Connecting with a superior, even a co-worker, on LinkedIn could get awkward.
After all, many of the site’s 135 million members use it to find a new job—er, sorry—“to network.”
It could also get you fired.
Just ask John Flexman. The 34-year-old was reportedly “forced out of his job” as a graduate recruiter at U.K.-based gas exploration firm BG Group over his “inappropriate social media use,” according to London’s Telegraph
What was Flexman’s “inappropriate” action? He uploaded his resume to LinkedIn and clicked the “career opportunities” box. The Telegraph reports:
“He was contacted by his manager while on holiday in the United States and ordered to remove his CV. On his return he was accused of ‘inappropriate use of social media’ and called to attend an internal disciplinary hearing.”
BG Group reportedly has a policy preventing employees from clicking the “career opportunities” box. The company also said Flexman had posted confidential information to his LinkedIn profile. He claimed the info could be found in the BG’s annual report.
According to the Telegraph
, “The dispute over his profile led to Flexman’s resignation in June following a breakdown in his relationship with senior executives.” He’s now seeking damages from his former employer.
There are a number of famous examples
of people getting fired jobs for mistakes made on Facebook and Twitter, but this might be the first known example of someone losing their job over an incident on LinkedIn.
A study from last year found that 92 percent of journalists
have a LinkedIn profile. Another study said that executives from nearly every Fortune 500 company
are using LinkedIn.