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Using social media to fire employees could violate employment law

With the increased access to social media platforms, it has come as no surprise that many employees are learning about the loss of a job from their mobile apps rather than from their employers. In Tennessee, one woman learned through the co-worker grapevine that she had lost her job, but she did not receive verbal confirmation from her former employer. Employment law stipulates how the release from one's job duties is to be carried out, and the use of social media platforms is not the way to go.

By allowing social media to be the sole means used to let an employee know his or her services are no longer needed, it can leave employers and organizations open to a wrongful termination civil suit. One man states that his company would announce layoffs over the intercom system. He claimed this led to a decline in productivity and a negative workplace environment.

Another woman was told to take a vacation, and upon returning, she found her co workers to be missing and learned that they had begun production on another program, which did not include her. She was never told about the replacement that she was training, and she was disheartened by the fact that the money she was spending on her trip to visit her sister could have been used to help pay her bills after her income would no longer be available. Yet another woman was fired through a voicemail, but her boss had called the wrong number and left the message on someone else's phone. The terminated worker didn't find out that she no longer had a job until she went to work early one morning and was questioned by her now-former employer.

Losing one's job can be hard enough, but losing one's job and not having the verbal confirmation from an employer can be even more distressing. Filing for unemployment hinges on many things, and not knowing that the loss of a job has indeed occurred can create an issue and a valuable loss of time. Contacting a Tennessee attorney who is well versed in employment law could help those who find themselves in similar situations understand their options.

Source: wamu.org, "Fired Via Tweet, Text And Voicemail: Loss Of Job, And Respect", Yuki Noguchi, March 24, 2018

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