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

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  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:07PM (#39541105) Homepage

    Is it required to break a legal contract with one entity to maintain employment with another?

  • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:14PM (#39541173)

    This is not perfect, but one possibility might be to set up a dummy facebook account and give that to them, rather than your real one. However, it is clear, this should be illegal, people who run into this should contact a lawyer and file lawsuits, as well, Facebook has expressed interest in filing lawsuits against employers who do this, so, notify Facebook of this if an Employer, or anyone else, has requested your password.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:20PM (#39541231) Homepage

    She will be getting a few years of pay from illegal dismissal.

    the school screwed up big time. Michigan is not a right to work state, so they cant fire you for any reason. and this school was retarded enough to publicize WHY she was fired so now it's a slam dunk in court.

    If she get's a good lawyer, she will walk away with 10 years of her salary from the school.

  • by gstrickler ( 920733 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:21PM (#39541237)

    Setting up a dummy account is a violation of FB terms of service, as is giving someone else your password. Neither is acceptable. The company can have the password to my company owned/sanctioned accounts when necessary, but they will never have the password to my personal accounts, and they have no right to even ask for them.

  • by fast turtle ( 1118037 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:40PM (#39541353) Journal

    and that is why school districts require friending of specific people (HR/Legal) on Facebook. If they're posting anything inappropriate then it should show up where that individual can see/read/vet the posts. If they're contacting students on the sly outside of FB using alternative channels, then they have to rely on the parents and kids to report any inappropriate activity.

    In this case, the supervisor was incorrect in demanding her FB PW and if they had suspicions, they should have reported them to either the HR or the Police Depts who's job it is. Instead, the idiot has just cost the district One Million plus for a wrongful termination suit and the Union is going to be all over this issue in the next contract negotiations where it's going to be a firing offense for someone to even ask a member to friend them for anyreason at all.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:38PM (#39541833)

    my answer is: the TOS of fb are not acceptable to me and I have not joined because of this.

    100% true (for me) and a graceful way to get out of this bullshit rat-race.

    even if you do have a fb acct, they are asking you to break the rules. and so, if you have to lie back to them to right that rule breakage, so be it. fight fire with fire, basically.

    but still, the more I hear about fb issues, the more I'm glad I never joined. and if I did join, I'd have removed all info and deleted the account after hearing so much employer abuse about this!

  • Re:Excellent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fjandr ( 66656 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:39PM (#39541839) Homepage Journal

    Another absolutely moronic thing is the article specifically says asking for the password is not illegal under current law, which will make it hard for the aide's case. It doesn't matter that they asked for it; it matters that they fired the aide for refusing to give it up unless the law allows for firing without cause (as I doubt that's granted as a legitimate cause under any state's laws).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:49PM (#39541903)

    I'm more curious about what's going to happen to fools like me who don't have a Facebook account and have never used the site. If I fail to hand over a Facebook password, will they just think that I'm lying? Is there a way to prove that you don't use the service? Should I create an account just so I have something to hand over to Big Brother?

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @01:51PM (#39541919) Homepage Journal

    Teachers need to understand the idea of boundries.

    A teacher that chooses to go on Facebook has every right to post anything they want - period.

    A teacher that chooses to go on Facebook has every right to "friend" anyone they want - period.

    A teacher needs to understand that if they friend parents or students from the schools/school district they work in, everything they post and everyone they friend is not just a reflection of the teacher themself, but also of the school and school district they work for. The teacher may feel it robs them of some "rights", and they may be right, but in effect the parents in their community are their bosses, and there are certain things you just don't do in front of (or with) your boss.

    Animals in the wild know not to "poop" where they eat, sadly, ,there appear to be teachers that need to learn that lesson.

    Out of curiousity, where did she snap the picture of her co-worker's pants around their ankles? Per chance at work? Maybe in the bathroom?

    If my suspicions are correct, she went into a school bathroom and snapped a picture of a partially undressed co-worker - any chance her district has a policy for staff and students regarding cameras in school bathrooms?

  • by jkbull ( 453632 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:36PM (#39542233)
    If, as the summary and the ZDNet article states*, the school administration asked for her password, they may have engaged in tortious interference [] -- interfering with a contract between two other parties (the teacher and Facebook).

    The Facebook Facebook terms of use [], section 4.8) says

    You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.

    * (According to an earlier comment [], that is not true, the administration asked only to view her pages.)

  • Re:I bet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gonoff ( 88518 ) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @05:20PM (#39543385)

    The fact that your constitution is newer means that it is more likely to take into account things that have happened since the 18th century.

    The fact that it was not put into place by infallible individuals long ago means that you might be able to change it significantly without someone having to do comparative textual analysis like theologians do on the Bible.

    Will it cause you any trouble if it turns out that the people who played major parts in its creation were not perfect and had issues? I suspect not. I have seen some people squirm when they learn that some of their "founding fathers" kept slaves, had affairs, questionable business dealings and were not purer than the driven snow.

    Various people in my country's history were extremely dodgy. That is history. I would like some better ones nowadays though.

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