Entries in Employers (2)


Facebook Privacy: Dems Wield Employer Restrictions Against GOP

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Arizona is campaigning to stop bosses from being able to demand their employees’ Facebook passwords, a week after House Democrats included a privacy provision in a procedural vote.

Facebook passwords have become a hot-button issue after a string of news reports about bosses demanding access to the Facebook accounts of prospective employees.

Dr. Richard Carmona, the former U.S. surgeon general under president George W. Bush who is running for Senate as a Democrat in Arizona, wants to make a campaign issue out of social-networking privacy.

Carmona has attacked his likely general-election opponent, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), for a procedural vote on employer-related Facebook privacy.  A new website, created and paid for by Carmona’s campaign, demands that Flake disclose his Facebook password and allows users to “dislike” Flake with a thumbs-down button (a feature that doesn’t exist on the real Facebook).

But Flake didn’t actually vote for employers’ right to demand Facebook passwords, as the website seems to insinuate.  As always with procedural votes in Congress, it’s complicated.

As Republicans pressed their Federal Communications Commission reform bill through the House last week over Democratic opposition, Democrats used their last procedural recourse to force a vote on employee Facebook privacy.

Democrats proposed returning the bill to committee with nonbinding instructions to add an amendment that would clarify the FCC’s authority to rule against employers being able to demand social-networking passwords.  Such procedural moves, known as “motions to recommit,” are the minority party’s last chance to stop a majority-backed bill; they typically fail.

Flake voted against the measure, along with all but one Republican.  The GOP-backed FCC bill passed last Tuesday on a largely partisan vote.  Neither Flake’s campaign nor his congressional office responded to requests for comment about the congressman’s views on employers and Facebook privacy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Georgia Lawmaker Wants Discrimination Stopped Against Unemployed

HankJohnson [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- The unemployed in the U.S. are still a minority and, consequently, they're being discriminated against, says Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson.

What disturbs the Democratic lawmaker are want ads from companies that specify that job applicants "must be currently employed."

Johnson says, "I just thought about how unfair that was, to discriminate against people who had lost their jobs due to no fault of their own, who were just victims of corporate downsizing during a tough economy."

To remedy this inequity, Johnson introduced a bill that would include the unemployed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Employers would be forbidden to deny a job applicant work or lower compensation because of the applicant's current employment status.

If there's an alleged case of unemployment discrimination, the plaintiff would have to prove his case, which might be difficult.  Yet, Johnson believes his Fair Employment Act of 2011 would dissuade employers from using language that shuts out jobless applicants.

The likelihood of Johnson's amendment passing is small, given Republicans in Georgia control the state's Legislature.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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