Video:Legal Issues for Social Media Background Checkswith Pelpina Trip
Employers conduct social media background checks under the applicants' consent and according to laws protecting private information. Watch this video from About.com to learn the legal issues tied to social media background checks for employment.See Transcript
Transcript:Legal Issues for Social Media Background Checks
Hello, I’m Pelpina Trip, here for About.com. Many employers conduct social media background checks - in this video I’ll explain the potential legal issues involving these checks - what companies should know, and what job applicants should be aware of.
Background Checks Should be Consistent
When an employer checks the background of a job applicant, they should be consistent. In other words, they should use the same screening method for all job applicants and all positions. No discrimination.
Applicants Consent to Social Media Checks
It’s also important that employers inform applicants ahead of time that they’ll be looking at the applicant’s social media profiles. So the job applicant is aware that this will take place. Employers also shouldn’t access any profiles or websites in deceptive or dishonest ways, such as befriending a job applicant through a fake profile.
Social Media Background Checks Are Lawful
Also, social media profiles can contain pretty personal information that’s legally protected. Such as age, sexual preference, designate someone as a social media researcher - an in-between person - so the decision maker does not know about the legally protected information. If employers conduct a check using a third party, the background check is covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Employers will need to notify the job applicant, and get consent to do the check. That often happens when you sign your employment application form.
Job applicants can prepare for social media background checks by editing the privacy settings of the profiles and by screening through their online blogs and networks and deleting any inappropriate content.
For more on social network checks, and job search in general, visit careers.about.com. Thanks for watching!