Just a few days back it was reported that potential employees were asked to share their Facebook credentials with interviewers in order to perform a background check of their Facebook profiles. However, having refused to give the details will either lead to being fired or lose the opportunity to get employed at that company.
A teacher named Kimberly Hester has been reportedly suspended from Frank Squires Elementary School in Cassopolis, Michigan, after she refused to give her Facebook credentials to the administration of the school. It is said that Hester posted a picture (last year) of a co-worker’s pants down around her ankles. Only the co-worker’s pants and shoes are visible in the photo.
It all started in April last year when Hester posted a picture of a co-worker with the caption “Thinking of you.” This was noted by a parent and a friend of Hester who then complained to the school authority. Lewis Cass ISD superintendent Robert Colby asked Hester to provide login details in order to access her Facebook account to verify the information. Colby requested to provide the details, thrice all of which were refused by Hester.
“He asked me three times if he could view my Facebook and I repeatedly said I was not OK with that,” said Hester.
In a letter to Hester from the Lewis Cass ISD Special Education Director, he wrote “…in the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly.”
In a response to this, Hester filed a lawsuit against the school district and the actions of Colby. According to WSBT, when asked about her decision to bring the lawsuit against the school district, Hester stated “I stand by it. I did nothing wrong. And I would not, still to this day, let them in my Facebook. And I don’t think it’s OK for an employer to ask you.”
Hester plans to use the letter she received from Lewis in her legal case against the school district. School district administrators or officials have not made any statement about the lawsuit or the credential request put forward by Colby. The case is scheduled for arbitration in May 2012.
Facebook has already warned employers not to demand passwords from job seekers or applicants as it is a clear invasion of privacy that opens companies to legal liabilities. The social networking giant had also threatened to take legal actions against such companies.