Can a former employer force you to change your LinkedIn profile? Well, yes and no. I mean, they usually cannot do anything legally about what you put in your account, just as they usually cannot dictate your profile content even when you’re working for them. But there are many cases in which the employers can force the ex-employee to at least make some changes in their experience section based on the contract the employee had with them.
When you google the question of: can be former employer force you to change your LinkedIn profile, mostly every page you open says that no, it is not possible, or they cannot do much to make their ex-employees change a thing in their profile.
It is correct, at least in most cases, but still, some organizations insist on their employees not to mention working for them after they leave there. For example, the CIA, MI5, ASIO, etc., and it can be arguably logical, but these examples might seem a bit out of reach, right? Not everyone works for security services. So let me give you a more tangible example; it is a personal experience.
So I used to work with a company as a code developer freelancer some years ago. I had signed a contract with them that required me not to disclose in any way or anywhere that I ever worked for them after the end of my cooperation with that company.
Well, some companies are like this. This can happen to every freelancer, and I must say that each institution has its own reasons. In fact, this kind of agreement in work contracts often does not make us doubt even a bit about signing.
Why should I let go of the opportunity to work for a very good company or institution or organization just because I can’t say later that I worked at that place?
To bring a real example of the clause you might not have cared for in your contract that your employer might be able to use against you in a court of law, take a look at a clause that was the main document of the case of Robert Half International, Inc. v. Ainsworth.
The case was that Robert Half International, Inc. had sued six of her former employees in court regarding the clause of the contract that you can see below.
“After termination of Employee’s employment with Employer, Employee shall not indicate on any stationary, business card, advertising, solicitation, or other business materials that Employee is or was formerly an employee of Employer, any of its divisions, or any of the RHI Companies except in the bona fide submission of resumes and the filling out of applications in the course of seeking employment.”
Does it feel familiar? So you might have signed such a thing and did not even notice it. If that’s so, your former employer can force you to change your LinkedIn profile, at least some parts of it.
But if you did not sign such a thing, then, no, they cannot do too much about your profile and it’s content. They can, of course, ask LinkedIn support to remove you from their current employee list (if you chose not to update your profile after leaving), and usually, LinkedIn agrees. Still, it is a long process, and all they can do is official.
So, can a former employer force you to change your LinkedIn profile? There is no definite answer to this question; it all depends on the condition.
Have you agreed with a confidentiality clause in your contract about working for them? If yes, they can sue you in a court of law. Have you ever faced a problem like this? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section.