A Washington job interview can be a rigorous process. And rightfully so, not only is your potential employer trying to determine whether you have the skills to get the job done but they also wants to make sure you have the personality and other features that will mesh well with the company culture they are trying to achieve. It comes as no surprise that social network profiles are a great window into the life of a potential employee. Unfortunately, many companies across the nation took this a step further to not only look at profiles but ask potential employees for unfettered access to their social media profiles with their keywords.
KomoNews.com reports some good news when it comes to employee privacy and social media profiles. Washington has just become the fifth state in 2013 to sign laws protecting social media passwords at the workplace and job interviews. Not only does the bill bar employers for asking for this access to accounts but also bars employers from forcing workers to “friend” employers.
What the bill is aimed at is obvious and simple—allowing employees to maintain a sense of privacy. What Seattle social media bill is not aimed at is protecting these social sites if an employee is leaking important company information on their Facebook or Twitter pages.
Komonews.com quotes Democratic Senator Steve Hobbs, “We don’t have to sacrifice our privacy for advances in technology. As the social media technology advances people are afraid about their privacy and its good to be ahead on this one.”
In these tough economic times, many employees are not realizing that they are sacrificing important workplace protections in their attempt to secure or keep a job. In addition to not giving away your password, you have many other legal safeguards in place before you take a job and even if you don’t get a job. If you feel like you have been placed in a compromising position like this, you should get in touch with a Washington employment attorney to discuss your case further. These questions or demands may amount to things like employment discrimination or invasion in privacy.
Komonews.com also quotes governor Jay Inslee: ” We’re trying to assure people’s privacy in this space, that we have vigilance and the ability to move on a moment’s notice when people’s privacy has been violated. I think it is a solid step to give people privacy but I would not be shocked if there’s some new app or application or a laser beam hologram technology we haven’t dreamed of yet that makes further work necessary.”
When the laser beam hologram is invented, we will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, enjoy your social media privacy but also make sure to keep a professional-facing presence for those aspects of your profile that can be discovered online.