A teaching aide was suspended for not showing her employer her Facebook account. As mentioned a few times here at Fan To Pro, employers have been demanding access to interviewees’ Facebook passwords. This may be the first time that an already employed person has been suspended for it. The original complaint came about when a photo was posted to the aide’s Facebook page and was seen by a parent who was a friend of a co-worker. The principal demanded access, the aide refused and was thus suspended after having union representation denied. The aide is now going after back pay through legal means.
Remember, according to Facebook’s Terms of Service, sharing a password is a violation. The image in question was taken when the aide was not working. And, while teachers and teaching aides appear to have more scrutiny on them by the community, they, too, deserve privacy like we all do.
Facebook is warning employers about demanding passwords. The social networking site is also threatening legal action over the demands. However, employment lawyers are saying that it’s not illegal to ask. Mind, giving over the password is a breach of Facebook’s terms of service. If job applicants have information in their profile that’s not available publicly that’s verboten to ask at an interview, the interviewer could also be violating employment laws. Of course, check your local laws. In Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec, such password requests are privacy violations. In Ontario, not so much.