Not long after Maryland enacted a law prohibiting employers from demanding passwords to employees’ or prospective employees’ Facebook and certain other social media accounts, the California State Assembly voted 73-0 in favor of A.B. 1844. The California bill would prohibit an employer from requiring:
an employee or prospective employee to disclose a user name or account password to access a personal social media account that is exclusively used by the employee or prospective employee.
The state’s Senate will now need to consider the measure, where a related bill, S. 1349 (named "The Social Media Privacy Act"), would also protect students from having to disclose similar information to school officials. A hearing on S. 1349 is scheduled for May 21. Congress and a number of other states, including, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, and South Carolina are considering similar measures.
Employers will need to monitor these developments carefully and consider how to advise and train their managers and human resources personnel about these new requirements.