Earlier this week a chef received death threats after seeming to boast about “spiking” a vegan customer’s meal.
Laura Goodman, the co-owner of an Italian restaurant in Shropshire, appeared to write on Facebook that she had “spiked a vegan a few hours ago” and that a "pious, judgemental vegan (who I spent all day cooking for) has gone to bed, still believing she’s a vegan.” Shortly after the posts were made online, Ms Goodman received an onslaught of negative comments, and even some death threats. She has since resigned from her position.
Whether or not Ms Goodman’s comments were true, the damage to the business and its reputation has been wide-reaching. It also cost her her job and her livelihood. There have been scores of cases hitting the headlines in recent years about employees being dismissed because of things written in the heat of the moment on social media. An employment Judge held that nothing is private. Even if an individual believes they have privacy settings on their social media accounts, once a statement is in the twitter-sphere (or similar) there is no going back.
Ms Goodman’s public, online comments, which allowed the restaurant to be easily identifiable, would very likely be gross misconduct, which would have justified dismissal. It is unclear what happened in this situation, perhaps Ms Goodman jumped before she was pushed.
It is vital to have staff policies in place detailing acceptable use of social media and what constitutes misconduct. Staff should then be trained on how to follow and adhere to those policies to meet best practice.
For more information on how to safeguard your business and avoid such incidents get in touch with our experienced employment law solicitors on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02072260570.