On April 13, 2012, a bill (S6938) was introduced and referred to the Labor Committee of the New York State Senate, which would prevent employers from requesting employees’ or job applicants’ social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) log-in names or passwords. The bill would prohibit employers from terminating, disciplining, penalizing, or refusing to hire employees for refusing to provide such information. This bill would provide the attorney general with the ability to seek an injunction and penalties of $300 for first violations and $500 for second violations, and the bill also would provide individuals with a private right of action for equitable relief and damages.
Similar bills seeking to prevent employers from requesting social media passwords have been signed into law, introduced, or are proposed to be introduced, including: Maryland (where SB433 was just signed into law); New Jersey (click here); Minnesota (HF2963 and SF2565); Massachusetts (House Docket No. 04323); Illinois (HB 3782); California (SB 1349); Washington state (SB 6637); and South Carolina (H5105).