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UK Executive 'Forced Out of Job' For Posting CV Online 219

Posted by timothy
from the hr-dept-on-patrol dept.
First time accepted submitter sweetpea86 writes "An executive who uploaded his CV to LinkedIn was forced to quit his job because he ticked a box stating he was interested in 'career opportunities'. John Flexman is demanding hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation from his former employer, gas exploration firm BG Group, where he earned £68,000 pounds a year as a Graduate and Development Manager. He is thought to be the first person in the UK to bring a case for constructive dismissal. The case highlights a grey area around employees' use of social networks such as LinkedIn. According to Kate Hodgkiss, Partner at law firm DLA Piper, employers have every right to seek to protect confidential company information by restricting LinkedIn and other profiles, but cannot prevent employees from looking for a new job. The news echoes a report in December that a Californian Twitter user was being sued for $340,000 by his former employer for taking his online followers with him when he switched jobs. PhoneDog launched legal proceedings against Noah Kravitz, seeking damages of $2.50 a month per follower for eight months."
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UK Executive 'Forced Out of Job' For Posting CV Online

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  • by sinij (911942) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:33PM (#38600044) Journal
    This kind of discrimination always existed, the news is that company in question actually admitted it as a dismissal cause, instead of the usual 'performance' cause.
  • by swb (14022) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:08PM (#38600588)

    I, like many people, treat the "you could get fired if your boss thinks you're looking for another job" as kind of axiomatic, but what's the employer motivation for this?

    I'll exclude poor performance, where the employee basically comes in and does nothing but use the company PC to create resumes and cover letters, faxes them with the company fax machine and then goes home, his current job's work undone, mainly because that's being fired for poor performance, the cause of the poor performance is immaterial.

    "Because I have to hire a new employee" -- OK, you just *fired* your current employee, you're going to hire someone else anyway, and with zero cooperation from the existing employee who is now job hunting AND doing it while enjoying unemployment benefits because "looking for a job" isn't termination for cause.

    "I don't want them to take my secrets/customers" -- the good ones already have your secrets, customer lists, etc. Firing them now gives them moral justification to utilize these in their new job.

    I'm lost on where it benefits the employer other than vague claims of weak performance (working well enough not to be reprimanded but not at peak output) or nearly unmeasurable claims of impacting morale.

    About the only rationale that seems to make any sense is pure spite -- the employer is pissed that a good employee (high output at sub-market wages) has to be replaced with one with unknown or only average output at market prices, and firing the employee is a good way to sow chaos in their life and possibly make their new job search more complicated.

  • by LifesABeach (234436) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:09PM (#38600622)
    First off, when an rank and file employee doesn't show up for work, investors don't care. When Founders, and Chief of-what-ever's don't show up for work, the rules change. Investors vote by shorting their stock. It causes the "wealth cream-skimmer types" to take notice; examples are Boards of Directors, and CEO's along with their attentive minions.

    I don't know that much about UK Employment Law, but I'm on the receiving end of US Employment Law. Given that Noah Kravitz has a fairly competent lawyer, PhoneDog will get to pay for this waste of the Courts time. This is just harassment of an ex-employee by a corporation that has to pay for some large egos that are clueless about increasing revenues.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:46PM (#38601268)

    You know. I really wasn't expecting to find anything useful in this article. I was really hoping for a big of premium snark, maybe a flame war. But that right there is damned good advice and has kind of turned on a light bulb in my head. I didn't realize I was sabotaging myself in that manner, but it does make sense. Thanks for posting it.

  • Re:Over-reaching (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek.gmail@com> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @04:10PM (#38601722) Homepage Journal

    Many salaried positions actually forbid you from engaging in other work without the company's permission. The idea is that if you are being paid salary, you are on the clock 24/7, so technically you shouldn't be working for anyone else.

    (My employer has no such policy, fortunately. But my previous one did.)

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