Former Fastenal Employee Fired Over Tweet
By Brandon Grysko of Fausone Bohn, LLP on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
Hussien Mehaidli, a former Fastenal branch manager in Canada, was fired just before the New Year because he complained on social media about the company’s holiday gift – a grill scraper and barbecue sauce. The former employee tweeted “What kind of multi-billion company gifts its Canadian employees barbeque sauce as a holiday gift? Yet the USA employees stuff their face with an actual holiday giftbox?”
The company said the tweet violated their social media policy, which is given to every employee and is also posted on the company’s website, according to the CEO Dan Florness. When Hussien Mehaidli’s boss was informed of the tweet, he told him to delete the tweet, but the damage had already been done. The tweet went viral, with many people criticizing Fastenal for their actions.Implementing a social media policy provides employees with an understanding of what the company’s online expectations are and what the consequences may be if employees decide to post something that may cross the line. Having a clear understanding with employees may help prevent risk of future legal exposure for the company. The right social media policy can protect the company’s online reputation, and in the digital age, online reputation can make or break an employer’s brand.
Most employment relationships are “at-will” in Michigan, meaning that the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship for just about any reason. Even off-the-clock social media posts can be punished, if they cross the line. As social media usage increases, more and more people have been disciplined for social media activity that violates a workplace policy.
If you need to implement a social media policy in your workplace or have questions regarding what you can and can’t do in your social media policy, contact an attorney knowledgeable in business and employment law who can guide your policies and practices. Contact Brandon Grysko at 248-912-3240 or online at www.fb-firm.com.