Why California Is Banning Social Media from the Hiring Process
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
April 23 2012 10:57 AM ET
You had a great job interview, but the next thing you know, the company has rejected your application. Why? They saw something they didn't like on your Facebook page or saw a tweet that didn't jibe with "the corporate view." Following February's outcry over a Maryland man who was required to hand over his social media login and password during an interview, California has moved to ban employers in the state from that practice and others.
This week, the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee will vote on Assembly Bill 1844, authored by California State Assembly member Nora Campos (D-San Jose). The law would ban prospective or current employers from asking individuals for their social media logins and also specifically remove social media as a source of determining whether or not a person is "unfit or competent" to fill a position. (California currently regulates hiring practices, including background checks. Some employers include searching a prospect's Facebook , Twitter and other social accounts as part of the process.)
"When we seek employment, we would never be expected to provide our prospective employer with personal information, such as family photos," Campos said in a statement. "The same expectations must be applied to social media, where a user's personal profile is just that – personal."
California has been on the leading edge of privacy reform for its citizens so far this year. In February, the state attorney general forged a deal with tech companies such as Apple and Google requiring that mobile apps inform users exactly what information they can gather.
The bill will be heard before the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee this Tuesday, April 24. If passed, it will go to the Assembly Labor Committee for a vote on May 2 and then back to the full Assembly for a vote.