Law and Order: Human Resources Unit – LinkedIn Lockout

Let’s get hypothetical.  Let’s say you let an employee go, and then you lock that employee out of her LinkedIn account. No good?  A recent court case says…well, that really depends.

Here’s what happened:

  • After Dr. Linda Eagle, executive at Edcomm, Inc., was fired, Edcomm accessed her LinkedIn profile, and switched the picture and profile over to Sandi Morgan, her replacement at the company. The profile was made with her Edcomm email address.
  • However, Edcomm neglected to alter the information in the honors and awards section, leaving Eagle’s accolades present on the profile – and kept Eagle’s name in the profile’s URL.  (So, if you Googled “Dr. Linda Eagle” – this Edcomm LinkedIn profile for Sandi Morgan would show up.)
  • Yet, the court found Edcomm innocent of all charges – identity theft, conversion, tortious interference with her LinkedIn contract, civil conspiracy, and civil aiding and abetting – because Eagle couldn’t definitely prove that having her name linked to the LinkedIn account lost her any sales opportunities.

This outcome is good for employers in that it allows employers the ability to access social media accounts made for company use, but it wouldn’t be the worst idea to make that clear in your social media policy.


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