Illinois bars employer access to private social media accounts

It seems as though everyone’s using social media these days – and some employers have tried to use that fact to their advantage. In recent months, there have been news reports of the growing practice among employers to request job applicants’ and even employees’ login information for their personal social media accounts, such as Twitter or Facebook.

Such practices have been called a violation of privacy akin to “requiring someone’s house keys” and have garnered attention from state governments, some of which are moving to outlaw these actions. Maryland was the first state to pass such legislation; Illinois followed suit on August 7, when the state governor signed H.B. 3782. This legislation prohibits employers from requesting access to the personal social networking page of an employee or job applicant.

For more information, check out the BNA United States Law Week article, Illinois Becomes Second State to Limit Employer Access to Social Media Accounts (Wavenet ID required). This article summarizes the current state legislation on this issue and also provides a link to the new Illinois law.

BNA United States Law Week is an excellent current awareness tool and resource for information on the most significant cases and key legislative, regulatory and legal developments, across the country and across all areas of the law. You can access this resource through the Law Library’s Online Databases page or through Lexis or Westlaw.