Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Businesses Facebook The Courts News Your Rights Online

Teacher's Aide Fired For Refusing To Hand Over Facebook Password 407

An anonymous reader writes "You can add this one to the short but growing list of employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. After refusing to give her Facebook password to her supervisors, Kimberly Hester was fired by Lewis Cass Intermediate School District from her job as an aide to Frank Squires Elementary in Cassopolis, Michigan. She is now fighting a legal battle with the school district."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Teacher's Aide Fired For Refusing To Hand Over Facebook Password

Comments Filter:
  • by voss ( 52565 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:29PM (#39541295)

    Kimberly Hester does not have clean hands. Posting an offensive picture of a co-worker with pants around ankles could be considered sexual harassment.

    This is not harmless fun "A parent and Facebook friend of Hester’s saw the photo and complained to the school."
    What teachers and employees do reflects upon the schools.

    Teachers and school employees have a higher standard of care especially when posting comments about other employees.
    Schools can and have been sued for failure to act in cases of sexual harassment. The school district had reasonable suspicion.

  • Not quite (Score:5, Informative)

    TFS gets it wrong and TFA never clarifies.

    The administrator asked to view the Facebook account [] - no request was made for her password. Whether or not this is OK remains up for debate, but having the facts is always preferable...

  • by hazem ( 472289 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:43PM (#39541381) Journal

    Kimberly Hester does not have clean hands. Posting an offensive picture of a co-worker with pants around ankles could be considered sexual harassment.

    This still does not justify asking for access to her account or firing her for it. If they need information from any of her accounts (email, social media, or otherwise) they should be going through the courts to go through a process of discovery to get access to that material.

    As it is now, if they were to gain access, any evidence would be immediately suspect because now there is no way to prove that they themselves did not put the offending information there.

    So even if the administration felt justified in asking for her account information, actually getting it and using it to log into her account would be monumentally stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:58PM (#39541491)

    It's called a run-on sentence composed of multiple comma-splices, and it's incorrect. Learn about it.

  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:18PM (#39541655)
    Well, the "Right To Work" moniker is indeed misleading. Seems to be the trend lately; giving your policies a title which will appeal to the people you're targeting it at -- hopefully, a few (or a lot) won't do any research and just agree with you. Having said that, I think I agree with the policy, I just think they should call it something more descriptive. "Union Neutral" or something. Anyway, Michigan is an "at will []" state, meaning employers or employees can sever their relationship for any (non-illegal) reason. I'm sure being under contract trumps that however.
  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:20PM (#39541677) Homepage

    Funny enough there is a legal term for that "tortious interference". That is the act of encouraging someone to break a contract. She could have raised that position. Of course there is still the standing issue of whether account agreements are actually contracts at all but...

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:30PM (#39541775)

    As far as I know, RTW only prevents contracts from forcing all shop members to join a union. That's it. Having been forced to join a union in the past when I got absolutely no benefit from it, aside from the academic problems with it, I have very low patience for the concept. I was essentially subsidizing services that, in my particular job, I wasn't even allowed access to.

    From what I can tell, wages are higher in non-RTW states, but cost of living is also much higher as well. Significantly higher, in fact. And you can go to the article above for the citation on that. In the end, the contracts that force all members to join simply limit liberties of individuals without providing an actual benefit to all of them.

    I don't have a problem with collective bargaining, especially when it is done with the free will of the workers behind it. That's freedom of association right there, and unions are a good use of the liberty.

    However, forcing me to join and pay for a union is not liberty at all, its just a different boss telling you what to do and who to vote for. And it doesn't matter that you can vote individually, because that is neatly undermined by having your dues handed over to the campaigns of the people who you voted against. Indeed, if you have to force people to pay for your operations, it seems to me that perhaps you aren't providing all of the benefits that those people need.

  • by eldorel ( 828471 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:37PM (#39541823)
    Ironically, this is exactly what facebook started out as.
    An .edu email address was required to register for the first couple of years, and the entire system was designed to facilitate inter-class communication between students and professors.

    Then they added the "friend" feature, non students started trying to register, Zuckerberg got greedy, and things went downhill from there.
  • WRONG! (Score:5, Informative)

    by billybob_jcv ( 967047 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:39PM (#39541841)

    Did you look at the picture?? I'm thinking you have not. Watch this video to see the picture:,0,6869936.story []

    It is a picture of shoes and a pair of pants with some skin from her calves showing - that's all. It is NOT a picture of her co-worker - it is a picture of herself. No one was exposing anything. I guess the inference is that she's sitting on the toilet.

    So - let's change the scenario slightly. Let's say she lost some weight and she proudly posts a picture of herself, fully clothed, but the outfit is tight enough to show she is obviously much thinner. Is that offensive? Inappropriate? Exhibitionist? What if she posts (again fully clothed) before and after pics from a boob job?

    But set all that aside - judges make calls every day on harassment & inappropriate behavior - and they can do the same thing here. The bigger issues are that the employer wants her to give up a personal password for an "investigation", and that not complying meant she was fired. So - if someone reports that she has a porn magazine at her home, does that mean the school will demand to enter her home? This whole thing stinks. The employer is a jackass. The "friend" who reported her is a jackass. Kimberly is a typical clueless facebook user that doesn't understand that you need to separate real friends from people who shouldn't know what you post to your real friends.

    Television, movies, magazines and online media continually gets more and more raunchy - yet our workplaces become more and more rigid and unrealistic. Our society is doomed.

  • by Cylix ( 55374 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:50PM (#39542321) Homepage Journal

    Funny and true, Ron Jeremy still has a valid teacher's license. However, I think his current job pays a bit better.

  • by allo ( 1728082 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:00PM (#39542387)

    they have no contract with the company, so they cannot forbid them to do so. But they can forbid their clients to give away login credentials.

  • Re:Pop Quiz (Score:4, Informative)

    by repapetilto ( 1219852 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:18PM (#39542531)

    I heard Spazmania belongs to an online sex cult.

  • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:30PM (#39542627)
    Umm, no. The "Friend" feature arrived pretty darn early. It was originally limited to HARVARD e-mail addresses (then other elite schools and eventually all .edu), because they were trying to get elite students on first so it would be cool and a place to socialize and hook up. Professors were very rare on Facebook for the first 3-4 years it existed, so it was not at all designed as a way for them to communicate. It was always about socialization, just first among elite college students.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:36PM (#39542673)

    Demanding another person's login and password sounds like a pretty clear violation of "boundaries" as well, much more so than this woman's ill-advised facebook activity. The fact that you neglected to mention this shows that your understanding of "the idea of boundaries" is not so great either.

  • by jon787 ( 512497 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @04:59PM (#39543241) Homepage Journal

    I believe the legal term is tortious interference and Facebook could pursue civil action for it. Possibly even pursue criminal action under the CFAA by arguing it is still unauthorized access despite the fact that the password was disclosed.

    "Tortious interference with contract rights can occur where the tortfeasor convinces a party to breach the contract against the plaintiff, or where the tortfeasor disrupts the ability of one party to perform his obligations under the contract, thereby preventing the plaintiff from receiving the performance promised."

  • by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @06:07PM (#39543735) Journal
    Ban? They should bring criminal prosecution for "unauthorised access to computer equipment" or whatever the US equivalent is. This is hacking via social engineering, pure and simple, case closed.

(null cookie; hope that's ok)