Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 2nd, 2012
Teacher’s aide loses her job for refusing to give Facebook password

We’re seeing more and more similar cases of this nature, aren’t we?

This one is a year old, but the person involved is now actually suing her employer.

At happened last spring, when a teacher’s aide was asked to reveal her Facebook password by the Michigan school she worked for as a teacher’s aide, Kimberly Hester refused. While she wasn’t technically “fired,” she hasn’t worked for a year, being put on paid administrative leave, to collect workers’ compensation, before she was suspended. She now awaits arbitration in May.

She had posted a photo on her Facebook page that a parent saw because she had been granted ‘friend’ status–a photo the parent found offensive, even though Hester called it a joke. The parent called the school to complain and the rest is what we call recent history.

But the case touches upon the gray areas surrounding privacy issues when it comes to social media. More and more employers are asking for passwords, to the outrage of many, who view it as a violation of their privacy. A recent attempt to introduce legislation at the national level that would make it illegal for companies to ask for passwords, was struck down. But at least one state, Michigan, is entertaining a bill to do the same at the state level.

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Comments

One comment on “Teacher’s aide loses her job for refusing to give Facebook password

  1. Scaramouche on said:

    … that’s why some hackers trawl corporations …. “Revenge” is popular on primetime … and school administrators are now personal fair game.

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