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HR TIps: Recruiting Process Management And Social Media Passwords

By January 7, 2013February 19th, 2015No Comments

iStock_000009726138XSmallRecruiting process management has changed with the times, and determining who the right candidate would be for a position has become to some extent more challenging and easier due to social media.  Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn among others have become a hotbed of information and new legislation with regard to what employers can and can not request from candidates. For example, recent legislation in several states addresses the question of whether an employer can request the passwords to a social media account.

With so many people using social media, it really was a matter of time before questions of legality arose and what an employer can or can not access as well as best practices for human resources regarding social media.  However, there are some states that have already decided that employers should be prohibited from requiring an employee relinquish their personal password protected social media accounts.

If you are an employer in one of these four states (Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan) state law prohibits requesting the password from candidates.  Maryland’s law has been effective longer, but the other states, California, Illinois and Michigan, went into effect with the New Year.

As an emerging trend, most employers should prepare a social media policy and also monitor what their state law is and how it may change.  There are several states that are preparing similar legislation, and the US Congress may also be approving legislation related to social media policy.  The NLRB is also ruling on social media policy and recently there was a case where an associate felt that other employees were bullying or harassing her on her Facebook page.

Understanding what is protected and what isn’t protected is critical to remaining compliant and as these laws vary from state to state, just knowing what the law is for the corporate office may not protect you if your policy is not compliant with state mandates.

How can employers remain compliant? Here are 4 tips to be sure that recruiting process management and social media policy are in compliance:

  1. Monitor legislative developments to stay on top of changes if or when they occur;
  2. Make sure that searches and use of information from social media sites doesn’t violate antidiscrimination laws;
  3. Monitor decisions rendered by courts and the National Labor Relations Board on these issues;
  4. Be sure that social media policy is current and compliant with national, state and local law.

Utilizing an outsource human resources company can help to keep you in the loop and assure that your human resources policy manual is compliant with changing state and federal regulations.  If you haven’t recently reviewed your company policy, with the new year, it may be time, especially with so many legislative changes that take effect with the changing of the year.

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