- On October 26, 2021
A disgruntled real estate agent in Australia is in big trouble. His former employer is suing him for defamation over a Facebook post. Here’s what he wrote:
Oh Stuart Gan!! Selling multi million $ homes in Pearl Beach but can’t pay his employees superannuation. Shame on you Stuart!!! 2 yrs and still waiting!!
At issue is the word employees. As written, it sounds as if the employer, Stuart Gan, doesn’t pay into any of his employees’ retirement accounts. If that’s the case, Stuart Gan could be in hot water. Hence the defamation suit.
Had the peeved employee written that Gan didn’t pay his employee’s superannuation, he would have been referring to himself only. But in the words of the judge who’s letting the defamation suit proceed, “To fail to pay one employee’s superannuation entitlement might be seen as unfortunate; to fail to pay some or all of them looks deliberate.”
So, when you’re writing on social media, often the province of casual writing, take care. If you’re wading into legal matters, a missing punctuation mark could cost you—dearly.