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May 29, 2012

Illinois reviewing bill protecting job seekers’ passwords: A leadership and employee engagement perspective









Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is reviewing the bill that would make it illegal for employers to ask potential employees for their social media passwords during interviews. His position on the issue is unknown, but if he signs the bill, Illinois will be the second state – after Maryland – to make it against the law for employers to ask people for their social media passwords.

Media began covering the issue a few months ago when job seekers reported that they’ve been asked for their social media passwords during interviews. And in Illinois, the bill took shape as a result of individuals reporting similar experiences to the state.

From a leadership and employee engagement perspective, asking job candidates for passwords seems to go too far. Not only does this challenge privacy laws, but it’s no way to begin a healthy employee-employer relationship built on trust – which is key to fostering an engaged and productive workforce.

Kudos, Illinois lawmakers, for taking on what could be a huge privacy and trust issue between employers and employees. Let’s hope Governor Quinn makes the right decision.

What do you think of Illinois’ password-protecting bill?

- David Grossman


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