Employers Can Ask For Social Media Passwords

by Kelly Choate on May 29, 2012 at 6:36 am

If you’re in the job market, you might want to check the settings on your social media profiles.

As the law stands now, employers in Ohio have the legal right to require applicants to turn over passwords to Facebook, Twitter and other websites.  Democratic Senator Charleta Tavares of Columbus has introduced legislation that would ban employers from requesting that information.  Bob Mercer of the Muskingum County Opportunity Center said it’s a quick and easy way for employers to screen candidates.

"From an employer’s standpoint, they’re getting a lot of information about that person who is going to be a team member and be working with them," said Mercer.  "By looking at social media, they might be able to find out more than what they could get in a short interview."

Mercer said this method of obtaining personal information is part of a shift toward online applications and job interviews via webcam.  He said some applicants don’t realize they need to take steps to protect themselves.

"What we talk about is setting your privacy settings high enough to make sure that you limit your content to friends only," said Mercer.  "If they request your password, it’s up to each individual as to what they want to do."

For more information, contact the Muskingum County Opportunity Center at (740) 454-6211 or www.jobandfamily.com/oc/index.htm.