An employee’s private Facebook thread is evidence of their firing

The Court of Cassation has just created a new labor law case law for social networks in a dismissal procedure.

The comments of disgruntled employees who post negative comments about their employers on Facebook have already resulted in a plethora of case law. These comments are only reprehensible if they can be equated with public comments and are therefore not reserved for selected friends. The Cour de Cassation has just clarified the labor law for social networks on the occasion of a judgment of September 30, 2020 (Cour de Cassation, Social Chamber, September 30, 2020, No. 19-12.058). In this judgment, an employee of a textile group published photos in front of the employer’s public communication, which show her employer’s new collection in her private profile. This publication justified his dismissal and the Court of Cassation has just approved.

The prejudice for the employer was obvious: the employee had hundreds of contacts in the fashion world in her private network, including her employer’s competitors. The question asked was not about that damage, but about the employer’s ability to produce private disclosure as evidence of the damage justifying the dismissal. Wasn’t there an employee privacy violation and illegal evidence? The Court of Cassation found that the warning was given by a colleague who is on the licensee’s private network and has legitimate access to the publication. Above all, the Court accepted this interference in proportion to the legitimate aim pursued (the right to take evidence).