Take a Pikachu at the new-est Pokemon Pest: Singapore employee fired for social media misconduct

Are you excited about Pokemon Go coming to the UK?  I can think of nothing better than spending my lunchtime racing round the city centre with my smartphone and my team trying to capture the latest Pokemon characters.  Will I find a Charizard in the Caird Hall?  Will there be a Dragonite lurking in Bank Street?  Either way, I am going to try and contain my excitement about this new game and, unlike a Singapore resident, resist temptation to use social media as a vehicle for my uncontrollable anticipation.

Be careful what you post! An employee had their contract terminated for an outburst on Facebook related to the new smart-phone Pokemon game. 

Mr Truyen was allegedly sacked by his employer after a profanity-laden rant on Facebook inspired by the unavailability of this smartphone game in Singapore.  He posted that Singapore was filled with “stupid people” and said that the national IQ would fall if he left.  Unfortunately for Mr Truyen, his posts were picked up by his employer who subsequently apologised for his comments and proceeded to terminate his employment.

Although this incident occurred outwith the UK, it is a prime example of how employers should be careful about offensive posts which purport to have come from their employees.  Employers should be proactive in understanding the various social media forums, creating policies, monitoring and educating staff about social media usage.  They should also be reactive in terms of taking action against offending employees, where appropriate.  If in doubt, employers should take legal advice as a matter of urgency.

So do not drive yourself into having a complete cream Jigglypuff because Pokemon Go is not yet available in the UK.  Similarly don’t risk reducing your CV to Ash solely on account of this issue.  If you take a quick Pikachu at this recent turn of events, I shouldn’t need to Raichu a letter outlining the dangers in combining Pokemon Rage with social media and the subsequent risk of getting Blastoise’d from your employment.

Simon Allison
Partner – Head of Employment Law

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