LinkedIn alarmism

by Vault Law Editors | July 07, 2009

  • My Vault

Former Villanova law school dean Mark Sargent infamously observed that “the internet really is a kind of hell.”   (And how little he realizedthe time!)

Obviously, one of the (potentially) hellish aspects of the internets is that it preserves the past, forever.  This has been an issue with job seekers for years : Even if they claim not to, all companies can be assumed to google applicants and check social networking sites as an informal background check.   According to The National Law Journal, this dynamic—where the web’s permanence poses a problem for an employee or applicant—could potentially be reversed, and come back to haunt the employer.

 Anyway, you may want to get your boss to give you that LinkedIn recommendation sooner rather than later—before the management-side employment bar scares everyone off:

“[Social networking sites] could prove problematic if a plaintiff’s lawyer is mining these sites… because of the explosion in LinkedIn's use, we suspect at some point that we're going to see its use pop up in litigation. It's probably only a matter of time."

[One management-side attorney] has handled several wrongful termination lawsuits in which an employer claimed that an employee was let go due to job performance issues, but the employee claimed it was discrimination- or harassment-related. To bolster their argument, he said, the employee can now turn to LinkedIn and say, "and here's the proof.”

Another lawyer chimes in: "If [the employers] say something negative, there could be a lawsuit. If they say something positive, there could be a lawsuit."  She neglected to add: "Either way works for me."

                                                                                  -posted by brian

          

Filed Under: Law

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