Be Careful With Your LinkedIn — Executive Forced Out for Profile Details

Let’s say you’re a happily employed person who finds out about this new must-have professional social network called LinkedIn. Maybe you want to sign up, but if you do, you’d better be careful not to click the box that says you’re interested in “career opportunities” — it may be enough to get you in legal trouble. This is what happened to John Flexman, and he was forced to resign as a result of the situation.  Now he’s bringing a case for constructive dismissal to his bosses, the BG Group firm based in the United Kingdom.

BG Group claimed that they had a policy that specifically prevented its employees from signing up for the network and ticking the “career opportunities” box.  They are also after him because his profile contained details about his work with BG, and some of those details revealed confidential details of BG’s work.  However, The Telegraph reports that Mr. Flexman’s suit claims that every detail on his profile was available in public annual reports.  He also asserts that some of his fellow employees had used the “career opportunities” box and hadn’t been reprimanded.

Having been on LinkedIn for a while, I know that if you go ahead and put yourself as available for career openings, you’ll get the attention of various recruiters.  In fact, LinkedIn’s “Corporate Solutions” makes up a growing part of the company’s revenue, and that means that they are doing a lot of work to connect companies and recruiters with talented individuals.  So it’s no surprise that BG wanted it’s employees to keep focused on their current job instead of using LinkedIn to land a different job — but is it acceptable for them to ask their employees to refrain from ticking the box?

What’s your opinion?  Would you work for an employer who wants to restrict your LinkedIn use?

Image: Guido Vrola via Shutterstock