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One of the first things many of us tend to do when trying to find out more about someone is to find them on a social media outlet. Many people do not use the highest privacy settings, and their information is there for all the world to see. It is slowly becoming a way for others to get to know you, without actually getting to know you. What about employers and their employees? How do these roles intertwine with one another in the professional field?
Can Employers View Public Social Media Accounts?
An employer has every right to view public social media posts that are made by potential and current employees. While many companies and hiring managers do not use this information as a means for hiring a candidate, social media often does play a role in the interviewing process.
Why Do Some Employers Ask For Login and Passwords to Private Accounts?
Many employers have gotten into the habit of asking for a potential employee’s passwords and login information for email and social media accounts. Since many people use these social media accounts to convey vital information to others, an employer can see whether they are part of criminal activities or other reasons that would keep them from desiring to hire the individual. This is especially expected in law enforcement positions and other jobs where individuals need to be highly investigated.
What Does the Law Have to Say About This?
Asking for the passwords and login information to an employee’s personal account is being ruled as an invasion of privacy. As more and more states are passing laws that keep employer’s from being allowed to access this information, what is the next step for employers?
It is important that all business owners and senior management give their employees clear expectations about social media posting. While you can’t demand that an employee refrain from saying negative things about your company, you can encourage them to use good judgment when posting. If they do not want their boss to see negative thoughts about their workplace, posting that as a status is not a good idea. You can’t take away a person’s freedom of speech, but you can give wisdom and guidance about word choices.
While laws are being passed that keep employers from being allowed to access an individual’s private accounts, you do have the right to look at their public profiles.
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