States Continue Banning Employer Access to Social Media

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Social media has been a remarkable tool over the last several years, enabling friends and family members to connect and stay in touch.

But for all the benefits sites like Facebook can provide, they’ve also become privacy landmines for those people who want separate professional and personal lives.

Employers have been pushing employees for access to their social media accounts for years, raising a number of legal concerns. While an employee or prospective hire could decline such a request, a denial may potentially cost someone their job. And if permission is given, who’s to say that a photo shared between “friends” doesn’t influence a boss’ opinion of someone?

As a result, many states are now banning private- and public-sector employers from making compliance with social media password requests necessary. Louisiana may become the latest state to outlaw the practice.

The Louisiana House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of the Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act. Also known as HB 340, the measure prohibits employers from demanding online account access as a condition of employment, both before and after a person is hired. In addition, the bill forbids K-12 and post-secondary schools from disciplining those students that don’t provide access to their accounts.

States Continue Banning Employer Access to Social Media