New Bill Could Protect Employee's Privacy From Snooping Superior

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By: Matt Galka

February 17, 2014, 5pm

Many of us have probably had to think twice about certain things we post on social media. A new bill could protect an employee’s privacy from a snooping superior.

When things go up on the internet, they rarely come down. It’s a concern for one lawmaker who wants to make sure what people post on their personal social media pages can’t be looked at by a potential boss and keep them from getting or keeping a job.

“There have been a lot of documented incidents, especially in other states, of abuse. Employers denying jobs to people who wouldn’t allow them access to their own social media,” said Senator Jeff Clemens (D-Palm Beach County).

Senator Jeff Clemens is pushing a bill that would help employees or potential employees keep their personal social media personal. His bill would make it illegal for an employer to demand passwords and usernames to social media accounts.

“It makes good sense to me. There’s good reasons for an employer or a prospective employer to do background checks and things of that nature, but we need to draw the line when it comes to privacy of your social media accounts,” explained Sen. Clemens.

The bill would still allow employers to search for a potential employee; it just wouldn't give them access to the entire account.

Justin Hancock is a social media expert a PR firm. He says the potential law could eliminate a lot of gray areas.

“Employers shouldn’t be asking for passwords in the first place. Personally, if I was interviewing and I was asked, that would raise a red flag for me,” said Hancock.

Regardless of whether or not an employer would have access, it's a smart idea to monitor what info you put out to the world.

“People are out there watching; we should be smart about what we put up.” said Sen. Clemens.

If the idea becomes law, employees whose privacy was violated would be entitled to $500 or more.

Setting your accounts to private is usually the best way to ensure that only people you approve are able to view your posts.

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