Editorial: Should employers have access to employees' Facebooks?
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 19:09
Apparently, according to the “news,” some employers are asking both current and prospective employees for their usernames and passwords to their Facebook pages.
Why? Well, it’s for background checks and updates on whether employees are telling the truth about being sick or having other legitimate excuses for missing work.
Sounds like employers don’t believe us – any of us – ever.
On one hand, we all know fellow students who give their teachers an excuse for missing class, then romp all over Facebook with status updates on their shopping, partying, hanging out, whatever.
When you look at that, it’s easy to see why employers believe that those actions in college do not bode well for telling the truth and being dedicated in the workplace.
On the other hand, we ought to have some privacy to our lives, right? After all, our entire legal system is based upon the concept of innocent until proven guilty in court of law, so why shouldn’t someone be hired on the same premise? In other words, we’re telling the truth until an employer can prove we aren’t.
Facebook access, however, isn’t the way employers should go about gaining their proof. Facebook has privacy controls for several reasons, and we’re all told constantly by teachers, friends and potential employers that we should keep our Facebook pages “clean” so that we’re marketable.
Facebook is social media, not workplace media. Faked doctor’s notes, among other items used to perpetuate lies to teachers and employers, can be checked. For that matter, if the offense is serious enough, employers have the same “right” to administer polygraph tests as they do to randomly administer drug tests.
We understand that productivity in America is suffering, but Facebook isn’t the way to monitor it. Stay out of our social networks.