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The Facebook Face-off

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A survey commissioned by CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their......

A survey commissioned by CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource. They also found that a significant percentage of job seekers are passed over because of inappropriate posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The Associated Press reported, employers are increasingly asking job applicants to turn over their Facebook user IDs and passwords as part of the interview process. The fact is that in 88 percent of U.S. states, an employer can require you to hand over your social media password before they hire you!
Congress has been asked to consider a law making such demands illegal on the grounds that they constitute an invasion of privacy. However, the provision, proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Co.), was voted down 224-189. “People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter. They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets. No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment. Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications. Employers essentially can act as imposters and assume the identity of an employee and continually access, monitor and even manipulate an employee's personal social activities and opinions. That's simply a step too far.” Perlmutter explained in a Huffington Post Article. California and Illinois became the most recent states to pass the social media password protection laws. Six states, California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey enacted legislation in 2012 that prohibits requesting or requiring an employee, student or applicant to disclose a user name or password for a personal social media account. California, Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan laws apply to employers. California, Delaware, Michigan and New Jersey have laws that apply to academic institutions.
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  • 1. The Facebook Face-off By Alixandra Porembski Planning Logic
  • 2. Can Employers ask to access your Facebook Page?  A survey commissioned by the online employment website CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource.
  • 3. Facebook in Congress:  No laws make it illegal for employers to demand access to their workers’ password- protected Facebook accounts.  Congress was asked to consider a law making such demands illegal on the grounds that they constitute an invasion of privacy.  The provision, proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Co.), was voted down 224-189, with Republicans constituting the majority.
  • 4. Legislation:  In 44/50, 88 percent of U.S. states, an employer can require you to hand over your social media password before they hire you!  Six states, California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey enacted legislation in 2012 that prohibits requesting or requiring an employee, student or applicant to disclose a user name or password for a personal social media account.
  • 5. Companies say:  We are trying to learn as much as we can about workers, trying to avoid costly hires.  Background checks are essential among public agencies, especially law enforcement positions like police officers or 911 dispatchers.  Social Intelligence, an online company that claims to be the leading provider of social media screening utilizes “social media background checks” to research prospective employees’ entire social online presence and provides detailed reports of questionable findings to hiring managers.
  • 6. Others claim:  Access to personal accounts is needed to protect proprietary information or trade secrets, to comply with federal financial regulations, or to prevent the employer from being exposed to legal liabilities.  Sears Holdings Inc. said using a Facebook profile to apply allows Sears to be updated on the applicant's work history.  Because “people keep their social profiles updated to the minute, which allows us to consider them for other jobs in the future or for ones that they may not realize are available currently.”
  • 7. What about Discrimination?  Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating based on gender, race, and religion; and state and local laws protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, political affiliation, and even, in some cases, appearance.  If an employer discovers a job applicant is a member of a protected group for anti- discrimination purposes, the employer might be vulnerable if it doesn’t ultimately hire that person.  Facebook pages often reveal race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, marital status, and age.
  • 8. I conducted a survey of Friends, Family, and Colleagues, asking about the practices of their companies and their personal opinions on the matter. 22 Responded
  • 9. Opinions:  “(Employers)should be able to access what the user chooses to make public”  “Some (of my coworkers) do perform web searches for applicants, but personal social media platforms are discounted. It's never a factor in the hiring process.“  “Employees should have a personal life that is beyond the reach of the employer. What they do with their personal time should be personal so long as it is not illegal.”
  • 10. Q: Does your company currently request to see employees or applicants Facebook pages?
  • 11. Q: How comfortable are you sharing your Facebook page with your employer?
  • 12. Q: Are you Friends on your Facebook page with your Boss? 27.27% 72.73%
  • 13. Q: Do you feel it is legal for companies to access the Facebook pages of employees?
  • 14. Have you been asked? Are you surprised to learn how few states have passed password protection laws? Do you think employers have a point about hiring the right people, or is this just a blatant violation of privacy?
  • 15. It changed mine! Follow our Blog at: http://planninglogic.wordpress.com Will this change our online behavior?