviour that does not relate to or interfere with the employer’s business, it is an implied term of the employment relationship that an employee will not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the employer’s interests or reputation. Negative comments about an employer’s customers or clients, posted on social media where they may be viewed by many people, can be damaging to the employer’s business and reputation, and warrant discipline.