A blog post

Employee Fired For Posting C.V. On LinkedIn

Posted on the 18 January, 2012 at 6:36 am Written by in Social Media

Fired for posting CV on LinkedInThe Summary In early January a 34 year old Executive was called to a disciplinary hearing for posting his C.V on LinkedIn and indicating that he was interested in career opportunities! He resigned and is claiming constructive dismissal. Will he be successful? The Story In early January we saw a "new” type of scenario emerge related to the use of Social Media in the workplace. John Flexman, a former employee of the BG Group in the U.K , is thought to be the first person in the U.K to bring a case for constructive dismissal against a company, after a dispute with bosses over his profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn caused him to resign. For those of you who need reminding, constructive dismissal occurs where an employee resigns because the employer’s conduct renders continued employment intolerable. Flexman , a 34 year old executive, loaded his CV onto Linked-In . Nothing wrong with that. He also ticked a box to register an interest in “career opportunities”.  Apparently something wrong with that,  because he was contacted by his manager while on holiday in the United States and ordered to remove his CV. When Flexman returned to the U.K  he was accused of “inappropriate use of social media” and called to attend an internal disciplinary hearing.  Resignation was Flexman’s response to the notice of disciplinary action. The Law I eagerly await the finding in the matter. As we know, inSouth Africa, constructive dismissal is a very difficult case to prove. The employee alleging constructive dismissal bears the onus of proof and must prove certain critical elements on a balance of probabilities to win the case.  According to the South African Labour Law guru, John Grogan, in his ninth edition of Workplace Law, the following elements must be proved: 1. that the relationship was brought to an end by the employee through voluntary or   co-erced resignation; 2. that it would have been intolerable to remain in employment at the employer. In  other words the employee had no other option but to resign; 3. that there is a connection between the employer’s conduct and the employee’s resignation i.e the employee would not have resigned had it not been for the employer’s conduct/actions. Given the above and without going into a detailed application of the law to the facts, Flexman would have a few problems in proving his case in the CCMA. In particular I do not think that he would succeed in proving point 2 above.  Flexman had several options he could have exercised rather than resigning. He could have lodged a grievance, interdicted the disciplinary process, or attended the hearing which may have gone in his favour. I think he jumped the gun. I’ll let you know the outcome when and if  his case is heard by a Tribunal in theU.K. The Question More interesting in this matter for me, is the question of whether the  Company was justified in calling for disciplinary action against Flexman in the given circumstances. Is Flexman’s action an act of serious misconduct? Does Flexman’s action amount to an anticipatory breach of his employment contract warranting action by the company?  To bring my point home let me phrase the question this way – If you know that a senior employee in your company has posted his/her CV on the Career Junction website how would you respond as the employer? For those of you who want to read more here’s the link to the article published in the Telegraph.

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  1. Dedicated server 26 March 2016 at 6:47 am permalink

    And while I understand that there is no right to privacy in a workplace, I think your boss jumped way past the slightly nutty line when he physically moved everyone one weekend and went through your desks in the process. What was that Monday like? Was it a scavenger hunt to find your new desk or were there moments of panic as employees thought they had been fired without being told because there stuff was no longer at their desk?