In today’s society, most people are connected via social media through Facebook, Twitter or some other social networking site. But, can what you post personally be accessed by your employer or a prospective employer? In Washington, a bill is being proposed to prevent employers from requesting social networking accounts and profile information of employers or prospective employers.
Washington state Senate Bill 6637 states that employers cannot require, “directly or indirectly, as a condition of employment or continued employment,” any password in order for the employer to access their social networking account. However, the bill goes on to state that it does not prevent an employer from obtaining information that may be in the public domain.
The proposed legislation would mean that employers could not request information from your Facebook or Twitter accounts as terms for your employment. If this occurs, the law would allow for the employee or prospective employee to sue under the law.
However, this would not prevent an employer from doing a web search to find the information online. Despite the proposed law, an employee or prospective employee may still have their information found by the employer. The prudent thing to do is to visit your privacy settings and see what the public may see. Also, be careful of what you post or say online if you are concerned about it hurting you in the future.
The proposed legislation is sought to be added to RCW 49.44.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a social media lawyer.