Performers Public / Social Media Branding Disclaimer
We have a strict Brand Policy for all our Artists. Remember you are your Brand.
SOCIAL MEDIA VS. WORKPLACE
Majority of employees have become brand ambassadors of their respective employers unknowingly so, due to social media use and influence. Being a brand ambassador is not confined only to marketing and public relations of the company but extends to the use and association of a particular brand or company. In many forms unknowingly, employees become brand ambassadors of their respective employment companies. By providing the name of their employer (company) on social media profiles such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and by association employees become brand ambassadors.
This implies that employees have a duty to ensure that they positively influence public perspective in order to take the employers brand forward. Conversely the employer should take reasonable steps to guarantee that they are protected from any potential damage caused by inappropriate and unsavory posts on social Medi by ambassadors (employees).
CAN EMPLOYEES BE DISMISSED FOR SOCIAL MEDIA BEHAVIOR?
It is fundamental to point out that employers should have a social media policy in order to guarantee brand protection and or curb unwarranted social media behavior or potential attack or slander on social media. Any form of alleged misconduct against an employee should be informed by policy directive based on gathered evidence proving an attack, slander or damage to the reputation. The post, comment or chat should constitute a serious misconduct for it to justify an employee dismissal.
The CCMA has accepted that certain conduct on social media may warrant disciplinary action, provided, the ordinary principles of fairness and equity are applied. In Sedick & another v Krisray (PTY) Ltd (2011 CCMA) the two employees posted on Facebook derogatory comments pertaining to the director and manager of the company.
Their subordinates and former employees of the company commented negatively on their posts. The two employees were charged with bringing the name of the company into disrepute in the public domain amongst other charges and were subsequently found guilty and dismissed. The commissioner of the CCMA upheld the dismissal of both employees confirming that the posts were capable of bringing the company’s good name and reputation into disrepute.
In Smith v Partners in Sexual Health (Non-Profit) (CCMA 2011) the employer had accessed the private gmail account of the employee who was on leave at the time and discovered email exchanges with third parties, former employees of the company relating to confidential internal affairs. The employee was responsible for receiving and responding to employers emails communicating with donors and other parties. The email account was a gmail account.
The employee accessed her gmail account and employer gmail account on the computer allocated to her and she was using the automatic sign-in feature for her account.
The employer looking for information used the computer and when logging in realized the email of the employee to which he accessed email communication of employee. Subsequently the employee was charged, found guilty and dismissed.
The CCMA commissioner found that the employer had breached the provisions of the Interception Act and the employee’s right to privacy. Further confirmed that any evidence which is based on a breach of a Constitutional right will only be admissible if it is justified by provisions of section 36(1) of the Constitution. The dismissal of the employee was found to be substantially unfair and overturned.
In essence any action taken against an employee for an allegation relating social media conduct it should be based on the provisions of the employers policy on social media which is inline with the provisions of the RICA Act and the Constitution of the Republic.
WHAT LAWS ARE RELEVANT WHEN DEALING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
The following laws are important consideration for policy formulation and application when dealing with social media aspects in the workplace.
1. Constitution of the Republic of South Africa – Right to Privacy
– Right to Freedom of Expression
2. RICA Act
3. Protection from Harrasment,
Prevention of Unfair Discrimination,
Copyright, Advertising standards and