Employee’s LinkedIn profile may be used against her

In one of the first cases of its kind, a company is using an employee’s LinkedIn profile as evidence against her in a federal lawsuit. The company sued a former employee, claiming that she took company secrets and client lists with her to her new job. The employee was responsible for recruiting contract workers for a placement firm that specialized in IT work.

In its lawsuit, the company said that judging from the employee’s LinkedIn profile, she had made connections with over 20 of the company’s workers. The company claims she violated her non-compete agreement by emailing the employees and asking if they were “still looking for opportunities” and inviting them to “visit my new office and hear about some of the stuff we are working on.”

Social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, can be a great way to stay in touch and make connections, but they can also lead to trouble as unguarded comments can be used later as damning evidence against an employee or against an employer. Many companies have begun implementing policies covering how and when employees can use social media, especially on company laptops, smart phones and pagers.