Teacher aide fired for not providing Facebook password

The Facebook password saga appears to be continuing this week, after it was revealed that a school teacher's aide was fired last year for refusing to give her social networking password to her bosses.

It all seemed to unfold when the woman, named Kimberly Hester, comically posted in her spare time a picture of her with a co-workers pants and a pair of shoes, holding a caption saying “Thinking of you.” ZDNet reported that Hester was fired from Frank Squires Elementary in Cassopolis, Michigan after a parent saw the image on Facebook and made a complaint to the school.

Only in the past couple of weeks, Neowin reported a story of employers asking workers for their Facebook passwords and schools asking students to delete their profiles on the website. With Hester's legal battle ensuing though, she isn't giving up, saying "I did nothing wrong. And I would not, still to this day, let them in my Facebook. And I don’t think it’s OK for an employer to ask you."

There isn't much hope that she will succeed however, given that there isn't any law in the United States prohibiting employers to ask for access to their workers' Facebook accounts. The recent news coverage of the issue seems to have gotten law makers attention however, with proposals already in creation aimed at ending the password free for all.

Image Courtesy of USA Hitman.

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Well theres 2 sides to this story.
First she was pretty dumb to post those pics and have them set to public. When I worked at a summer camp our boss required all of us to set our profiles to private and remove any bad profile pics. He would even say that he would do random facebook checks to make sure of this.
Second as far as Facebook passwords, its against Facebooks terms of service for employers to ask for passwords. I understand that they would want to check her profile out to make sure there are not any more pictures, but heck is isn't enough if they just check here public profile for any pics that should be private?

Why in the world would that picture have upset a parent so much? Sounds like "someone" was just trying to be a b***...

M_Lyons10 said,
Why in the world would that picture have upset a parent so much? Sounds like "someone" was just trying to be a b***...

Because if you are a parent, you want the best possible person to be their teacher. That means being responsible, smart, etc.... Chances are it was an uptight parent.

Another reason Facebook needs to die.. but also that people not be so damn stupid and FRIEND you're students, parents of students and co-workers... I mean people are ignorant!
But Facebook even came and said that it would open up issues with privacy and violating rights.

Simple solution: Do not use Facebook (or any other social networking site) There that solves the whole problem. But if you do insist on using Facebook (or other social networking) do not post things that: 1. Might be considered offensive. 2. has anything to do with your place of employment. 3. Anything illegal... I can of course keep going, but this is the basics; I have taught my Daughter to never use her real name, never give out personal information to anyone online, and she is 10! She does not have nor does she want a Facebook account, neither do I. So if a 10 year old can understand how stupid it is to 'post' information on the internet, why can't adults? Why do we as adults start whining and boo hooing when a employer demands that we give them access to Facebook? If you do not post stupid stuff, then you don't have to worry about getting in trouble.

Slaquor said,

If you don't fly on planes you'll never be in a plane crash. Still doesn't make it practical.

Well, a plane could fall out of the sky and crash on you.

Oh well. Looks like I'd be creating a separate Facebook account for work. I already have 2 Facebook accounts anyway, so the work account would be my 3rd one. That 3rd account would have all info intentionally left blank and dull.

No way in hell I'd let my future boss see all my info on my first account (the one I use the most - all my family and hearing friends, both elementary school and college - and yes privacy settings are intact). The 2nd account is for the members of the deaf community (in *shudders* high school), infamous for their backstabbing - I left that 2nd account blank and dull, just as well as my future 3rd account for work.

Goes to show how dumb the employers actually are.

Edited by MtnDewCodeRedFreak, Apr 3 2012, 3:26pm :

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,
Oh well. Looks like I'd be creating a separate Facebook account for work. I already have 2 Facebook accounts anyway, so the work account would be my 3rd one. That 3rd account would have all info intentionally left blank.

No way in hell I'd let my future boss see all my info on my first account (the one I use the most).


What do you do that requires you to have a Facebook account for work out of curiosity? Also, don't get caught or your personal accounts will be deleted because of one of the terms.

"You will not create more than one personal profile."

ILikeTobacco said,

What do you do that requires you to have a Facebook account for work out of curiosity? Also, don't get caught or your personal accounts will be deleted because of one of the terms.

"You will not create more than one personal profile."

I don't care. On my 2nd account, I made a nickname instead of my real name so the deafies will never find me on my 1st one. Also, I made a totally separate email address for logging in my 2nd account and that email address is an AIM (not AOL - AIM have "@aim.com" email addresses ever since 2006) one, lol.

Also, regarding the question abt FB account for work, well duh. I don't want my future employer snooping in my 1st account's profile with all pics and info.

Facebook is dumb to open users to any email addresses instead of just their .edu ones like they did in the past.

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,

I don't care. On my 2nd account, I made a nickname instead of my real name so the deafies will never find me on my 1st one. Also, I made a totally separate email address for logging in my 2nd account and that email address is an AIM (not AOL - AIM have "@aim.com" email addresses ever since 2006) one, lol.

Also, regarding the question abt FB account for work, well duh. I don't want my future employer snooping in my 1st account's profile with all pics and info.

Facebook is dumb to open users to any email addresses instead of just their .edu ones like they did in the past.

I was just sayin to be careful so you don't get one/all deactivated.

What I meant with Facebook for work was does your work require it? A friend of mine is a Red Bull rep which is all about being public and connecting to the community. He has a Facebook and Twitter account specifically for work, as well as personal accounts. It is a job requirement for him.

ILikeTobacco said,

I was just sayin to be careful so you don't get one/all deactivated.

What I meant with Facebook for work was does your work require it? A friend of mine is a Red Bull rep which is all about being public and connecting to the community. He has a Facebook and Twitter account specifically for work, as well as personal accounts. It is a job requirement for him.

I'm applying for a lot of jobs at the moment, so I'm just staying one step ahead of the employers via planning on making that 3rd account if this trend continues.

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,

I'm applying for a lot of jobs at the moment, so I'm just staying one step ahead of the employers via planning on making that 3rd account if this trend continues.

Smart man...or women... whatever.

Facebook is dumb to open users to any email addresses instead of just their .edu ones like they did in the past.

What??????????

Mark Zuckerberg - Net Worth: $17.5 Billion and climbing. Really dumb move huh?

I appreciate the media coverage on this issue. This thing needs the attention it is getting, because right now workers rights are taking blow, after blow. High unemployment is to blame for this. As the line of potential workers grows, employers will increasingly scrutinize their current work force.

Now that being said, the communication done on Facebook is somewhere between private/personal and public. Employers should be allowed to fire someone based on the public image that person promotes (through whatever means, facebook or being drunk at a bar). But asking for someone's password is an attempt to dig into their personal life (that has not been made public), and that is wrong.

I have two facebook accounts, one that is personal and locked down and the other is more casual for co-workers and colleagues. The email on my resume matches the email for the secondary facebook account; the password is also generic and has no personal ties to my personal accounts. People can argue that it is an invasion of privacy (which I agree) but why not beat them at their own game?

Nexus69 said,
I have two facebook accounts, one that is personal and locked down and the other is more casual for co-workers and colleagues. The email on my resume matches the email for the secondary facebook account; the password is also generic and has no personal ties to my personal accounts. People can argue that it is an invasion of privacy (which I agree) but why not beat them at their own game?

At last, someone with similar "ethics" as myself regarding this issue.

Plain and simple answer to this was born during one of the darkest times in US history. From the great depression many labor unions were born to protect the rights of workers who were being treated unfairly or unjustly and to have an organization that will negotiate with the employer regarding all matters. If this teacher were part of a labor union, the union would have stepped up and said "If you fire her, you may as well close your doors, as the union which is run by your employees agrees that this is unjust and unfair." Unions are all but necessary in a democracy, with out them, we are back to being a republic.

Invizibleyez said,
Plain and simple answer to this was born during one of the darkest times in US history. From the great depression many labor unions were born to protect the rights of workers who were being treated unfairly or unjustly and to have an organization that will negotiate with the employer regarding all matters. If this teacher were part of a labor union, the union would have stepped up and said "If you fire her, you may as well close your doors, as the union which is run by your employees agrees that this is unjust and unfair." Unions are all but necessary in a democracy, with out them, we are back to being a republic.

You may want to contract with Mrs. Hester for some more history lessons, the US was founded as and has always been a Republic. JHC it's even in the darn PoA.

I'd go mad if they asked for mine - what I do in my spare time is up to me. Surely this woman is allowed to have her own spare time after the 9-5 work day. Work hard and play hard! Try not to mix the two though - work and beer don't mix, unless it's a nice and sunny Friday afternoon (obviously not at a school!). Bring on the weekend and more crazy Facebook photos. Then it's back to work mode on Monday. Oh Monday, the joys...

tonyjr said,
I'd go mad if they asked for mine - what I do in my spare time is up to me. Surely this woman is allowed to have her own spare time after the 9-5 work day. Work hard and play hard! Try not to mix the two though - work and beer don't mix, unless it's a nice and sunny Friday afternoon (obviously not at a school!). Bring on the weekend and more crazy Facebook photos. Then it's back to work mode on Monday. Oh Monday, the joys...

Absolutely she ought to be able to have her own time. However if she agreed to maintain a code of ethics (or similar such rules - all too darn common today) while being an employee with the school in question then should they find she violated them she's subject to penalty up to an including termination in most cases. The linked article hints that the school never ended up even seeing the photo in question. The question here is did the school terminate her for such a violation of their own rules OR did they terminate her over the demand for a facebook password issue (separate issue from the pic circulated on fb). The ZDnet story suggests it was in fact the latter, and if that is the actual documented case, suspect this is going to court on those and related grounds if not quietly settled prior to that - more likely. It sounds like she could have a decent test case though, it's not by any means a slam dunk and if was an attorney looking for a case to set precedence this wouldn't be one I would prefer to take to the courtroom.

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