Social Networking and Negative Information

According to suveys conducted by the HR Daily Advisor, 44% of employers use social networking site like Facebook to examine the profiles of job candidates. 39% have actually checked these sites on their current employees.

When they find negative inofrmation, such as revealing photos or lewd conduct the potential for being passed up for a job or even fired is high. However, employers should be careful using this information when making hiring decisions. The negative information could lead to a discrimination claim.

Read the social network's use and privacy policys carefully. Facebook's "Use Policy" states, "if you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and podt a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it."

Also, it is important to make sure the information you are discovering actually belongs to the individual you are researching.

In addition to hiring/firing descrimination suits, there have been cases of negligent hiring and retention; claims that indicate an employer has an obligation to take action when an employee expresses a record of violence on public forums.