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Thanks for applying! Now what's your Facebook login and password?

Would you give in to that question if you were in the middle of a job interview?

Social media, and how far employers are allowed to utilize the platform when identifying potential job candidates, is quickly becoming one of the most contentious issues regarding employee rights. Websites like Facebook and Twitter contain personal information that many people would not like disclosed -- especially to the hiring manager of a prospective job who would review and critique all of your seemingly private information.

We will leave the matter of how "private" your information is on Facebook for others to debate; but the issue of giving employers you private login and password information (granting them direct access to your profile, which they could edit or tamper with) is an upsetting thought.

Some states are pushing for new legislation that prevents this type of infiltrating tactic. Maryland passed the first law that bans employers from requesting Facebook logins and passwords from employees or job applicants. Now California seems to be following suit, as a law is moving through their government with similar provisions blocking social media access by employers.

"Our social media accounts offer views into our personal lives and expose information that would be inappropriate to discuss during a job interview," said one California official who co-authored their state's bill.

While eight other states are considering legislation that bars or limits an employer's capability of obtaining social media information from employees and job applicants, Texas is not one of them. Considering the furor this issue is causing, it may not be long before Texas is on the list.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "Job Front: Social media privacy bills advance in Sacramento," Darrell Smith, April 30, 2012

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