Je dénonce

Denunciation in social media

This page does not contain any legal advice and cannot be interpreted as such. Do not hesitate to contact your local union team for any questions about your working conditions

Social media have become a very effective way to make one’s voice heard for several years now. Healthcare professionals in the healthcare network can use this media to denounce the unbearable situations or ones that endanger their safety and that of their patients.

Far from wanting to discourage the use of this communication channel, we thought it appropriate to list certain measures to take to reduce the risks for healthcare professionals, with the courage to break the silence, of exposing themselves to disciplinary actions by the employers who want to conceal this information, or even by their professional order.

The following information is for healthcare professionals who are thinking of talking about their working conditions on social media, while minimizing the risk of retaliation from their employer.


Your postings are public…

People have a tendency to think that the information they put on their wall is in the realm of privacy.

Though it is possible to modify the parameters to limit access to your messages, assume the entire planet has access to them.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right…

According to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms:

Every person is the possessor of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.

Freedom of expression is particularly critical in the world of work.

  • For the employee, work calls into question her well-being and dignity.
  • The unequal nature of the employment relationship fosters collective expression.
  • Freedom of expression of unions and their members moves the debate on their working   conditions to the public arena.
  • This freedom merges with political expression in a democratic society.


A few limits to freedom of expression are:

A defamatory, hateful, violent content is forbidden

  • Personal vendettas are not protected

Respect of privacy

  • Do not publish personal information on patients, colleagues or managers.
  • Do not publish a photo of a person without their consent.

The duty of loyalty

  • The employment contract forces the employee to exercise a certain amount of restraint.
  • Obligation of consistent good faith to foster the interests of her employer.
  • A relationship of trust is needed to maintain the employment contract.
  • The employee must not deliberately damage the interests or reputation of her employer.
  • Depending on the situation, it is suggested to target the government instead of the employer.

The duty of confidentiality and the professional secret

  • Do not behave in a way that runs counter with what is generally accepted in practising the profession or is likely to tarnish the profession’s image.
  • Seek to maintain a bond of trust with the patients and public towards us.
  • That said, denouncing all incidents or accidents is an obligation in the code of ethics.
  • When an incident or accident may have consequences on a patient’s health, the employee must take the necessary means to correct it.

A few tips before taking action

Rational discourse is protected more than irrational discourse

  • Ensure the information is correct
  • Show judgment and moderation

Denounce collectively rather than alone.

  • The union representatives may denounce the working conditions with the employer with more freedom than an employee on her own.
  • That said, it is preferable, even for the union, to first formulate its criticism internally.

Is this a last resort?

  • Denounce the situation with your manager or administration first, or go through your union
  • Public criticism should be the last resort

Other considerations

  • Does public interest outweigh your duty of loyalty?
  • Are the negative effects of the denunciation you are preparing to do acceptable compared to the effects of the problem that you want to denounce?