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Googling Employee Names is Not Illegal

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Googling Employee Names is Not Illegal

Yesterday three US federal judges upheld a decision which said that a federal employee’s reputation was not harmed by a search on Google for his name, and that employers can use Google to search for backgroud information on their employees.

Seems that a Mr. David M. Mullins felt that after using Google to perform searches, his former employer, the U.S. Commerce Department, was influenced by his past work behavior and fired Mr. Mullins because of his background history where he was fired from other jobs.

Mullins was fired for misuse of a government vehicle & government credit card along with falsifying travel documents.

Mullins appealed his dismissal to an administrative law judge, saying that his “right to fundamental fairness” was violated when Capell allegedly used Google to do a search on his name.

Specifically, he argued that his rights were violated when Capell “came across…my alleged prior removal from federal service by the Air Force.” He also was fired by the Smithsonian Institution. Mullins claimed that she perjured herself when saying that she was not influenced by his two prior job losses.

The appeals court, however, disagreed. It ruled that the Google searches were not prejudicial and affirmed Mullins’ dismissal as a civil servant.

Instead of trying to appeal and win his job back after being fired for wasting government property, perhaps Mr. Mullins should sink his energy into first, not getting fired from his job for doing dumb stuff and secondly, search reputation management.

More from the News.com Police Blotter.

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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