Certain guidelines should be followed to avoid legal repercussions
By Todd Etshman
As the use of social media in society has grown through the years so has its use by employers to vet applicants. It can be a useful tool for employers who can find out if the information in an applicant’s resume is true. It may also reveal information relevant to the job that the employer may not have obtained otherwise.
“Employers might look to corroborate information provided by the candidate such as reviewing writing samples or social media posts or to learn about a candidate’s attributes such as how they speak about a current or past employer or their previous work history,” says Ann Maynard managing director of Maynard HR Consulting, Inc.
A CareerBuilder survey in June 2017 found up to 70 percent of employers check an applicant’s information on social media before hiring that person today, up from just 11 percent in 2006.
However, there is not a lot of legal guidance available to employers to guide them in their search. Consequently, they should tread lightly or seek an attorney’s advice before proceeding.
“I always recommend that an employer seek the guidance of an attorney before they begin using social media for applicant screening so you clearly understand the legal risks and how to mitigate them, Maynard says. In addition she warns that a social media search should only be one part of the selection process.
Lawyers such as Steven Modica of Modica & Associates PLLC, advise clients locally on the parameters of social media screening. Misuse of information found on social media can be the basis of a discrimination suit. To some degree, it could be used in general litigation as well.
Dear Ms. Carolyn Thompson:
Thank you for reaching out. I represent T. Florian Jaeger and Chigusa Kurumada. I am sorry that I was unable to return your call on Friday but I was in court. I see your story ran without comment.
If you write about this story in the future, I would appreciate the opportunity to respond on my clients’ behalf. The recent letter by Celeste Kidd and Steven Piantadosi is part of a sustained effort by a small group of Professor Florian Jaeger’s former colleagues to further a largely disproven narrative. Those former colleagues are currently suing the University of Rochester, and are pushing this narrative in an attempt to facilitate their legal case.
Three separate investigations have found that Professor Jaeger did not violate any laws or regulations. He engaged in four consensual relationships when he first arrived at the University more than 10 years ago. He was 30 years old, just completed his post graduate work and the youngest faculty member in his department. None of the women have ever characterized their relationships as anything but consensual, though several have criticized the complainants’ distorted portrayal of their relationships.
Attorney Bradley Kammholz on Wednesday stood before an audience of dozens of colleagues and recounted, in heart-wrenching detail, how he fell into a state of doubt and despair earlier this year, before managing to crawl out with the help of friends.
Kammholz was followed by Mary Beth Feindt, an attorney and the CLE program manager at the Monroe County Bar Association, who shared her own story of sabotaging her own career and near-suicidal depression.
Unfortunately, those experiences, shared before an audience of about 75 at the continuing legal education (CLE) program called How I Found Myself in a Rathole and How I Got Out, are far from unusual.
Later in the program, Andrea Tomaino, principal counsel for the Seventh Judicial District’s Attorney Grievance Committee, thanked Kammholz and Feindt for being brave enough to share their powerful stories.
Unfortunately, she added: “I hear those stories one-on-one all the time.”
“Very rarely does an attorney find themselves the subject of an investigation in my office and they’ve got nothing else going on. There’s always something going on that led to neglect, or delay, or misrepresentation, or, heaven forbid, criminal activity. There’s always something behind it,” she said.
Attorney Steve Modica, who moderated the CLE, provided even more evidence of the magnitude of the problem facing the legal profession.