Protects the privacy of employees' and prospective employees' social media accounts.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to protecting the privacy of employees' and prospective employees' social media accounts
PURPOSE: To protect the privacy of employees' and prospective employees' social media accounts.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The labor law is amended by adding a new section 215-d which prohibits invasion of privacy by an employer against an employee or prospective employee in regard to using an electronic communications device. The section states that employers shall not require any employee or applicant to disclose any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account or service through an electronic communications device. Employers cannot terminate, discipline or penalize an employee for refusing to disclose this information.
JUSTIFICATION: With the increase of technology and social media presence in our everyday lives, states are taking action to protect employees and employers from any invasion of privacy regarding social media accounts. This bill would prohibit employers from requesting user names and/or passwords from their employees to social media venues such as Facebook and Twitter, and protect both parties from an invasion of privacy. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Maryland was the first state to adopt password protection legislation. As this becomes a prevalent issue, legislation to restrict employer access to social media user names and passwords has been introduced in at least eight other states, including: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, and Washington. New York State must also take action to protect employees and employers from privacy invasion in regard to social media.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S 7077A Referred to Senate Labor Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1701 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. GRISANTI, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to protecting the privacy of employees' and prospective employees' social media accounts THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new section 215-d to read as follows: S 215-D. INVASION OF PRIVACY BY AN EMPLOYER AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE OR PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEE. 1. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: (A) "APPLICANT" MEANS AN APPLICANT FOR EMPLOYMENT. (B) "ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE" MEANS ANY DEVICE THAT USES ELECTRONIC SIGNALS TO CREATE, TRANSMIT AND RECEIVE INFORMATION, AND SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, COMPUTERS, TELEPHONES, PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS AND OTHER SIMILAR DEVICES. 2. (A) AN EMPLOYER, EMPLOYER'S AGENT OR REPRESENTATIVE, OR ITS DESIG- NEE SHALL NOT REQUIRE ANY EMPLOYEE OR APPLICANT TO DISCLOSE ANY LOG-IN NAME, PASSWORD OR OTHER MEANS FOR ACCESSING A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OR SERVICE THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE. (B) AN EMPLOYER, EMPLOYER'S AGENT OR REPRESENTATIVE, OR ITS DESIGNEE MAY REQUIRE AN EMPLOYEE TO DISCLOSE ANY LOG-IN NAME, PASSWORD OR OTHER MEANS FOR ACCESSING NON-PERSONAL ACCOUNTS OR SERVICES THAT PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE EMPLOYER'S INTERNAL COMPUTER OR INFORMATION SYSTEMS. 3. AN EMPLOYER, EMPLOYER'S AGENT OR REPRESENTATIVE, OR ITS DESIGNEE SHALL NOT: (A) TERMINATE, DISCIPLINE OR OTHERWISE PENALIZE AN EMPLOYEE, OR THREATEN TO TERMINATE, DISCIPLINE OR OTHERWISE PENALIZE AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S REFUSAL TO DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION IN VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION; OREXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04808-01-3 S. 1701 2
(B) FAIL OR REFUSE TO HIRE ANY APPLICANT AS A RESULT OF THE APPLI- CANT'S REFUSAL TO PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION IN VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. 4. WHERE A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION IS ALLEGED TO HAVE OCCURRED, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY APPLY IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK FOR AN ORDER ENJOINING OR RESTRAINING THE COMMISSION OR CONTINUANCE OF THE ALLEGED UNLAWFUL ACTS. IN ANY SUCH PROCEEDING, THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY IN THE AMOUNT OF THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST VIOLATION AND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR EACH SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.