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The evolving world of social media provides employees with multiple platforms to have a voice online. Unfortunately, this can include employees publishing opinions and other content that are potentially harmful to their employers and/or other staff. For this reason it is very important for all employers to have a social media policy in force to protect against reputational damage and to allow for taking appropriate action for breaches of the policy by employees.
The Federal Court recently handed down a fine of $3.55 million to a franchisor, as well as individual fines to the directors and company officeholders, who were found to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. The severity of these penalties highlights the importance of ensuring disclosure documents and franchise agreements are factually accurate and compliant with the Franchising Code of Conduct. Failure to comply can result in heavy penalties being imposed on both the franchisor and the individuals involved.