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Facebook privacy threatened by employers

Posted on June 1st, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

For some time now, employers have either used or been tempted to use social media to gauge how appropriate prospective employees are for certain positions.

Access to a worker or prospect's Facebook information can be beneficial in some regard – monitoring usage can help companies avoid security issues such as employees posting unauthorized videos or company activities, notes PC World.

But in most cases, the liabilities associated with such action outweigh the benefits. For instance, a hiring manager could find him or herself in serious trouble if Facebook is used to determine an employee's religions or sexual orientation, which would violate equal employment laws.

Sometimes, in interviews, HR administration have asked for prospects' social media passwords, a practice that U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal recently attempted to eradicate with legislation, PC World reports.

If passed, his bill would prohibit employers from requiring a current or prospective employee to disclose any username, password or other means of accessing a personal social media account, among other provisions.

"In this job market, especially, employers clearly have the upper hand," said bill sponsor and Assemblyman John Burzichelli. "Demanding this information is akin to coercion when it might mean the difference between landing a job and not being able to put food on the table for your family."

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