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Arbetstagarens lojalitetsplikt och yttrandefrihet i sociala medier

Cavalli Abrahamson, Louise LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Sammanfattning
I det här examensarbetet utreds rättsläget för en arbetstagares lojalitetsplikt och yttrandefrihet i sociala medier. Facebook, Twitter och bloggar hör till de sociala medier som under de senaste åren har visat på en drastisk ökning av användare. De sociala medierna har fått stor genomslagskraft och används dagligen för att rapportera och uppdatera omgivningen om såväl privata som samhällsrelevanta företeelser och tankegångar. Men var går gränsen för vad man får skriva i sociala medier inom ramen för sin anställning?

I Sverige har alla medborgare en grundlagsskyddad yttrandefrihet men yttrandefriheten innebär olika skydd för offentlig- respektive privatanställda. För anställda inom den offentliga sektorn är... (More)
Sammanfattning
I det här examensarbetet utreds rättsläget för en arbetstagares lojalitetsplikt och yttrandefrihet i sociala medier. Facebook, Twitter och bloggar hör till de sociala medier som under de senaste åren har visat på en drastisk ökning av användare. De sociala medierna har fått stor genomslagskraft och används dagligen för att rapportera och uppdatera omgivningen om såväl privata som samhällsrelevanta företeelser och tankegångar. Men var går gränsen för vad man får skriva i sociala medier inom ramen för sin anställning?

I Sverige har alla medborgare en grundlagsskyddad yttrandefrihet men yttrandefriheten innebär olika skydd för offentlig- respektive privatanställda. För anställda inom den offentliga sektorn är Regeringsformen, Tryckfrihetsförordningen och Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen tillämpliga och inskränkningar är enbart under särskilda omständigheter genom lag. För privatanställda står det arbetsgivaren fritt att avtala om särskilda regler vad gäller yttrandefriheten i såväl enskilda anställningsavtal som i kollektivavtal och således är grundlagsskyddet avseende yttrandefrihet inte lika starkt för privatanställda som för offentliganställda.

Arbetstagaren har en lojalitetsplikt gentemot sin arbetsgivare och lojalitetsplikten gäller som en allmän rättsgrundsats i det svenska rättssystemet. Vidare utgör lojalitetsplikten ett samlingsbegrepp som innefattar bl.a. kritikrätt, tystnadsplikt och förbud att konkurrera med sin arbetsgivare. Utifrån praxis går det att utläsa att lojalitetsplikten innebär en skyldighet för arbetstagaren att sätta arbetsgivarens intresse framför sitt eget samt i största möjliga mån undvika att missförhållanden och samarbetssvårigheter uppstår. Arbetstagaren får inte handla som innebär eller kan innebära en risk för att skada eller på annat sätt försvåra för arbetsgivarens verksamhet. Lojalitetsplikten gäller i viss mån även på arbetstagarens fritid och därför är det av stor vikt att arbetstagaren är medveten om att öppet kritisera sin arbetsgivare på exempelvis sociala medier kan medföra vissa arbetsrättsliga konsekvenser.

Arbetsdomstolen har endast i ett fåtal fall behandlat frågan om vad som bör gälla för arbetstagare som i sociala medier kritiserar sin arbetsgivare. Rättsläget är än relativt oklart och gränsen mellan lojalitetsplikt i förhållande till arbetstagarens rätt till yttrandefrihet är svår att dra. Däremot har media uppmärksammat en rad olika fall där arbetstagaren har yttrat sig på sociala medier och i flertalet fall träffas parterna vid en förlikning innan fallet tas upp till prövning av domstol.

Det ökade användandet av internet erfordrar att reglering om vad som ska anses tillåtet för en arbetstagare att skriva på sociala medier upprättas, då rättsläget är oklart. Offentligt och privatanställda påverkas på olika sätt, och olika synsätt finns vad avser kollisionen mellan yttrandefrihet och lojalitetsplikt. (Less)
Abstract
Summary
In this thesis, the legal situation of a worker's duty of loyalty and freedom of speech in social media will be investigated. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are examples of social media’s that have shown a dramatic increase in users during the past years. Social media has a major impact on today’s society and are used by people daily to report and update others about different thoughts and events. However where does one have to draw a limit of what an employee can write in social media?

In Sweden, all citizens have a constitutionally protected freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech means different protection for employees in the public- and private sector. For employees in the public sector RF, TF and YGL are applicable and... (More)
Summary
In this thesis, the legal situation of a worker's duty of loyalty and freedom of speech in social media will be investigated. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are examples of social media’s that have shown a dramatic increase in users during the past years. Social media has a major impact on today’s society and are used by people daily to report and update others about different thoughts and events. However where does one have to draw a limit of what an employee can write in social media?

In Sweden, all citizens have a constitutionally protected freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech means different protection for employees in the public- and private sector. For employees in the public sector RF, TF and YGL are applicable and law only allows restrictions in this right in special circumstances. For employees in the private sector, the employer has the right to establish specific rules regarding freedom of expression in both individual employment agreements as well as in the collective bargaining agreement. Thus the constitutional protection for freedom of speech is not as strong for private employees as it is for public employees.

The employee has a duty of loyalty to owe their employer and the duty of loyalty applies as a general principle of law in the Swedish legal system. Furthermore, the duty of loyalty is a collective term that includes duties such as criticism of law, confidentiality and prohibition to compete with an employer. Based on practice, the duty of loyalty obliges the employee to put the employer's interest before their own, and as far as possible avoid abuses and cooperation difficulties. The employee may not act in a manner that causes or may cause a risk to harm or otherwise aggravate the employer's business. The duty of loyalty applies to some extent on the employee's spare time and it is therefore of great importance that the employee is aware of the risk it means to openly criticize the employer in a social media, as it can lead to consequences for their employment.

The Swedish Labour Court has only in a few cases brought up the question of which right an employee has to criticize their employers in a social media. The legal position relatively obscure and the distinction is difficult to draw regarding the duty of loyalty in relation to the employee's right to free speech. However, the media has given rather great attention to a variety of cases in which the employee has been critical on social media’s and in most cases the parties meet a settlement before the case is admissible by the court.

The increased use of the Internet requires that a regulation of what should be allowed to write in social media as an employer is established, since employees in the public and private sector are affected in different ways and since there are different approaches concerning the collision between freedom of speech and duty of loyalty. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Cavalli Abrahamson, Louise LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The employee's duty of loyalty and freedom of expression in social media
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
yttrandefrihet, arbetsrätt, lojalitetsplikt, sociala medier
language
Swedish
id
3359364
date added to LUP
2013-03-13 12:51:07
date last changed
2013-03-13 12:51:07
@misc{3359364,
  abstract     = {Summary
In this thesis, the legal situation of a worker's duty of loyalty and freedom of speech in social media will be investigated. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are examples of social media’s that have shown a dramatic increase in users during the past years. Social media has a major impact on today’s society and are used by people daily to report and update others about different thoughts and events. However where does one have to draw a limit of what an employee can write in social media?

In Sweden, all citizens have a constitutionally protected freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech means different protection for employees in the public- and private sector. For employees in the public sector RF, TF and YGL are applicable and law only allows restrictions in this right in special circumstances. For employees in the private sector, the employer has the right to establish specific rules regarding freedom of expression in both individual employment agreements as well as in the collective bargaining agreement. Thus the constitutional protection for freedom of speech is not as strong for private employees as it is for public employees.

The employee has a duty of loyalty to owe their employer and the duty of loyalty applies as a general principle of law in the Swedish legal system. Furthermore, the duty of loyalty is a collective term that includes duties such as criticism of law, confidentiality and prohibition to compete with an employer. Based on practice, the duty of loyalty obliges the employee to put the employer's interest before their own, and as far as possible avoid abuses and cooperation difficulties. The employee may not act in a manner that causes or may cause a risk to harm or otherwise aggravate the employer's business. The duty of loyalty applies to some extent on the employee's spare time and it is therefore of great importance that the employee is aware of the risk it means to openly criticize the employer in a social media, as it can lead to consequences for their employment.

The Swedish Labour Court has only in a few cases brought up the question of which right an employee has to criticize their employers in a social media. The legal position relatively obscure and the distinction is difficult to draw regarding the duty of loyalty in relation to the employee's right to free speech. However, the media has given rather great attention to a variety of cases in which the employee has been critical on social media’s and in most cases the parties meet a settlement before the case is admissible by the court.

The increased use of the Internet requires that a regulation of what should be allowed to write in social media as an employer is established, since employees in the public and private sector are affected in different ways and since there are different approaches concerning the collision between freedom of speech and duty of loyalty.},
  author       = {Cavalli Abrahamson, Louise},
  keyword      = {yttrandefrihet,arbetsrätt,lojalitetsplikt,sociala medier},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Arbetstagarens lojalitetsplikt och yttrandefrihet i sociala medier},
  year         = {2012},
}