A new California law often referred to as the “Facebook law,” which prohibits employers from forcing employees to provide employers access to their social media accounts, goes into effect today.
Bill AB1844 was signed by the governor and chaptered on September 27th, 2012.
According to the California Senate analysis, the bill “prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a user name or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media, to access personal social media in the presence of the employer, or to divulge any personal social media. This bill also prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, threatening to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliating against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand by the employer that violates these provisions.”
In other words, employers or potential employers cannot force employees or applicants to give up their Facebook usernames and passwords.
The law does, however, make exceptions for cases when content on personal social media accounts are “reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or employee violation of applicable laws and regulations” – so long as its used solely for the investigation.
Additionally, employers can require employees to provide usernames and passwords for employer-provided electronic devices.
The law does not require the Labor Commissioner, who is Chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, to investigate alleged violations.
David on Google+