Tags: linkedin | reference | search | lawsuit

Lawsuit: LinkedIn Can Hurt Job Search

By    |   Sunday, 09 Nov 2014 07:54 PM

LinkedIn, the most popular job-search website, is facing a class-action lawsuit, claiming it can actually hurt the job prospects of people who use the service.

The proposed class-action suit was filed in October in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, The Recorder reports.

According to The New York Times, the lawsuit targets LinkedIn's Reference Search, a feature available to premium members. Reference Search shows job recruiters as list of people who worked at the same company at the same time as the applicant.

The recruiter can email any of the people through LinkedIn and ask about the employee with the applicant's knowledge. It is possible the people listed on the "Reference Search" never directly worked with the applicant, and there is no way of filtering out a co-worker who has a grudge.

The lawsuit claims the "Reference Search" falls under the guidelines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and that LinkedIn does not abide by safeguards in that law.

"In essence, LinkedIn has created a marketplace in consumer employment information, where it sells employment information, that may or may not be accurate, and that it has obtained in part from unwitting members, and without complying with the FCRA," say plaintiffs lawyers at Greenwald Davidson in Boca Raton, Fla., and the Law Offices Todd Friedman in Beverly Hills, according to The Recorder.

The case's lead plaintiff, Tracee Sweet of Suwanee, Georgia, says she applied for a job at a hotel chain, but was denied after the company used LinkedIn's Reference Search.

According to the Times, LinkedIn's premium-member help center says the Reference Search "locates people in your network who can provide reliable feedback about a job candidate" and calls the names generated "trusted references for job candidates."

But a Times reporter wrote that one of the plaintiff's lawyers typed her name into the search while she was conducting an interview with him. Of the 43 names generated, the reporter knew only four of them, and those four had never worked directly with her.

LinkedIn spokesman Joseph Roualdes told the Times that no personal information not available on a member's profile is released in the Reference Search.


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LinkedIn, the most popular job-search website, is facing a class-action lawsuit, claiming it can actually hurt the job prospects of people who use the service.
linkedin, reference, search, lawsuit
359
2014-54-09
Sunday, 09 Nov 2014 07:54 PM
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