Merovitz Potechin LLP
Menu Contact

The Referred to Law Firm



what you say on facebook

A recent labour arbitration decision from Newfoundland highlights the importance of stepping back and taking a sober second thought before disparaging one's employer and co-workers openly on Facebook. More specifically, the decision in Communications, Energy and Paper workers Union of Canada, Local 64 v Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited indicates that such postings can be grounds in and of themselves for dismissal for cause.

In this case, the dismissed employee disputed her employer's decision to terminate her for cause following its discovery of "offensive, threatening, harassing, disrespectful and insolent" comments made by her on Facebook towards her employer and her supervisors. The dismissed employee had posted comments on her Facebook profile page ridiculing her employer's safety policies and threatening her colleagues.

It was the dismissed employee's position that such behaviour warranted discipline, but not termination for cause. The arbitrator found that the Facebook posting contained severe threats of physical harm, offensive comments about named individuals and derogatory comments about the employer. The arbitrator pointed to other decisions involving Facebook postings and noted that it has generally been held that Facebook postings are circulated widely and are not like private conversations, as some mistakenly believe. These postings are out there for all to see and, as such, in a circumstance where the content is sufficiently toxic to the employee/employer relationship, this single act is grounds for dismissal for cause.   When commenting online, people should always keep their potential audience in mind. As this case indicates, a lapse in judgment can cost one their employment.

Email us for a response

Request A Consultation

Request A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Merovitz Potechin LLP
300-1565 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1

Toll Free: 877-612-1123
Ottawa Law Office Map