Employers Ask Job Applicants to Provide Facebook Access
Stoel Rives labor and employment attorney Matt Durham was featured in a KSL TV report about efforts by certain employers and universities to gain access to private Facebook postings. According to the report, many universities now require student-athletes to "friend" their coach or compliance officer for monitoring purposes. Job applicants to certain police departments and state departments of corrections have also reportedly been asked to provide access to their private social networking posts.
Durham said that asking job applicants to provide their Facebook profile raises both practical and legal concerns for employers. First, he noted that qualified prospects may refuse to work for a company that is perceived as too intrusive. Second, he noted that private employers could potentially face a lawsuit if they used information gained from Facebook in the hiring process.
"The problem is, what they can't use in making employment decisions — things like race, religion, gender and in some cases marital status or sexual orientation — that is all information that they might inadvertently get if they use social media."
For more on social media and other employment topics, follow Matt Durham on Twitter @MattDurhamStoel. And follow Stoel Rives @stoelrives.
"Potential employers, universities asking for Facebook access" was published by KSL TV, March 6, 2012. The news report by Nkoyo Iyamba was broadcast at 5:12 p.m., March 6, 2012 on KSL TV.