Social Media in Employment

With the internet and technology continuing to expand at a rapid pace, it’s expected that our interactions with them are increasing as well.

This includes social media, which, in Montana law, includes anything that is a password-protected electronic service or account containing electronic content. This can be email, videos, photos, vlogs, blogs, podcasts, messages, website profiles or locations, and more.

As these interactive and public technologies become more prominent parts of our lives, they can seep into our employment search; it’s becoming a more common practice for prospective employers to look up applicants’ social media presence online as part of the hiring process.

Much of this occurs with public profiles that are easily searchable by anyone. But what about in cases of aliases or otherwise unidentifiable accounts?

In Montana, there are occasions when it is illegal for a prospective employer to mandate or request an applicant’s usernames or access to social media accounts. It may also be illegal to ask this of current employees, but there are exceptions to the law when it comes to certain types of posts – for example, if a post contains work-related misconduct or criminal defamation.

There are many wrinkles in this law, and it’s essential to know how it may affect you. The labor law professionals at Terrazas Henkel P.C. have spent years learning, understanding, and applying the state’s labor laws.

If you have questions about how an employer or prospective employer has approached social media or questions about social media and employment law, call 406-541-2550 to set up an appointment.