State lawmakers have had an active year enacting laws that prohibit employers from accessing applicants’ and employees’ private social media sites. As we reported earlier, Nevada recently joined the growing list of states with such protections. This past summer, New Jersey and Vermont also joined the ranks. The New Jersey and Vermont laws are found here and here.
Many other states currently have pending legislation that would afford their employees similar protections. For example, just last week the Florida Senate began consideration of SB 198, entitled “An Act Relating to Social Media Policy.” In addition, the Massachusetts and Wisconsin state legislatures continued to take action on developing similar bills in September.
The full list of states who have enacted such laws to date includes Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Although these laws vary in scope, mechanics, and remedy, the trend towards protecting employees and applicants from unwanted employer access to private social media sites continues to move forward.