Employers Beware: Requiring Applicants or Employees To Provide Social Networking Passwords or Access to Private Accounts May Violate the Law

February 17, 2016Articles BNA's Electronic Commerce & Law Report

Researching candidates through social media, and monitoring employees’ online comments, have become routine practices for many companies. However, when employers require their applicants or employees to divulge their social networking usernames or passwords, or to ‘‘friend’’ them on social media sites, they may be violating the law.

It is now customary for most employers to use social media to screen their applicants. A recent survey conducted for as of 2015 found that, 52 percent of hiring managers use search engines to research candidates, up from 43 percent in 2014 and 39 percent in 2013.

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Reproduced with permission from Electronic Commerce & Law Report, 21 ECLR, 2/17/16. Copyright Ý 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)