Four states, California among them, have already passed laws prohibiting employers from demanding social media passwords of applicants or employees. A couple other states, New Jersey and Delaware have done the same for higher education institutions. More states such as: Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont are introducing bills in the legislature.
Feds Getting in on the Action
The federal legislation looks to do the following: (1) Prohibit employers from requiring or requesting that an employee or applicant give user name or password information to access a private e-mail account or social networking site (and from disciplining or refusing to hire an employee or applicant for refusing to give the information); (2) Amend the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 to prohibit institutions of higher education from making the same requirement or request (and from disciplining or denying admission for any current or potential student who refuses to give the information); and (3) Amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to accomplish the same thing for local educational agencies receiving federal funds.