Dear prospective employer:
I would really love to work for you. I think you're a great company, and we're a good fit. Plus, let's face it, any job looks good right now.
The fact that I would have my own desk and access to a vending machine full of Cups o' Noodles makes the prospect that much sweeter.
But, as much as I'd like to work for you, I won't be giving you my Facebook password. Or any of my other social media passwords. That's kind of why they invented passwords, so that other people can't access your private stuff, right?
And even the kind of loyal, hardworking employee I intend to be is entitled to private stuff. You should care a lot about how well you think I can do this job. But you shouldn't care at all about certain other things, such as what my friends and I did for fun back in college, or my political opinions, or whether or not I think talking cats who use bad grammar are really funny. (Oh, what the heck. I'll give you that one. I do.)
You see, there's a lot about my private life that just isn't any of your business. I hope that doesn't sound harsh, but don't you want an employee who is intelligent enough to know that there are certain things you're not legally allowed to ask me - about my health or sexual orientation, for instance? And, while some companies have been trying to get around the law by accessing social media accounts to find out things they're not allowed to ask about, I don't have to let you do that.
The New Jersey Legislature agrees with me. The state Senate has passed a bill, S1915, that prohibits employers from requiring job applicants to provide passwords or access to social media accounts, or even from asking if they have social media accounts. They've sent it over to the Assembly, which passed an earlier version back in June. Another bill the Senate approved, S1916, would mean public and private colleges in the state have to follow the same rules when considering prospective students.
Can I get an "amen?" These lawmakers know that my reluctance to hand over my account information isn't an admission of any kind of guilt. It's just my right, a right that I shouldn't have to give up to get a paycheck. I don't want to sound like an editorial here, but the Assembly should approve S1915, and Gov. Chris Christie should sign both these bills.
Your future employee