Posted by: bahughes13 | April 11, 2012

Facebook Firing

We’ve heard a great deal in the past few weeks about employers demanding job applicants’ Facebook passwords. However, the story of Marci Brabb goes even further. Marci worked at Oregon Natural Market in Ontario, Oregon. She says she was fired – at least partly – because she posted about the bad days she had at work. Although she never named her employer in the posts, at least one report stated that the employer fired her for “slander.” Her boss isn’t doing interviews, but he does admit that he had pages worth of her “private” Facebook page printed out during the termination meeting. He claims she was fired for other reasons.

Regardless of the true reason for the termination, the fact that he felt he had the ethical and legal right to access her private page is troubling. Even MY employer – which makes very clear that I have no right to privacy in any portion of my background – doesn’t ask for Facebook passwords. Maybe because the powers at my agency haven’t caught up with technology? Or maybe because even they recognize there must be a line there somewhere?

What would you do if the job you really really wanted required access to your social media accounts? Would you allow it or walk away?


  1. This trend is troubling. What’s next, asking to see your credit card statements so they can see what you buy? What magazines or newspapers you subscribe to? Your email passwords? What you broadcast online is one thing, employers have the same right to look at publicly available information as anyone else does, but it is crossing the line to demand passwords. There are many personal questions that human resources folks aren’t allowed to ask an applicant that they could easily find out the answers to by looking at someone’s’ personal online profile. And what about the privacy of their friends? They would also be able to see the personal details of people who never gave their permission.

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