Is it legal for your employer to access your social media?
There is no New York State law that protects social media privacy in the workplace. This is especially true if you are using a company computer, mobile device or other company device with an internet connection.
In fact, Workplacefairness.org reported that many employers use social media when evaluating employees for performance and hiring new employees. A 2018 survey indicated the following:
- Employers (38%) have fired employees based on content the employee posted online
- Job companies (70%) gather online information about job candidates
- 57% of those companies using online information rejected applicants based on something in the candidate’s social media
While some states have passed social media privacy laws for the workplace, New York is not one of these states. There is no federal or NYS law that prevents an employer from asking for your username and password to your social media accounts.
What can you do about the lack of social media privacy in the workplace?
You can prepare ahead of time if you are doing job interviews. In the event of being asked for social media access, you can do the following:
- Create social media accounts solely for business
- Post information that presents you in a professional and positive way
- Offer your employer your business related accounts information for LinkedIn or Google
In addition, your employer cannot discriminate against you based on race, religion or creed, gender, marital status, age or disability. A prospective employer cannot ask you questions about these protected areas in an interview. Nor can the employer use social media information regarding these protected areas as a basis for discrimination.
Are you having problems with discrimination in the workplace?
The Law Office of Peter A. Romero deals with all types of employment discrimination issues. We provide representation to clients throughout NYC, including in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Harlem/Upper Manhattan. Call us at (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.