States are limiting employer access to employee Social Media accounts

There is now a fourth state that is paving their way to enact social media password protection laws.

New Jersey’s Senate just passed a bill (A2878) that would fine companies $1,000 if they request or demand access to workers’ or potential employees’ accounts on social networking websites.

Workers would also get the option to sue for money lost if they fail to get hired or lost their jobs or promotions because of the employer’s prying. Companies that violate the law a second time would face a $2,500 fine. Only law enforcement agencies would be exempt. Read more here.

Three other states that have enacted password bans already:

California: Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills (Senate Bill 1349 and Assembly Bill 1844) prohibiting public and private post-secondary schools and California employers from requiring applicants and employees to provide their social media account passwords. Read more here. 

Illinois: On August 1, 2012, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law that will make it unlawful starting January 1, 2013 for employers to ask job applicants and current employees to provide passwords or log-in information for their social networking websites.

Maryland: On May 2, 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation Wednesday that makes Maryland the first state to ban employers from asking job applicants or workers to hand over log-in information for Facebook and other social media sites. Read more here.

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