Employers have been advised by the Law Society to be wary of using information on websites to vet job candidates. But it cuts both ways.
Our advice to clients is to be careful what they say about their employer and colleagues- particularly if they have a problem at work or if they have lost their job and are either making a claim or are hoping to reach an agreement. That general advice is especially important in electronic media such as Facebook or Twitter and it goes for e-mails too.
Many people use electronic media as a modern form of gossip and put as much thought into what they write as what they say (not much?). There are two obvious but important differences between what is written in cyberspace and what is said- firstly you cannot be sure who will read what you write, secondly what you write can be copied and kept to use against you later. It will be no use then to deny that you said anything or claim that you were misquoted and taken out of context.
One client put his case in serious jeopardy by comments he made on Facebook about his employer whilst making a discrimination claim.
Another client was dismissed for gross misconduct because of comments she made in an e-mail during her notice period. The e-mail was intended to be light hearted and amusing but the employer did not see it that way. They regarded the e-mail as a gross breach of the clients duty and marched her off the premises. That way the employer thought they could avoid making a redundancy payment and save a sizeable chunk of notice pay.
No matter how witty you are and how amusing your comments you can be sure your employer will not see the joke. Especially if it suits them not to. So it is best to say nothing if you do not want your employer to have the last laugh.