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Landmark free speech case holds that employees can be sacked over political social media posts

Aug 7, 2019Update

A new ruling from the high court has meant that public servants can be held accountable and fired for social media posts which don’t reflect well on their employer. 

Michaela Banerji was fired from her post at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for creating an anonymous Twitter account critical of government policies. After she was linked to the account following an internal investigation, she was fired unlawfully – or so she thought.
Though her initial appeal held that she had a right to free speech and shouldn’t have been sacked, the high court ruled otherwise in this landmark free speech case today.

RTBU Loco Division Secretary Bob Hayden said, “this case has enormous implications for members of the Loco division. This doesn’t just affect public servants but potentially any employer-employee relationship where workers are publicly critical of their employer’s response to a politically charged issue.”

“It’s important for members to be careful of what they post. Everything can be traced back to you even if you think it’s anonymous. We don’t want to see anyone sacked for something they tweeted or commented online.”

Please click here to view the full story on The Guardian.