UK Exec Forced Out Over LinkedIn Profile Dispute

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The Telegraph reports that HR executive John Flexman has filed a case for constructive dismissal against his former employer, BG Group, over a dispute over his LinkedIn profile.


Like millions of other professionals, Flexman thought nothing of it when he loaded his CV into his LinkedIn profile. He also checked the box indicating an interesting in being contacted about “career opportunities”, apparently a breach of new company policy. BG Group also accused him of including confidential information in his profile such as details about how he had reduced firm’s the rate of staff attrition. Ironic.

Flexman, though, says that the details he posted were available in the company’s annual reports and that 21 other BG Group employees, including the manager overseeing the disciplinary process, had ticked the “career opportunities” box but had not been disciplined.

The company asked him to remove all information about BG Group from his profile except for job titles and dates. Although not terminated, the dispute over his LinkedIn profile led to his resignation following increasing tension in his relationships with other executives.

From his profile, it appears Flexman has already found new work, hopefully with a more social media-savvy employer.

BG Group declined to comment, saving it for the hearing.


Social Media Policies Toolkit

Employers:  define the rules at your company for the proper use of social media platforms such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Ensure your users are spending their time productively and company resources are being used for the business.

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  1. Ridiculous. I would think Mr Flexman has a strong case for constructive dismissal. Particularly since he appears to have presented such a strong case during the disciplinary process.

  2. It appears that Flexman may have been on the outs with management leading to his appearance on LinkedIn to begin with. It seems the company was looking for an excuse.

    Flexman is probably better off with a new company – hopefully the arrangement is better for him on all counts.

    Professionals should get, build, and maintain their LinkedIn profile in all employment situations – just so that this cannot be said. The response to any inquiry:

    “I maintain a LinkedIn profile as a professional, not because of the status of any one employment situation.”

    This report is of an exception, not the rule. Professionals shouldn’t have any anxiety about being on LinkedIn.

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