Recently, one of the colleagues at the company I'm working for was fired due to inappropriate behaviour towards other colleagues. I have been working with said person for a time, and we have a few professional connections such as LinkedIn recommendations.

I wouldn't be too surprised if the colleague's reputation followed them after joining another company in the same field, and it's not just some light behavioural deviation. Should I sever all professional ties with that person?

  • Are there any actions you are planning to take, other than avoiding contact with this person? – mcknz May 15 '17 at 17:34
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    These days "fired for misconduct" can be practically anything. can you elucidate just a bit? Do you agree that he was unprofessional, or do you think this was a raw deal? – Old_Lamplighter May 15 '17 at 17:37
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    Given that this person is a (former) colleague and not a personal friend, I don't think there's really anything you need to do here, aside from being cautious with any future dealings with this person. I wouldn't burn any bridges or make any rash decisions at this point -- certainly no one would think any more or less of you because you have a LinkedIn connection to a former co-worker. People change and get second chances all the time. You have nothing really to gain from severing ties. Perhaps a period of benign neglect is what this acquaintance requires. – mcknz May 15 '17 at 18:15
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    @GabrielS I've had personal past experience with these types of people, so I may be biased, but often people with an inability (and more importantly, unwillingness to even try) to understand what's appropriate end up deciding to blame others for their failings and become completely unabashed sexists and racists in the name of "free speech". You don't want to even run the chance that his vile meltdown is the next one that goes viral and your name is even tangentially related to it. Cut all ties now. – A. McDaniel May 15 '17 at 18:41
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    Funny how this was put on hold because it is requesting opinions. That is all we can give here peeps! Opinions on the "right way" to do something work related. OP, if you feel the need to sever ties, do it. You are under no obligation to anyone to keep a LinkedIn connection, FaceBook friend or other professional & personal links to anyone. But, bear in mind that a professional connection through social media rarely causes others to look down on you. I have a friend/client who embezzled. Do I get any flack? No. – Andieisme May 16 '17 at 0:08

This is a personal decision you need to make.

  • If you don't want to be associated with someone who partakes of behaviors you find offensive and wrong and you are concerned about that then by all means sever the connections.
  • If however, your relationship is outside of those behaviors and you don't mind having a professional relationship with someone who you wouldn't agree with all their behaviors then it might be overkill to eliminate the connection entirely.

So how do you feel about the behavior and how do you feel it reflects on you by being associated with them?

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  • I'm definitely much more inclined towards the first option. There is no relationship outside of work. – Gabriel S. May 15 '17 at 18:22

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