A City partner from an international law firm has been dismissed after conducting a post-match interview with an online sports show. Seemingly letting his passion for the beautiful game get the better of him, the animated football fan has now suffered professional embarrassment by not living up to his firm's values.

On the face of it, the conscious uncoupling may seem harsh. The comments made by Clive O'Connell in the course of the interview were certainly intended to cause offence, but there was no obvious association between him and the firm, Goldberg Segalla, and were conducted in his own time.

Had Mr O'Connell been an employee, his dismissal may well be considered fair by the employment tribunals. A couple of recent cases have found that it takes very little for an employee to be directly associated with their employer, where there is potential for the employer to be brought into disrepute. In this case, we are talking about a senior and experienced solicitor, readily identifiable from many online searches in a firm that places great emphasis on engaging staff who are "better human beings than they are lawyers".

The firm took to social media itself to explain its decision, posting a video on YouTube and tweeting about it.

This is another valuable lesson for employers who must take care to ensure that their policies relating to social media, reputation management and employee engagement are up to date, monitored and - where appropriate - enforced. To discuss any concerns you may have about social media, policies and practice, or to arrange a consultation or training, please get in touch.