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Social Media in the Workplace - State Laws

In the past few years, more than twenty states have enacted legislation regarding employer’s access to employee’s and applicant’s usernames and passwords.The laws vary from state to state, and do not provide the same level of protection in each state. Other states are considering legislation; you can track these bills by visiting the National Conference of State Legislature's website. Read below for more information on this rapidly growing area of the law.

Arkansas

In Arkansas the law prohibits an employer from requiring, suggesting, or requesting an employee to disclose his or her username and password to the employer. The employer is also prohibited from taking action to discharge the employee for exercising this right of refusal.
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California

In California the law prohibits employers from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant’s username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media.
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Colorado

An employer in Colorado may not suggest, request, or require that an employee or applicant disclose their username, or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media accounts. An employer cannot compel an employee to add anyone, including the employer or an agent, to their social media account.
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Connecticut

In Connecticut no employer shall request or require that an employee disclose their username and password for their social media accounts, for the purpose of accessing a personal online account. The employer is also prohibited from requiring that an employee add the employer on their private account.
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Delaware

No employer in Delaware shall require or request an employee to disclose their username or password for the purpose of enabling the employer to access personal social media. The employer is also prohibited from requesting the employee to add them to their social media accounts.
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Illinois

It is unlawful in Illinois for an employer to request the username or password of a social media account in order to gain access to the employee’s personal online account. The employer is also prohibited from requiring the employee to invite the employer to join their social media account.
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Louisiana

In Louisiana employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring an employee to disclose their username or password that allows access to the employee’s personal online account.
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Maryland

Maryland law prohibits employers from requesting or requiring an employee or applicant to disclose any username or password to access their social media accounts.
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Michigan

An employer in Michigan shall not request an employee to disclose information that allows access to the employee’s personal online account.
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Montana

An employer in Montana may not require or request an employee to disclose a username or password for the purpose of allowing the employer to gain access to the employee’s personal social media account.
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Nebraska

No Nebraska employer shall require or request that an employee provide or disclose any username or password in order to gain access to the employee’s personal social media account.
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Nevada

In Nevada no employer shall require or request an employee to disclose their username or password or any other information that provides access to his or her personal social media account. 
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New Hampshire

No employer in New Hampshire shall request or require than an employee or applicant disclose login information for accessing any personal account or service.
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New Jersey

In New Jersey no employer shall require or request an employee to provide their username or password to provide the employer access to their social media accounts.
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New Mexico

It is unlawful in New Mexico for an employer to request or require a prospective employee to disclose their login information to the employer for the purpose of gaining access to the prospective employee’s account. The law is silent on current employees.
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Oklahoma

In Oklahoma no employer shall require or request an employee or prospective employee to disclose a username or password for accessing a personal social media account. This includes a prohibition on requiring the employee to add the employer to their social media accounts for the purpose of allowing the employer to observe the contents of such accounts.
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Oregon

It is unlawful in Oregon for an employer to require or request an employee or applicant to disclose the username or password of an online social media account. The employer is also prohibited from requiring an employee to authorize the employer to advertise on the personal social media account of the employee.
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Rhode Island

In Rhode Island no employer shall require an employee to disclose their username or password for means of accessing a personal social media account.
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 Tennessee

An employer in Tennessee shall not request or require an employee or an applicant to disclose a password that allows access to the employee’s personal social media account.
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 Utah

in Utah an employer is prohibited from requesting an employee to disclose a username or password that allows access to the employee’s personal social media account.
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Vermont

An employer in Vermont shall not require an employee to disclose their username or password for the purpose of accessing the employee’s social media account.
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Virginia

In Virginia an employer shall not require an employee to disclose their username or password for the purpose of accessing the employee’s social media account.
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Washington

An employer in Washington state may not request or require an employee to disclose login information to the employee’s personal social media account.
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West Virginia

In West Virginia an employer shall not request or require an employee or applicant to disclose a username or password that allows access to the employee’s personal social media account.
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Wisconsin

An employer in Wisconsin may not require or request an employee or applicant to disclose access information for the personal social media account of the employee.
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Terry A. Venneberg Weekly Weekly

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