The main purpose of this essay is to investigate the legal position for employers concerning protection against what employees can express about one’s employer in social media.
It may regard dissatisfaction concerning employment, tort or so-called whistleblowing. The spread through social media may be comprehensive and thus cause more damage to the employer.
Employees within the public sector as well as in the private are protected by the liberty of speech, which is constitutional, even the protection of sources or the right to criticize can offer some protection. This gives the employees the possibility to widely express themselves in private social media as long as it can’t be classified as a violation, which per se is very rare.
However, certain differences between the both sectors will be pointed out.
There are still no constitutional rights regarding social media, but a grey area has emerged concerning the legal position. Loyalty should be considered and the right to criticize be regulated in agreements as well as in legal usage. Within the public sector loyalty may step back in favor of the liberty of speech, as the social interest are crucial and the right to criticize even more so.
In Sweden, employees – both in public and private sector – have a legal protection regarding one’s employment among others through Labour law. Regarding so-called whistleblowing there is still no legislation.
As an employer it is possible through creating a policy for the company employed regarding the use of social media which will form a security for both parties.
2012. , 42 p.