Okay, now we see how far social media has crept into our legal system.
Seems a Minnesota judge has ordered “divorce paper service by “email, ‘Facebook, Myspace or any other social networking site.’”
The subject was an absent husband believed living in West Africa. The judge rejected the notion of service by general delivery (“General delivery made sense 100 years agao, but let’s be real”) and legal trade paper (“Nobody, particularly poor people, is going to look at the legal newspaper to notice that their spouse wants to get divorced.”).
While this looks like an unusual fact pattern, the truth is that social networks are a big part of modern life and the legal system is recognizing that fact.
Maybe I’m just getting old(er) and (more) conservative, but in this job market, I don’t think there is much traction in trying to claim an employer is discriminating by not hiring, or even firing, over what they see on a social networking site.
The fact is, jobs are hard to come by and jurors aren’t all that sympathetic to claims that an employer is being unfair by checking out future or present employees on the internet. I think the attitude is, “you’re lucky to have a job if you can get one.”
This, of course, is not the case if there is a bonafide discriminatory act based on a protected classification such as race, gender, national origin or sexual orientation. But people are justifiably skeptical of those claims (me too, I turn down 99% of the potential cases I review), so it better be the real thing with compelling evidence if you are going to head for court. On the other hand, if there is actual discrimination at work, then that is something that needs to be addressed and remedied. This is America, after all. We still get to fight for equal opportunity, though it is often an uphill battle.