Sunday, April 1, 2012
Michigan School District to employee: Give us your Facebook password or be fired
A former Michigan teacher's aide claims that she has been fired after she refused to give her bosses her password for Facebook. Kimberley Hester was employed by the Less Cass Intermediate School District.
In 2011 outside of her work hours she posted a picture of a co-worker. The worker had her pants around her ankles and Hester wrote "Thinking of you" meaning it as a joke.
Someone who saw it did not think it was funny and complained. A few days after the posting the district Superintendent repeatedly asked for access to her Facebook account. Hester kept refusing.
Next she received a letter from the Special Education Director which said in part:“[I]n the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly."
The next thing she knew she was suspended on on unpaid leave. Hester maintains:“I did nothing wrong. I would not, still to this day, let them into my Facebook,” “I don’t think that’s OK for an employer to ask you.”
Just recently the U.S. House of Representatives defeated an amendment that would disallow employers from asking potential employees for Facebook passwords. Hester and the school district go to arbitration in May. For more see this article. See also this blog.