Is an Employer Allowed to Screen Through Facebook?

Is an Employer Allowed to Screen Through Facebook?

For many years, employers have accessed public and personal information on potential employees by conducting background checks.

Today, with the popularity of social media, many employers have begun to review an applicant’s online profile on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The question is, is this legal?

While criminal background checks may be a valid tool for employers during the hiring process, requiring certain personal information may be an invasion of an individual’s privacy and illegal.

Currently, Maryland, California, Illinois and Michigan have passed laws prohibiting employers from requiring applicants to provide passwords to their social media accounts. N.J. has a similar bill awaiting approval.

As far as viewing a public profile on a potential applicant and using that in your decision-making, the jury is still out.

U.S. Information Search recommends the following. Employers should be careful about making decisions based on social media profiles and educate themselves on their State or industry rules. Applicants should be careful about what they post publicly, review their profiles and if needed edit their online presence.

U.S. Information Search is a national background check company located in Rockland County, N.Y. For more information, visit: