What? Some Employers Asking For Social Media Passwords, Info.


Greensboro, N.C. – Some employers are asking potential job candidates to provide login and password information for social network sites. The companies are then scouring the social sites for any information that might affect their hiring decision. Others are simply searching the sites for any information they can access.

Is it legal for a company to ask for your username and password? News 2 discovered it’s a gray area.

“Our laws just have not caught up with the technology age. We’re still having the court system trying to decide how far we go with the freedom of speech and other types of issues,” Attorney Karen McKeithen Schaede said.

Even though we’re talking about new technology, old laws still apply. For example, the Civil Rights Act says discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin is illegal.

Schaede said, “Employers need to be aware when they’re asking for this information, they’re also opening themselves up to possible future litigation. They have to be cautious of what they’re asking candidates to do.”

If you want to be a Winston-Salem or Greensboro Police Officer, investigators will look at your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Assistant Greensboro Police Chief Anita Holder told me officers understand they must give up some of their own rights to protect the rights of others. As part of the application process, the department asks you to log on and scroll through your social networks.

“Because of the background process and the thoroughness of it, they know that we have to check every piece of information that we can. Checking their social sites is sort of the equivalent of things we would have done twenty years ago by calling friends and neighbors,” Holder said.

Colleges and Universities are also monitoring social networks. At UNCG, some coaches require players to “friend” them on Facebook. The level of monitoring depends on the coach and sport.

News 2 asked Schaede what you can do to protect yourself. She said, “Don’t post anything online that wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing in court.”  Source: Mark Geary.

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Posted on March 9, 2012, in Job Search. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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