Can We Force an Ex-Employee to Remove Our Company From Their LinkedIn Profile?

In our current “connected” age, representations on social media have become a pretty big deal. Some ex-employees may just have forgotten their login information or don’t see updating their profile as important, while others purposefully leave their ex-role/company as their current one, thinking “it’s easier to find a job when you have a job.” So, what’s an employer to do?

Unfortunately, not much. An individual’s LinkedIn (or other social media platform) account is their personal account, so a company doesn’t have a lot of authority in forcing an ex-employee to change their information. Employers can attempt to send company letters requesting an employee remove company information as a part of the employee’s online presence or may even file a complaint with the platform at issue. For example, LinkedIn has a process for reporting “Inaccurate Profile Information.”

An employee that provides inaccurate information on their social media platform leaves themselves open for negative reference reviews. LinkedIn is viewed as an online resume, meaning a prospective employer that thinks an employee is currently employed will really question the integrity of the individual during a reference check process if they find out otherwise. So, it’s always best for employees to appropriately update their information when changes occur, so their profiles/resumes reflect accurately. Otherwise, there is not a concrete avenue for ex-employers to argue profile correction controls.