Manager forced out of job for uploading CV to LinkedIn, tribunal hears

A British man claims he was forced out of his job for posting his CV on LinkedIn and displaying an interest in "career opportunities", in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.

John Flexman, 34, is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from gas exploration firm BG Group, who claimed his online profile was in breach of company policy against conflicts of interest.

Mr Flexman was earning about $100,000 a year as a graduate manager at the company, but resigned in June after a dispute with his managers about the profile on the professional networking website, London's Daily Telegraph reported.

When he created his profile, Mr Flexman uploaded his CV and ticked a box saying he could be contacted for job opportunities.

While Mr Flexman was on holidays in the US his manager Antony Seigel emailed him and ordered him to take down the CV, the Reading Employment Tribunal heard.

When he returned to work, he was given a list of disciplinary charges and told he could be sacked.

“In his email Mr Seigel said that a complaint had been made about my LinkedIn profile and that I was required to remove it immediately," Mr Flexman said.

"He told me to remove from my profile all information regarding BG Group except for job titles and dates. I did not think this was reasonable.

"It seemed to me that the focus of the charge sheet was the posting of my CV online."

BG Group claimed Mr Flexman breached the company's new policy to avoid conflict of interest, which banned employees from displaying an interest in other job opportunities on LinkedIn.

The company also said he had put confidential information on his CV, including taking credit for reducing attrition rates.

The Daily Mail reported that Ian Gatt QC, representing BG Group, told the tribunal: "In effect what you were saying was 'what a terrible place this is but what a great job I've done'.

"Other people from the company were on LinkedIn but none of those people made derogatory comments like you."

Mr Flexman said: "What I should have done in hindsight was give it a bit more consideration as to what content I put on the website.

"But did I do it to further my career? That's absolute nonsense."

The hearing continues.