Recruiter sacked for too much time on Facebook

Ben McPartland
Ben McPartland - [email protected]
Recruiter sacked for too much time on Facebook
Too much Facebook time ended in the sack for one French recruiter. Photo: Franco Bouly

A ruling by a court in south west France this week might send a shudder through avid Facebook users after judges upheld a company's decision to sack an employee because she spent too much time on the social media site.


It is not the first time Facebook has landed workers in trouble and it certainly won’t be the last.

But the ruling by a court in the town of Pau, south west France, could set a new precedent.

The member of staff, from the town Anglet in the Pyrenees region, who was in charge of recruitment for an employment agency, was sacked because she spent too much time on Facebook at work.

It all came to light when the female employee was off on holiday and her boss asked a technician to check her computer, according to the regional Sud Ouest newspaper.

The boss’s suspicions had been aroused by the amount of time it took his employee to complete simple tasks.

After the IT technician had carried out his checks it all became clear.

Not only was her manager enlightened over how much time she spent on Facebook and Hotmail, but he was also shocked to find out his employee had spent her work time selling lingerie online in order to supplement her income.

With the proof in his hands the manager sacked the recruiter, who, aggrieved by the decision appealed to the local tribunal, who sided with her.

However the disgruntled employment agency then took the tribunals decision to the court of appeal, where they were given the thumbs up by judges this week.

“The almost daily connections, several times a day during working hours to a site that Mrs X was engaged in a commercial activity (lingerie selling) as well as social media sites demonstrate that during this period, she could not engage fully in her job,” the judges noted in the ruling.

Lawyer for the company Eric Bourdeau told Sud Ouest the employee was accused of “abusing” the number of times she went online for personal use “when she was being paid to complete other tasks that she did not perform.”

“The court judged it an abnormal use of a professional tool,” he said.

What do you make of the court's decision? Let us know in the comments section below or join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter. (Just make sure your boss is not watching)


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