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Nätkränkningar i tjänsten - En undersökning av arbetsgivares ansvar för arbetstagares kränkningar på sociala medier

Söderdahl, Julia LU (2016) JURM02 20161
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Arbetsgivare bär ett skadeståndsrättsligt ansvar för skador orsakade av dess
arbetstagare, under förutsättning att skadan vållats i arbetstagarens tjänst.
Detta kallas att arbetsgivaren har ett principalansvar. Sommaren 2015 utspelade
sig en händelse på det sociala mediet Twitter som kom att ge
upphov till intressanta frågeställningar kring omfattningen av arbetsgivares
principalansvar. En journalist på en större tidning hade, i ett inlägg på
Twitter, utpekat en känd person som rasist. Den utpekade ansåg sig ha blivit
utsatt för förtal och stämde journalistens arbetsgivare med hänvisning till att
inlägget publicerats i journalistens tjänst och därför skulle omfattas av
principalansvaret. När tvisten avgjordes av Stockholms... (More)
Arbetsgivare bär ett skadeståndsrättsligt ansvar för skador orsakade av dess
arbetstagare, under förutsättning att skadan vållats i arbetstagarens tjänst.
Detta kallas att arbetsgivaren har ett principalansvar. Sommaren 2015 utspelade
sig en händelse på det sociala mediet Twitter som kom att ge
upphov till intressanta frågeställningar kring omfattningen av arbetsgivares
principalansvar. En journalist på en större tidning hade, i ett inlägg på
Twitter, utpekat en känd person som rasist. Den utpekade ansåg sig ha blivit
utsatt för förtal och stämde journalistens arbetsgivare med hänvisning till att
inlägget publicerats i journalistens tjänst och därför skulle omfattas av
principalansvaret. När tvisten avgjordes av Stockholms tingsrätt kom
domstolen fram till att inlägget inte skulle anses utgöra förtal, varför frågan
om arbetsgivarens ansvar aldrig kom att prövas.

I denna uppsats undersöks möjligheten att hålla arbetsgivaren skadeståndsrättsligt
ansvarig för kränkningar som dess arbetstagare gör sig skyldiga till
på sociala medier. Undersökningen inriktas på kränkning genom förtal.
Uppsatsen behandlar även frågan om arbetstagaren kan hållas ansvarig för
dessa skador när det skadevållande handlandet anses företaget i tjänsten och
därmed omfattas av principalansvaret.

Den slutsats som dras i uppsatsen är att huruvida arbetsgivaren kan hållas
ansvarig för kränkningar som arbetstagare gör sig skyldiga till på sociala
medier måste sägas vara en öppen fråga. Det saknas vägledande praxis när
det gäller principalansvar för kränkning och förarbetena ger inte mycket
ledning då kränkning behandlades mycket kortfattat i motiven. I såväl
förarbeten som praxis uttalas dock att man bör vara försiktig med att ålägga
arbetsgivaren ansvar när det rör sig om uppsåtligt skadevållande. Då förtal
är ett uppsåtligt brott talar detta mot att arbetsgivaren skulle kunna hållas
ansvarig. Det kan emellertid diskuteras om det inte finns en skillnad mellan
att begå ett uppsåtligt brott som t.ex. bedrägeri och att i en diskussion gå ett
steg för långt och i stundens hetta publicera ett kränkande inlägg. Liknande
resonemang kan föras när det gäller frågan om arbetstagaren kan hållas
ansvarig när skadan anses vara vållad i tjänsten. Vid uppsåtligt skadevållande
anses vanligen synnerliga skäl föreligga för att ålägga arbetstagaren
skadeståndsansvar trots att skadan omfattas av principalansvaret.
Men praxis talar i viss mån för att bedömningen kan bli mildare mot
arbetstagaren när det råder speciella omständigheter kring uppsåtet.

I uppsatsen diskuteras även utifrån en rättspolitisk synvinkel om arbetsgivare
i dagens samhälle bör ha ett ansvar för arbetstagares handlanden på
sociala medier. I diskussionen redovisas argument såväl för som emot att
ålägga arbetsgivaren skadeståndsskyldighet. För egen del menar jag att
arbetsgivare som vill att arbetstagarna ska vara aktiva på sociala medier
också bör ha ett ansvar för de skador som då kan uppstå. (Less)
Abstract
An employer can be held liable for damage caused by its employees
provided that the damage was caused in the course of employment. This is
known as vicarious liability (principalansvar). In the summer of 2015 an
incident on the social media Twitter gave rise to interesting questions about
the scope of an employer’s vicarious liability. A journalist working at one of
the larger newspapers had posted a tweet where he accused a famous person
of being a racist. The accused claimed to have been the victim of defamation
and hence filed a lawsuit against the journalist’s employer, claiming that the
tweet had been posted in the course of employment and therefore should
give rise to vicarious liability. The court, however, found that the... (More)
An employer can be held liable for damage caused by its employees
provided that the damage was caused in the course of employment. This is
known as vicarious liability (principalansvar). In the summer of 2015 an
incident on the social media Twitter gave rise to interesting questions about
the scope of an employer’s vicarious liability. A journalist working at one of
the larger newspapers had posted a tweet where he accused a famous person
of being a racist. The accused claimed to have been the victim of defamation
and hence filed a lawsuit against the journalist’s employer, claiming that the
tweet had been posted in the course of employment and therefore should
give rise to vicarious liability. The court, however, found that the posted
tweet did not constitute defamation and never tried the question of vicarious
liability for the employer.

This essay examines the possibility of holding an employer vicariously
liable for infringements (kränkningar) committed by employees on social
media. The focus of the study is on defamation. The essay also deals with
the possibility of holding the employee liable for these types of damages
when the negligent act is considered to have taken place in the course of
employment.

The conclusion drawn in the essay is that the possibility of holding an
employer vicariously liable for infringements committed by employees on
social media is an open question. There is no precedent case law regarding
vicarious liability for infringement and the legislative history provides little
help as infringement is only mentioned briefly. However, in case law as
well as in legislative history it has been said that one should be restrictive in
holding an employer vicariously liable for intentionally caused damages.
Given that defamation is an intentional offence, these statements speak
against holding an employer vicariously liable. However, it could be said
that there is a difference in intent between committing an intentional offence
such as fraud for example and taking a discussion on social media too far
and posting an infringing post in the heat of the moment. Similar arguments
can be applied to the possibility of holding the employee liable when the
negligent act is considered to have taken place in the course of employment.
In the case of intentionally caused damages there is usually considered to be
special reasons at hand for holding the employee liable. However, precedent
case law to some extent speaks to a milder judging of the employee when
there are special circumstances regarding intent.

The essay also discuss if employers in today’s society should be able to be
held vicariously liable for acts committed by their employees on social
media. Arguments both for and against liability for the employer are being
discussed. Personally, I think that employers who wish for their employees
to be active on social media should be able to be held liable for the possible
damages. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Söderdahl, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Vicarious liability for online defamation
course
JURM02 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
förmögenhetsrätt, skadeståndsrätt, principalansvar, kränkning, nätkränkning, förtal, sociala medier
language
Swedish
id
8873647
date added to LUP
2016-06-17 14:53:28
date last changed
2016-06-17 14:53:28
@misc{8873647,
  abstract     = {An employer can be held liable for damage caused by its employees
provided that the damage was caused in the course of employment. This is
known as vicarious liability (principalansvar). In the summer of 2015 an
incident on the social media Twitter gave rise to interesting questions about
the scope of an employer’s vicarious liability. A journalist working at one of
the larger newspapers had posted a tweet where he accused a famous person
of being a racist. The accused claimed to have been the victim of defamation
and hence filed a lawsuit against the journalist’s employer, claiming that the
tweet had been posted in the course of employment and therefore should
give rise to vicarious liability. The court, however, found that the posted
tweet did not constitute defamation and never tried the question of vicarious
liability for the employer.

This essay examines the possibility of holding an employer vicariously
liable for infringements (kränkningar) committed by employees on social
media. The focus of the study is on defamation. The essay also deals with
the possibility of holding the employee liable for these types of damages
when the negligent act is considered to have taken place in the course of
employment.

The conclusion drawn in the essay is that the possibility of holding an
employer vicariously liable for infringements committed by employees on
social media is an open question. There is no precedent case law regarding
vicarious liability for infringement and the legislative history provides little
help as infringement is only mentioned briefly. However, in case law as
well as in legislative history it has been said that one should be restrictive in
holding an employer vicariously liable for intentionally caused damages.
Given that defamation is an intentional offence, these statements speak
against holding an employer vicariously liable. However, it could be said
that there is a difference in intent between committing an intentional offence
such as fraud for example and taking a discussion on social media too far
and posting an infringing post in the heat of the moment. Similar arguments
can be applied to the possibility of holding the employee liable when the
negligent act is considered to have taken place in the course of employment.
In the case of intentionally caused damages there is usually considered to be
special reasons at hand for holding the employee liable. However, precedent
case law to some extent speaks to a milder judging of the employee when
there are special circumstances regarding intent.

The essay also discuss if employers in today’s society should be able to be
held vicariously liable for acts committed by their employees on social
media. Arguments both for and against liability for the employer are being
discussed. Personally, I think that employers who wish for their employees
to be active on social media should be able to be held liable for the possible
damages.},
  author       = {Söderdahl, Julia},
  keyword      = {förmögenhetsrätt,skadeståndsrätt,principalansvar,kränkning,nätkränkning,förtal,sociala medier},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Nätkränkningar i tjänsten - En undersökning av arbetsgivares ansvar för arbetstagares kränkningar på sociala medier},
  year         = {2016},
}