Can you be fired over Social Media?

Swala Nyeti Podcast
Can you be fired over Social Media?
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In today’s episode, we look at the rights of both the employee and employer in regards to dismissal over social media which is similar to the recent story of Shaffie Weru, Neville and DJ Joe Mfalme, popular radio presenters at Homeboyz Radio, who were terminated by their employer over social media.

Shaffie Weru, Neville and DJ Joe Mfalme, popular radio presenters at Homeboyz Radio, were suspended then fired after making derogatory comments about a woman who was thrown off a building by her date after refusing his advances. As a consequence, there was an uproar on social media and the sponsors of advertisements aired on their radio show also withdrew their sponsorship.

Their employer, Radio Africa, first suspended their services on the 26th of March 2021 and then terminated their employment on the next day. The employees claim that they heard about their termination through social media and that they were not given a chance to be heard.

The letter making rounds on social media claimed that they were fired due to gross misconduct for making inappropriate and insensitive comments on air. Shaffie Weru felt aggrieved and decided to sue Radio Africa for unlawful and unfair termination and violation of constitutional rights as he learnt of his termination on social media. According to the demand letter, he is asking for one month’s salary in lieu of notice totalling to Kes. 682,500, 12 month’s salary for unfair termination, a gratuity amount of Kes. 12,285,000 and a certificate of service.

Can you be fired over Social Media?

Research by Joy Mutimba-Vétil (joy@hklaw.co.ke)

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