A former employee who was a direct report of mine, and who I recently terminated, is asking for a LinkedIn recommendation.
The individual was fired because the quality of his work (software engineering) was not up to the standards we need, and we are unable to provide the time and support/mentorship structure he needs in order to grow. He may well succeed if allowed to grow at a slower pace, in a larger company, with lower responsibilities, and a good mentorship network. As a small startup, we cannot provide that type of role right now.
I indicated to him that I would serve as a reference to potential employers, and I am happy to make a verbal recommendation, highlighting the type of role for which I think he may be suited.
I am, however, reluctant to put anything in writing, especially on a social platform. Can anyone familiar with regulations around this sort of thing educate me as to whether I am right to be cautious? I am afraid that I could open myself to claims of withholding relevant information if I write a positive recommendation with no note that he was actually terminated.