Can Potential Employers Ask for Your Facebook Password?

Anita Ramasastry has an interesting piece on this today, in which she argues that it should already be illegal. But, she says, given the alarming number of employers asking for applicants’ passwords, legislation in the area would be wise.

I couldn’t agree more, especially in light of her argument concerning the potential for discrimination. Many companies require that their employees, after looking at an applicant’s facebook page, magically forget anything they learned concerning the applicant’s race/religion/sex/age, etc. While it’s a nice gesture, I suppose, it’s clearly insufficient to overcome any subconscious (let alone conscious) biases. If employers are already rejecting job applicants for interviews because they have black-sounding names, seeing someone’s photographs on Facebook is only going to worsen the problem.

Free Speech and Government Employees: Garcetti and Absurd Results

The intersection of First Amendment law and employment law can be fascinating — and can lead to extremely bizarre outcomes. In the last post, I discussed how the Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment led it to allow churches to, say, fire a minister for becoming pregnant, even where the religion itself has no inherent problem with pregnant ministers.

In this post, I want to discuss how the Court has interpreted the First Amendment to allow governments to retaliate against employees for exposing corruption — but only if the employee’s job is to expose corruption. Make sense? I didn’t think so.

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Job Opening In DC for Recent Grad/Clerk

A very dear friend in DC just informed me that there is an opening at his firm for a recent law grad and/or clerk with an interest in labor law. It’s a small firm that represents unions, progressive organizations and political action committees. They’re really great folks who do a lot of great work and give their recent hires a ton of hands on experience right off the bat (i.e., they aren’t looking for a doc-review-bot).

If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll pass it along:

wageagainstthemachine [at] gmail [dot] com

Discriminating Religiously: Hosanna v. EEOC

The Supreme Court recently handed down a unanimous decision stating that a religious organization can discriminate in any way it wants to against any employee considered to be a “minister.” This means, essentially, that a church can discriminate against an employee for any reason, so long as it can show that the individual has “a role in conveying the Church’s message and carrying out its mission.”

In a slightly more technical post, I discuss my legal quibblings with the holding. But here I want to focus on what the case actually means: someone got sick, and her employer decided that, no matter what she or her doctors thought, she probably wasn’t going to be good at her job anymore, or her illness would be too much of a hassle, or maybe her boss was just irrationally scared of sick people — lots of bosses are, that’s why we have the Americans with Disabilities Act. No matter. She got fired because she was sick, and the Court essentially said, too bad.

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