For more information please call  800.727.2766


Staying Connected Through LinkedIn is Not Solicitation

Gregory Gelineau sent some LinkedIn invitations to his former co-workers after quitting his job at Bankers Life. The company sued him for violation of its non-solicitation clause; the company lost.

The LinkedIn invitations provided a link to Mr. Gelineau’s page on that site. His page listed his new job at a Bankers Life competitor. In response to the lawsuit, Mr. Gelineau submitted sworn testimony that he never sent any direct messages to his former co-workers and that the invitations to connect were generic e-mails sent to all of his connections.

The trial court and the state appellate court rejected Bankers Life’s arguments. LinkedIn invites were not “solicitations” just because recipients could see a new job posting. The appellate court’s decision was based on an analysis of courts in other jurisdictions reaching similar conclusions. Generic emails sent from the LinkedIn account were “passive” social media activity that did not qualify as solicitation. The emails did not contain any discussion of Bankers Life, or his new job, or an invitation to look particularly at his new job posting. This type of untargeted activity differed from deliberate activity directed to former customers or co-workers.