A VIOLATION OF PRIVACY? OR PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS? CALIFORNIA PROTECTS YOUR RIGHT TO POST
New in 2013, a violation of privacy? Or a way to protect your business? The controversial topic that has California lawmakers taking action.
The new law taking effect January 1st, California employers will not be able to ask employees for their social media usernames or passwords. Randy Hansen, the owner of a staffing agency in Eureka said, "I do believe asking for passwords and user names for personal websites is crossing the line."
Hansen still advises his clients to be careful of what they post of the Internet. He adds, "I think a lot of people do have pictures of the partying or dressed inappropriately. And could tell employers that this person isn't a good representative for their company."
But Hansen says this kind of judgment is walking a fine line. He said, "You need to make sure your not discriminating. And you want to make sure you are treating each person equally."
It also depends on the job. If your applying for a retail job, the employer may not care what’s on your face book. But if you are trying to be a fire fighter or police officer, your personal pages may become an issue.
Interim Arcata Fire Chief, Justin McDonald added, "if they have a uniform on or a shirt that says I’m with Arcata fire wearing there gear and they are doing stupid stuff they that can come back to haunt them."
Fire agencies have a strict hiring process, background checks, multiple interviews, but Arcata fire say they no longer ask for passwords. McDonald added, "We have been under legal advisement of our lawyers that with the new law we don't ask for passwords. It’s voluntary to show us their Facebook page."
And starting January it will only be voluntary. It only seems fitting, California the pioneer of social media and public expression, now protecting the right to post.