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August 21 2018

New social media background check bill for federal workers

Federal government employees or those thinking of applying for a federal government job should begin to clean up their social media footprint if they don't want to be terminated or turned down for a position.

In the near future, every federal government employee will be required to go through a social media background check before being offered a position. While this isn’t the case today, federal government employees or those thinking of applying for a federal government job should start to clean up their social media footprint now so it doesn’t lead to their termination or rejection down the road.

A new bill called, HR 3737-Social Media Use in Clearance Investigations Act of 2017 which focuses primarily on social media background checks for workers who need security clearances appears to be moving through Congress and it wouldn’t surprise me if it eventually is enacted. While its too early to determine how social media background checks will be performed and whom they will initially focus on, I guarantee some type of social media or digital background check will be required of every federal employee in the future. Its inevitable.

In addition to this new legislation, the Hatch Act was updated to account for changes for social media issues. For example, a federal employee may be fired for tweeting about a political candidate while on duty.  The bottom line is that social media will eventually become an official part of the background check