When Facebook first came out, you never had to worry if your boss was on Facebook. Eventually bosses caught on that Facebook was a great way to spy on employees or even see what potential employees are up to on social media. It is doubtful that this was Facebook’s intention when they first released. As of September 28th, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown has banned employers from asking potential employees and current employees for their Facebook information.
Since California pioneered the social media revolution, it was necessary for California to also stop the invasion of social media users privacy. Employers felt it was within their right to ask employees for their Facebook login credentials so that they could spy on their employees, but now that is going to change.
California employers cannot ask for access to any online accounts from their employees. This bill will also apply to educational institutions as well as students. Non-profit organizations will be required to post their social media privacy policies online as well.
Why the Sudden Change?
California law makers have been debating for some time about the issue with Facebook and employers. Finally they have come to the conclusion that it is unfair to request access to an employee’s Facebook account. By having access, employers are opened up to information that is highly personal. This information can include an employee’s religion, sexual orientation and other information that they normally would not share with employers, nor are they required to share by law.
Should You Add Your Boss as a Facebook Friend?
The California law does not cover adding a boss as a Facebook friend, but by law, employers cannot force employees to add them. So, it is up to you whether or not you want to add your boss. Word to the wise, however, if you plan on calling in sick, make sure you do not post pictures of you and friends on the beach via Facebook — especially if your boss is your Facebook friend.
[Image via lowbird]