Senator Richard Blumenthal said he would introduce a bill that would make it illegal for companies to ask job seekers for their Facebook account passwords. The Democrat from Connecticut and the state’s former attorney general said these types of requests are unreasonable and an invasion of privacy.
Blumenthal says the practice should be illegal as other employment practices such as polygraph tests are. He said he was troubled by practices that were spreading across the country. He said a potential employer has a number of ways to find personal information about job seekers.
Blumenthal said his legislation would be proposed in the near future. His concern is due to reports that employers are asking job seekers as well as current employees for passwords to their social network sites and email accounts. Companies he said are trying to check up on the online behavior of job seekers and employees.
State regulators across the country are also looking into the issue. Blumenthal however, said he was in the process of drafting legislation to outlaw the practice entirely. His rationale for this is based on the federal law that prohibits polygraph tests to be administered by potential employers in their process of hiring new employees.
The bill would not limit a company’s ability to search for everything available about a potential employee that is in the public domain.