The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Your password for this job...


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.



Applied for a job recently?

When more than 50 people apply for a job running a register at a grocery store, you know the job market is tight.

That means employers have the upper hand. How upper? How about getting into your Facebook account?

No worries, you say. Let ‘em look.

How about if they ask for your FB password?

As generally happens, the National Public Radio story goes further than the above link. NPR’s piece asks the questions you have.

So what would you do? Pony up the password or say No and exit the job interview?

Depends entirely on how much you need the job, I say.

Employers do have some restrictions on the questions they can ask. Employers cannot ask your religious preference (unless you are applying for a job in a religious organization). Can’t ask how many kids you have, albeit finding that out is simple enough. Can’t ask if you have any handicaps unless it is directly related to your ability to do the job.

Which does not address the issue of: Is this FB request legal? If you ask me, I say probably. Here’s why.

FB by it’s very nature is a public medium. It is used to spread drama far and wide, share bad jokes, express political opinions and be an idiot in a very public forum. Yes it has private groups (I am in one for the TV production company I work for).  Some people do set their profiles to private, but they do have friends.

Those friends can “share” the stuff you post, making it very public.
The truth about the internet


So. If you are employed by a company and on FB, you and your FB are a public reflection of that company. Companies do have the right to control what their employees do which affects and effects the business.

Point 2: You’ll find that a serious percentage of FB users who hold FT jobs access FB while on the job. If you use company time, company property and company resources to do this, then what you do belongs to the company unless you have a contract that clearly states otherwise. So yeah, if post to FB on company time, then the company has as much right to access your FB page as you do.

On the flip slide, the company does not monitor your calls made from your house. If you pay your cell phone bill, the company can’t monitor your calls, provided you don’t do it on company time.

You may say “If I do it on my time, the company can’t do anything about it.” Not so. If you rob a bank on your own time and get caught, expect to be fired.

“Well, yeah, that’s breaking the law though.”
I lie. I'm not sorry at all. I may be irked, though

You don’t have to break the law. I know plenty of people who were fired because they did something on their own time which was legal but made them look bad in public OR the “my time” activities did not fit the corporate culture. You probably do too.

Further there is an implied “good will” whenever someone is hired. That means you agree to not speak ill of the company you work for. This has been upheld.

You don’t have a lot of recourse if you are fired for any of the above issues.

“I’ll sue ‘em.”

Go ahead. You do two things. 1: You immediately set yourself up to be fired as soon as you screw up in the tiniest fashion. 2: You establish you are willing to sue if you don’t get your way which means other employers are going to regard you as toxic waste.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how long it'll be before everyone has multiple FB accounts. One for normal use, one for "clean" use and one just for the government to sit and spin on. :-)

    ReplyDelete