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New scrutiny may change the way employers access social media

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

by Christa Richer Cook, Esq.

According to some reports, 45% of employers use social networking sites such as Facebook to screen job applicants, 35% say they have rejected applicants because of online information they discovered, such as inappropriate pictures, references to substance abuse and bad-mouthing former employers.

The incentives for an employer to check social media are clear: It’s fast, free and easy. Social networking sites contain a potential treasure trove of in­­formation about an applicant’s character.

Before you plunge into cyberspace in search of information on applicants (or current employees), understand the legal implications. Employers’ efforts to access employees’ and applicants’ private social media websites have re­­cently been subject to increased scrutiny by New York and federal legislators.

Lawmakers see danger ahead

In April, New York State Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) introduced legislation t...(register to read more)

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