Abuse on twitter about colleague in office(3 Posts)
Please can someone advise.
I work in local government in a team of 14.
There is a member of staff who has been tweeting about our immediate boss. Now I don't mean, ' bad day at work, boss is a nightmare', but more offensive and bordering on threatening, eg: that f'in c* , let's see what happens to her outside of work' . There is criticism of boss's management style, the fact that member if staff got boss into trouble ( told lies about procedure taken) and other comments usually with the c word used to describe my boss.
It was bought to boss's attention and she took it to higher management . They agree tweets are horrid but don't want to do any more than make the employee aware that they know. It won't be on her record or anything. This is because she has recent issues re: alcohol and has just returned to work having been off sick with depression.
They have also said that if it was other way round and my boss was doing the tweeting it could be classed as bullying, but not the other way round.
HR told her there was no policy for this type of issue!
So does my boss just have to put up with it, as she has been advised?
Er, no I don't think she does. First and foremost she should complain to Twitter as they can shut down the offending person's profile if they think they're out of order. However the Twitter help centre's webpage is patronising in the extreme so I'm not sure she'd get the result she wanted!
Also: has this person been tweeting these messages during work time? As I think any company would take a dim view of this, especially as it will likely contravene any IT policy in place. If this is the case I would expect HR to follow a formal warning procedure.
Finally if she's making specific threats of violence against your boss, which I would take "let's see what happens to her outside work" to be, then I would consider giving the police a call on 101 to see what they advise. It may be that nothing can be done until it escalates but if I were your boss I'd be pretty pissed off at the HR department's response. How is it not bullying just because it's not a senior member of staff behaving badly towards a junior?
Are you sure you don't have a policy where this sort of behaviour and the consequences of it are mentioned? I think it's advised for all companies to put about cyber bullying or defamation of character could be sackable offences.
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