Antisocial Media

Joining LinkedIn: Costing People Their Jobs?

how to succeed in business linkedin Joining LinkedIn: Costing People Their Jobs?Social platforms being given rise to the point where if you’re not on one people look at you like ‘For real?’ has also resulted in a rise in social networking flubs, the kind born of avoidable sheer stupidity resulting in people being convicted of crimes, cheating on spouses (and being caught), and of course, losing their jobs. So: What ridiculously avoidable act of sheer stupidity did 34 year-old John Flexman do on LinkedIn to lose his job?

He joined it.

Kashmir Hill at Forbes reports that Mr. Flexman, who was an (HR!) manager at a gas company in England, joined LinkedIn, uploaded his resume, and clicked on an interest in “career opportunities.” Like so many of the other people who joined LinkedIn.

This one was special though:

Flexman claims that the company objected to the implication that he was job-seeking and that he had listed as an accomplishment — reducing attrition at the company — information that the company claimed was confidential.

“We believed certain details in the CV were sensitive and we asked that they be removed,” says a BG spokesperson.

Mr. Flexman is now suing BG. If he wins, we should all take this as a cue to upload our resumes to LinkedIn and hope we get canned. If he loses, either he actually did upload sensitive information to LinkedIn, or BG’s lawyers were able to convince someone that something frivolous—like most of the things that fill most peoples’ resumes— was, in fact, sensitive. Truly, though:

Does indicating interest in other jobs merit termination?

Does an employer have the right to actively seek out this interest?

Does indicating you’re interested in something online merit actual interest?

And is this the first time joining LinkedIn has gotten someone fired? Kind of has to be, right?

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek

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