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Labor & Employment Law

LinkedIn Reviews Can Come Back to Haunt Employers, Lawyers Say

Posted Jul 7, 2009 3:27 PM CDT
By Sarah Mui

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Management-side employment lawyers are advising their clients against writing recommendations for current or recent employees on LinkedIn.

If an employer writes a positive review for an employee who is later fired, that review could be presented as evidence that discrimination rather than performance brought on the termination, lawyers told the National Law Journal (reg. req.).

"Generally, my advice is that I think employers are often better served by merely stating dates of employment, positions with the company and salary, and staying away from much more because there are so many potential ramifications if they say something," Carolyn Plump, a partner at Philadelphia's Mitts Milavec told the National Law Journal. "If they say something negative, there could be a lawsuit. If they say something positive, there could be a lawsuit."

The story cites a recent poll from Jump Start Social Media stating that 75 percent of hiring managers use LinkedIn to research candidates.

Employee-rights attorney Linda Friedman of Chicago's Stowell & Friedman said LinkedIn recommendations can also backfire on a plaintiff. If a suprevisor makes identical recommendations on LinkedIn or another website of everyone under him or her, that could disprove a discrimination claim, Friedman said.

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