Can My Employer Check My Social Media?

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You may have already heard this before, but the way you portray yourself on social media is important, for many reasons. For one, you want to be positively perceived by prospective employers and your current employer alike. In other words, you do not want to give them any opportunity to dismiss your job application or dismiss you from your job role entirely. Follow along to find out whether your employer is allowed to check your social media and how one of the proficient New Jersey employment lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can protect you from any misunderstandings that may arise.

Does my employer hold the legal authority to check my social media?

According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employer holds certain rights to conduct a background check on you. This may include a search into your use of online social media. Such an investigation is supposed to let them fairly judge certain aspects of your character. However, in the state of New Jersey, it is illegal for certain types of information found on your online social media to be used against you in a hiring decision. More specific examples include the following:

  • Posts that reveal your religious outlook.
  • Posts that reveal your pregnancy status.
  • Posts that reveal your sexual orientation.
  • Posts that reveal the political activities you participate in off-duty.
  • Posts that reveal the legal tobacco or alcohol products you consume off-duty.

It is also worth mentioning that, as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you must give your written permission before a third-party company initiates a background search on you. Further, you must be given notice if an employer denies your job application based on the contents found in this search.

What can I do to protect my social media from my current and future employers?

To reiterate, you do not want your social media to give your current and future employers any reason to legally deny your employment. Without further ado, it may be in your best interest to follow the below social media tips:

  • Turn on your privacy settings on your social media accounts so that your current and future employers cannot easily access them.
  • Evaluate your publicly accessible information and ensure you are comfortable with your current and future employers viewing it.
  • Prepare a legitimate explanation to give to your current and future employers for your deleted posts that have since been reproduced or quoted elsewhere.
  • Untag yourself from posts on your friends’ and family members’ social media accounts that you are not comfortable with your current and future employers viewing.
  • Ask your friends and family members to remove posts of you from their social media accounts that you are not comfortable with your current and future employers viewing.

All in all, to better control how your social media presence is perceived, you must turn to one of the talented New Jersey employment lawyers. So please get in touch with us at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. as soon as you get a free chance.

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