Can an Employer Use Facebook to Hire or Fire?

Has your employer or a prospective employer asked for your Facebook password? Insurance companies and defense lawyers mine social media sites such as Facebook to find information and now employers are using these sites in making hiring and firing decisions.

Two recent events may change an employer’s ability to ask for your password to access your Facebook account. First, because Congress is alarmed over stories of employees being fired for Facebook postings, it is considering a new law to limit an employer’s ability to request your password. Now, in response to recent news stories, Facebook is changing its policy to protect passwords for snooping employers. The new policy makes it a violation of Facebook’s terms of service to share or ask for passwords.

These efforts are an attempt to prevent employers from accessing and then misusing such information because an employer can learn information about an employee or prospective employee (age, pregnancy or other information) that they can use (improperly) in making employment decisions. However, please keep in mind any personal information you post may be difficult to keep private.

Please contact Douglas, Leonard & Garvey P.C. for any employment law issue you may have. You can reach us at (603) 288-1403 or complete our online Contact Form.

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