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Many employers now use social media tools to screen and evaluate job applicants. Such efforts can spring from a positive intent to share mutual interests or devolve into efforts to pry into the personal lives of people. Nevertheless, by its very nature, people who use social media websites typically broadcast their feelings, opinions, and thoughts to the wider world, or with the use of privacy tools, a preselected audience. Beyond the issue of whether employers have been accurately surveyed about their use of social media tools to screen applicants, many persons expect or suspect that potential employers may search their names and then, at a minimum, search for publicly available social media website postings that contain text, pictures, or video of their own or posted about them by other persons. Any employer who undertakes such endeavors directly, or through third-party contractors, needs to remain mindful of the boundaries of existing labor and employment laws. This white paper reviews the EEOC guidelines when it comes to running background checks and discusses the Fair Credit Reporting Act used for employment purposes.
Ambrose V. McCall
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
- Partner of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
- Represents a number of employers regarding employer monitoring and privacy issues and related claims by employees before courts and governmental agencies
- Advises clients on a range of employment issues, including state and federal regulatory laws, compliance, handbooks, and employee programs
- Defends clients against claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, wage and hour, and civil rights
- Represents a number of clients in commercial litigation, including breach of contract, real estate, and construction claims
- Clients include a wide variety of insurers, professionals, and business firms throughout Illinois
- J.D. degree, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- Can be contacted at [email protected]
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