Many job seekers turn to LinkedIn to expand their network and create a digital profile to share with recruiters and employers. Many LinkedIn users also spend time soliciting references and recommendations to bolster their profiles. What they may not realize is that recruiters and employers can use LinkedIn to create a secret reference list and conduct “back door” reference checks, too.
Not every recruiter or employer does this, of course, but those who do can use the LinkedIn “Reference Search” function to generate a list of people in their own network who worked at the same company at the same time as a job candidate. The recruiter or employer can then contact people on the list, without notifying the job candidate. The function is only available to LinkedIn premium account holders.
Now, four workers are suing LinkedIn and contending that the Reference Search function has cost them job opportunities. They are charging that LinkedIn, in providing the job reference material, enabled potential employers to “anonymously dig into the employment history of any LinkedIn member, and make hiring and firing decisions based upon the information they gather,” without ensuring that the information was accurate and, therefore, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Read more here.