employment?

Many employers are becoming social media savvy and regularly check the social media feeds of potential new hires and even existing employees. Students are routinely advised not to post anything they “would not want their grandmothers to see” on social media as it may come back to haunt them when looking for a job or even keeping a job.

People have been fired for statements made on social media, even on so-called private feeds where someone screen shoots the feed and re-posts it. A few years ago a Baltimore County teacher was fired for posting about shooting African American males seen in a Middle River neighborhood. The feed was supposed to be private and it appeared the poster was making a joke in response to another post by a woman concerned about unknown males walking in the neighborhood- but it went public and he lost his job. Humor does not translate well on social media.

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So what do you think? Should the use of social media in hiring decisions or firing decisions be allowed? Some states are passing legislation to prevent employers from asking potential new hires for their social media passwords/account information. What about employees who post discriminatory statements on social media, even when they are trying to be funny- should an employer be able to consider that? Where do we cross the line? Is anything off-limits in this area when it comes to what your employer can consider?