Are you one of the many people who now document every event in your life
on social media? Your friends and family may not be the only ones looking.
Yesterday the EEOC stated that many employers in discrimination and unfair
termination suits burden individual plaintiffs with excessive discovery
requests that delve into their personal social media use, even going as
far as requesting user IDs and passwords. Apparently some employers are
even delving into the social media postings of employees' family and
friends. The concern of the EEOC and plaintiff's attorneys is that
this pattern will have a chilling effect on employee's willingness
to bring a case.
Isn't there is a law against this? Nope, at least not yet. Currently
there isn't an overarching federal law that governs employers'
access to employees' personal social media accounts and activity,
and only 12 states have any laws at all on the issue. Employers are entitled
to perform background checks on potential employees, and in doing so,
they must be in compliance with laws banning discrimination based on race,
color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, genetic information
and age, and any time an employer gets a background report from an outside
agency it must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
So if you think that you are subject to any form of employment discrimination
in the workplace, take a close look at what you are posting on social
media. Is there any way that the information could be used to compromise
your claim? Even innocent posts could be twisted the wrong way in litigation
by an employer intent on disproving your contentions.
If you feel you have been discriminated against in your workplace, call
the attorneys at Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP. And curtail your social media presence