There are many challenges associated with running a business. Most of the time, your employees will be one of the most valuable resources in helping you to overcome these challenges and be successful. Any time you have a business with employees, you need to be prepared to continue to operate after they leave for retirement or another job.
Ideally, when an employee leaves, it will be on good terms. You can be happy for them to move on to new opportunities. In some situations, however, an employee may be unhappy with their experience working for your business when they leave. When this is the case, they may begin posting disparaging remarks on their social media to try to hurt your business. Knowing how to respond when something like this happens will help to protect your company and minimize the damage that can be done.
Ignore Their Comments
While it can be difficult, the best response to disparaging remarks from a former employee is often no response at all. In most cases, an unhappy ex-employee will only make a few negative comments on their personal social media accounts and then move on with their life.
In addition, most people reading those comments will know that they are only making them because they were upset with your company and likely will not factor that in when doing business with you. If you attempt to respond to the posts, it could easily backfire and draw more attention to the situation, as well as make the ex-employee even more upset.
Contact the Employee to Try to Resolve the Issues
If the employee continues to make disparaging posts, or they are posting extremely damaging things, then it may be worth it to reach out to them to try to resolve their complaints. This is an especially good option if they are posting very specific complaints about your company that you could resolve.
For example, if they are claiming that you did not give them their final paycheck, consider contacting them to ensure their pay is correct. If you are going to reach out to an ex-employee, make sure to do it privately. It is a good idea to have an attorney reach out to them on your behalf.
Implement Non-Disparagement Clause
For some companies, using a non-disparagement clause in all employment contracts will be a great way to prevent this type of thing from happening. A non-disparagement clause will make it clear that employees and ex-employees are not allowed to post disparaging remarks about the company on any public platform.
Of course, there are exceptions and limitations to these clauses, but when properly implemented they can go a long way toward preventing these issues from occurring.
Take Legal Action
Taking legal action should only be done as a last resort since it costs money and can create a public incident that could harm your business. When appropriate, however, filing a lawsuit against an ex-employee can encourage them to stop making negative posts and motivate them to remove the negative comments they have made.
Contact Pence Law Firm today to discuss your situation and get advice on how to best proceed!