Over the past few years some employers have been engaging in the unsavory practice of asking potential employees for their facebook login details so that they could snoop around and view their private details and postings. In some cases the information found on social media sites – like facebook and twitter – have been used to disqualify them for the job. In other cases when potential employees refused to give over their login details, the employers simply refused to hire them.
Starting in January 2013, California and Illinois have joined the ranks of Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware in passing state laws designed to prohibit employers from requiring an employee or job applicant to provide their username and password for social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
This legal trend is expected to spread to other states. Employers who are not limited by these state laws should think carefully about asking to see a potential employee’s private social media information. Attorneys have pointed out that this is a clear case of violation of one’s privacy.