November 17, 2015

Attorney Fired for Soccer Remarks Underscores Need for Clear Conduct Policy

Attorney Clive O’Connell, a Chelsea FC fan, lost his job at a Buffalo law firm after remarks he made about Liverpool supporters in an online interview reached the firm’s leadership. In an article published in The Times and The Times Scotland, Alex Denny, partner in Faegre Baker Daniels’ London office, said the incident raises complicated questions about policing conduct outside the workplace in the digital age.

“Employment lawyers have grappled for years with the question of how and to what extent employers can extend employment duties beyond the workplace, particularly in the evolving area of social media,” Denny said. “The key point for employers is that having a policy that outlines expectations and potential implications of non-compliance will make any disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, easier to justify and reduce the associated legal risk.”

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