Using Social Media to Screen Applicants

Employers often ask us whether they can use social media to screen job applicants. While the short answer is “Yes,” there are some serious risks associated with doing so. An employer who uses information obtained from an applicant’s social media in hiring decisions may run afoul of numerous state and federal laws, including anti-discrimination laws, privacy laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, constitutional rights, and Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Consequently, we advise any employer who currently uses or plans to use social media in hiring decisions to consult a knowledgeable business law attorney to determine whether their current practices are lawful and to learn how to steer clear of any future liability in this emerging area of employment law.

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