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Three fired for Facebook criticisms of bosses

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A French employment tribunal has backed a company which fired three of its employees because they criticised their bosses on Facebook.

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The tribunal turned down an appeal by three workers sacked by the Alten engineering company.

While chatting on Facebook, they moaned about management at their workplace in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt.

When one complained about being treated as a bad influence, the others replied “Welcome to the club!”. They were especially ciritical of the head of human resources.

A fourth colleague saw the comments and sent a screengrab to bosses, leading to the three being dismissed for smearing the company and incitement to rebellion.

They took the case to the tribunal, claiming that the comments were made in private and that the company had no right to know about them but lost their case.

In the US the National National Labor Relations Board ordered Dawnmarie Souza to be reinstated after she was fired for criticising her boss on Facebook, judging that comments on Facebook were equivalent to chatting at the coffee machine and everybody's right.

The French employees are to appeal. If they lose at that level, workers all over France had better watch out what they do with their typing fingers.

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