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Social Media Faces the EEOC

March 20, 2014 by Kathryn Carlson


Last week four attorneys testified before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), beginning a discussion on how social media in the workplace affects the enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws.

The attorneys delved into social media, free speech rights, and user privacy concerns, wrapping up with the final debate of whether or not employers have the right to ask for employee’s passwords.

A main point of concern and discussion was the risk of discrimination during recruitment, screening, and hiring due to information found on social media sites. However, 2013 SHRM research demonstrates that although some employers do screen applicants by looking at their social media profiles, it does not mean that the use of the results in hiring exclusion. Only 15 percent of hirers use the information they find from online search engines, and only 30 percent use the information they find from social media sites.

EEOC testimonies and discussions will continue; the commission record is open for 15 days, and the public is open to take part in the discussion by submitting comments to [email protected].

While the social media laws are being defined, do you have a policy for your dealership? Since 2012, twelve states have passed legislation barring employers from requesting electronic password information, including social media passwords. Currently similar legislation is pending in many other states.

To learn the status of your state’s social media accounts privacy laws, click here. (Provided by BLR)

To get a sample social media policy for your dealership, contact [email protected].

Posted in: Human Resources Management Tags: court, discrimination, EEOC, employment, Media, privacy, recruitment, Ruling, Social