According to a new law that went into effect in five states on January 1, employers can no longer require employees or job applicants to reveal the passwords to their personal social media profiles.
So if you live in Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, California, or Illinois you are now protected by social media privacy laws that forbid overly-intrusive social media snooping. Michigan has a similar law, which was enacted in December.
“The legislation is necessary because there is a hole in existing law that prevents employers from intruding into an employee’s legal off-duty conduct,” State Assemblywoman Nora Campos, who authored California’s bill, told NBC (via UPI).
While this new law protects workers’privacy, employees and job applicants still need to be mindful of what they post online, reports The Huffington Post. Nothing is stopping employers from monitoring online accounts and taking an issue with what they find.
We’d also suggest that, if your employer does ask for this information, that you gently directly them to this new law when you want to decline. The law is on your side, but you should always be diplomatic.