Employment Discrimination and Social Media Accounts
Employment discrimination on the basis of social media accounts is a complex issue that has gained increased attention in recent years. With the rise of social media, employers have begun to consider applicants' online presence and activity as a part of the hiring process. If you believe you have been discriminated against due to your social media activity, you may have an employment law case and be entitled to compensation. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, with offices in Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, we can advise you if you have faced employment discrimination due to your social media accounts.
Types of Employment Discrimination Associated with Social Media
While some employers may view social media as a useful tool for screening candidates, others may use it to discriminate against certain groups of people.
- Discrimination based on protected characteristics: An employer may discriminate against an applicant based on their social media activity, such as posts related to their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Discrimination based on political affiliation: Discrimination may occur due to an applicant's political beliefs or affiliations, which they may infer from the applicant's social media activity.
- Discrimination based on lifestyle choices: An employer may discriminate against an applicant based on their personal lifestyle choices, such as their hobbies or interests, which they may infer from their social media activity.
- Discrimination based on age: An employer may use an applicant's social media activity to infer their age and discriminate against them based on age.
It is important to note that while employers may have a legitimate interest in screening applicants to ensure that they are a good fit for the company, discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics or other factors is illegal and can lead to serious legal consequences.
Social Media Policies
In order to avoid employment discrimination based on social media accounts, employers should establish clear guidelines and policies regarding the use of social media in the hiring process, and ensure that all hiring decisions are made based on job-related factors only.
Additionally, job applicants should be aware of their rights and should take steps to ensure that their social media activity is not used against them in the hiring process. This may include adjusting privacy settings, avoiding controversial posts or topics, and being mindful of how their social media activity may be perceived by potential employers.
Do I Have to Give Potential Employers My Social Media Account Information?
In general, job applicants are not legally required to give potential employers their social media account information. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, depending on the industry, such as law enforcement or national security, which may have more stringent requirements when it comes to social media screening. We recommend speaking with an attorney if you are concerned that your rights are being violated when it comes to employment and your social media use.
Contact Our Attorneys
If you suspect you have been discriminated against due to your social media accounts, contact the attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau today. You can reach us at our Daytona Beach and Palm Coast Offices at (386) 258-7313 or send us a message online.