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Apple employee complains on Facebook gets canned

first_imgYou may remember a recent case where a US judge ruled that an employer was in the wrong when it fired five employees for work-related posts they made on Facebook. If you thought that point of view would be universally accepted, you would be wrong. A UK government Employee Tribunal has shot down an appeal, and ruled that Apple was within their rights to fire a retail employee who complained about the company on Facebook.The Apple Store employee, known as Crisp, had posted some (unknown) “derogatory” comments on Facebook that related to Apple. One of his co-workers, who was a “friend” on Facebook, spotted the post and showed it to his manager (way to score some points there, buddy). Crisp was then fired for gross misconduct. He appealed his termination to the UK labor agency, insisting that his post was tagged as “private,” and therefore not violating Apple’s explicit policy of forbidding social media commentary or criticism of Apple products.The tribunal didn’t agree with Crisp’s appeal. They insisted that, though the post was marked “private,” it could have easily been copied and pasted, or otherwise distributed beyond his private social circle. It was noted that the comments would be especially damaging to Apple, as image is so important to their success.Was Apple in their rights to do this? Obviously the UK government thought so, and since Apple’s policy on this type of posting was (apparently) so clearly laid out ahead of time, he was clearly going against company policy. When you sign up at Apple, you are joining one of the most secretive businesses in the world. Despite their employees’ smiles and easy-going demeanor, the company is militant about the image that they project, all the way down to the tiniest details. One of Steve Jobs’ favorite mottos during the early days of the company was that “people do judge a book by its cover.” Crisp, in some infinitesimally minor way, put a blemish on that cover. Like it or not, anyone who is familiar with Apple shouldn’t be too surprised that they wouldn’t stand for this.Still, if the employee was really only among friends, this wouldn’t have been an issue. Of course some Apple employees are sure to occasionally complain about something at work to their significant others and close friends. They just don’t get fired for it, because it never gets back to Apple. While he’s looking for a new job, perhaps the biggest thing that Crisp will want to reconsider is just how good those “friends” are on Facebook.More at People Management, via ZDNetlast_img read more