The controversial practice of employers asking job applicants to disclose their Facebook passwords is meeting resistance in New Jersey, where a pending bill in the State Assembly would prevent the practice.

Steven W. Suflas, a labor and employment partner at Ballard Spahr and Managing Partner of the firm’s New Jersey office, said employers are increasingly using the Web for background checks during the hiring process. Mr. Suflas does not advise corporate clients to compel applicants to turn over passwords. “You cannot ask a job applicant for their age, race, or religion, but if you friend someone on Facebook, you will see that stuff,” he said. “And if an applicant is not hired, they could say that’s a reason why. How do you un-ring that bell?”

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