Can an Employer Force You to Reveal Your Facebook Password?

A state legislative committee approved a bill this week that would bar the practice.


Can an employer force you to reveal your Facebook or other social media password as a condition for getting hired or keeping your job?

That issue began to get some attention in March after a statistician in New York reported that during an interview with a potential employer, the woman interviewing him had searched for his Facebook and, upon discovering that it was private, asked him for the password.

The statistician, Justin Bassett, refused and left the interview according to the Associated Press.

But the story brought to light other instances where employers have sought similar access to social media accounts, and have led several states to consider legislation to ban the practice.

California's assembly voted Thursday to approve such legislation and a committee in the New Jersey general assembly passed a bill with similar wording on Thursday.

According to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Labor Relations Board has reviewed 129 cases involving social media, although many are in the early stages. The issues raised include not just whether an employer can ask for an employee's password, but whether the employer can force the employee to accept a "Like" request so the employee's social media activities can be monitored; whether the employer may uses social media to spy on an employee; or whether an employer is justified in firing or disciplining an employee because of something they post on a social media site.

So what's your take? Does your boss have a legitimate interest in what you say on Facebook?

barbara May 20, 2012 at 03:24 PM
No, they do not have the right to your facebook account. I love FB, i communicate with many friends and relatives from far away. FB is great. It is none of their business to see my FB account, they can get their needed info from my application and background check. seriously........this is so stupid. would the boss give me his fb password? not that i would want it.
Bob Wise May 23, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Thanks EggsnTost. My "Patch stalker" is just a political hack that is still trying to look up my tax records. A real nut job for sure. Keep on giving your opinion, and NEVER use your real name if you don't want to be attacked. These cowards can never win a debate, all they know is how to attack and harass.
Kathie Bottazzi May 23, 2012 at 01:00 PM
What employees Councilman?? Your blogging here with fictitious names and facts is stalking enough isn't it? Just saying
Gabe Fletcher June 01, 2012 at 08:13 AM
To ANYONE that thinks this is OK, you should probably shoot yourself in the face right now.... LOL. This is called INVASION OF PRIVACY and is considered a FELONY and is AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION. Facebook is mean't to be PERSONAL. That individual is allowed to post WHAT THEY PLEASE at any given time, without scrutiny. If you think for one second, just because an employee works for you, it entitles you access to their private areas, you are on some serious drugs. (feel free to SHARE SOME) its like this - if an employer asked to read my mail or read the text messages or my private e-mail on my phone or asked me for my banking account numbers and passwords and told me I had better do it or I would be fired... you bet your ass I would be walking out the door. NOT TO MENTION ITS AGAINST FACEBOOK's TOS TO SHARE YOUR LOGIN INFORMATION WITH ANYONE!!!! LSNATIVE - The issue here is that this is an INVASION OF PRIVACY. The principal of the entire ordeal is not that of whether or not your facebook has questionable material on it, its whether or not that person wants to have their constitutional rights violated. Do us all a favor and shoot yourself in the foot, I am sure the rest of us, the rest of your family and the entire world would be better suited without you, ya moron.
Paul Temkin June 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
No problem. I know which Facebook account to give them. It shows them what a wonderful citizen I am, with very bland political views. Didn't know I had a cousin named Millie? I didn't, until I became a church deacon. And a soup kitchen volunteer. Get with the program, folks. The Internet is still coming, and Baby needs new shoes.


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