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NJ: Employers Can’t Ask for Social Media Passwords

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Facebook icon by mfinleydesigns on Flickr

Image by mfinleydesigns on Flickr

NorthJersey.com reports that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has signed a law that prohibits employers from asking both current and prospective employees for their social media passwords.

The legislation also states that employers cannot require applicants to waive or limit their rights as delineated in the newly signed law.

While the legislation stops employers from asking for social media access information like user names and passwords, it does not prevent employers from asking whether employees have profiles on social media platforms.

Moreover, it is important to note that there is nothing in the law that prohibits employers from viewing any information on social media sites that an employee or applicant has made public.

A similar bill prohibiting colleges and universities from making requests for social media passwords was signed late last year. According to NorthJersey.com, the legislation came about in response to reports that businesses and schools in New Jersey were increasingly asking for such information from prospective employees.

Democratic Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. referred to these requests as an “invasion of privacy” and the legislation as a way to “protect the rights of job seekers from being trampled.”

Employers who violate the law are subject to civil penalties up to $1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 per violation beyond that.

What do you think of this law? Do you think your state needs one too? Have you ever been asked for your social media passwords by an employer?

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September 16th, 2013 at 9:21 am