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Beware Your Online Persona – Your Future Boss is Watching

7.1.13

Atlanta Partner Jennifer Sandberg was interviewed for the July 1 Ignites article “Beware Your Online Persona – Your Future Boss is Watching.”

The media outlet reported that 39% of companies in a recent survey said they use social networking sites to research job candidates.

Social media can work for or against employees and job candidates.

The article noted that extra care should be taken to present a professional image via social media. But using social media to screen job candidates can be a risky undertaking for employers.

The primary risk is that the firm learns through social media that the candidate is part of a legally protected category – or engages in legally protected activity – and decides not to hire the person.

Jennifer said that the federal list of protected categories includes: race, color, religion, genetic information, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, citizenship status and service member status.

The article also advised that employers would be wise to follow certain guidelines when using social media to research job candidates and only use information from social media that is publicly available.

Jennifer added that employers should abide by a basic tenet of employment law – treat everybody equally – and be sure to conduct the same social media search for everybody.

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