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LinkedIn case highlights dangers of social networks

LinkedIn case highlights dangers of social networks

The dangers to employers of social networks has been highlighted by a recent Tribunal case where an employee is taking his ex-employers to a Tribunal over his dismissal after he posted his CV on LinkedIn.

The case involves an employee who posted his CV onto LinkedIn and ticked the box to indicate that he was available for career opportunities.

His employers accused him of inappropriate use of social media and revealing sensitive or confidential company information after which the employee then resigned and claimed constructive unfair dismissal, saying that his employers had made his position untenable and that the information in his CV was readily available in the firm’s reports and accounts.

The case has been adjourned until May, but employment law experts at Roythornes say this is an indication of why the use and abuse of social media in the workplace cannot be ignored.

Maz Dannourah, Solicitor at Roythornes said:

“This is an interesting case.  According to LinkedIn about half its members tick the ‘career opportunities’ box.  The company in question had a social media policy which they say banned employees from ticking this box, but it’s something which is very hard for firms to police.  LinkedIn has previously been known to cause issues regarding the “ownership” of contacts, however this case demonstrates that there are other issues that can arise.”

Maz went on to say that whatever the Tribunal decides, it highlights the importance of having a clear social media policy in place and making sure employees are aware of it.

“A social media policy can be as simple or as complicated as an employer wishes to make it.   Social media often crosses the boundaries between work and personal lives and unless there are some control set employers are exposing themselves to dangerous and potentially damaging risks.”