Friend, foe: Social media in job search

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Special series: Solutions to youth suicide in La Plata County

Friend, foe: Social media in job search

Ska co-founder on applicants: ‘We’re going to Google their name’
Internet searchers beware

Businesses should be wary of using the Internet to do background research on job candidates because of legal issues the practice poses.

Employers are legally prohibited from making an employment decision about a candidate based on protected characteristics including their race, gender or religious affiliation. But if a hiring manager stumbles upon that information during an Internet search, it is hard to prove it didn’t influence his or her final hiring decision, if ever challenged legally.

“A lot of companies have stopped because it can be discriminatory,” said Mark Prouty, branch manager with SOS Employment Group.

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