Social Media's Use in Employment Decisions Essay examples

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Social media outlets have allowed society to share more information than ever before. The often forgotten fact by internet users is that once a picture, Tweet, or post has been published to a social media site it forever becomes part of the annals of the web. While many believe what they do and say on a social media site will not affect their chances at future employment or provide grounds for termination, the reality is quite the opposite. A new trend has emerged in Employment Law in which employers are making employment decision based off of what they find in applicants or employee’s social media activity. The questions regarding the legality of this practice are extensive. While social media can be a powerful tool in recruitment of a potential candidate, much of the personal information contained on these websites are protected characteristics under existing laws that protect employees from discrimination. Employers need to careful to balance employee’s rights against the business needs of a company.
Social media’s usage in employment decisions has emerged as a contemporary problem in Employment Law for several reasons. The first reason for this trends development is the excessive usage of social media websites. According to a recent Pew report 65% of adults who use the internet have a social media presence in some form. (Hidy 70) With that in mind employers have begun to use the information found within a social media website to obtain information they do not otherwise get on a resume and in an interview. These web pages can give the employer and insight into the true nature of an applicant. However employers need to approach the information on social media websites with care as these sites are easily manipul...

... middle of paper ..., the Federal Government will need to provide legal guidelines on the extent to which employers are allowed to use information contained on social media websites.

Works Cited

Calabrese, Chris. “Password Protection Act of 2012: A Good Start Against Employer Snooping.” 9 May 2012 American Civil Liberties Union. Web. Blog.
Hidy, Kathleen McGarvey, and Mary Sheila E. McDonald. "Risky Business: The Legal Implications Of
Social Media's Increasing Role In Employment Decisions." Journal Of Legal Studies In Business
18.(2013): 69-107. Business Source Complete. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
O'Shea, Kellie A. "Use Of Social Media In Employment: Should I Hire? Should I Fire?." Cornell HR Review
(2012): 1-10. Business Source Complete. Web. 8 Dec. 2013
Stern, Joanna. “Legislation Would Make it Illegal for Employers to Ask for Passwords.” ABC News. 6.
Feb. 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2013

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