Update Applicable to:
All New York employers and multi-state businesses with employees performing work in the state of New York.
Governor Hochul signed a bill (S2518/A836) amending the New York Labor Law to prohibit employers from requesting or requiring employees and job applicants to disclose their social media account information.
The new law also prevents employers from coercing individuals to access their personal social media accounts in the employer’s presence or reproduce content from their accounts using prohibited means.
This law will go into effect on March 12, 2024.
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the resources above to have time to update and adjust their policies relating to device and information, update application materials, and train personnel on permissible inquiries during disciplinary investigations.
What are the details?
New York Assembly Bill A836, also known as 2023-A836, aims to protect the privacy of employees and job applicants. This prohibition applies to personal social media accounts used exclusively for personal purposes, encompassing a wide range of user-generated content, as a condition of hiring, employment or use in disciplinary action. The key provisions are:
- Prohibits Employer Requests: prohibits employers from requesting/requiring employees or job applicants to disclose their username, password, or authentication information for personal social media or email accounts.
- Protecting Online Privacy: designed to safeguard the online privacy of individuals in the workplace, ensuring that their personal online activities and communications are not subject to unnecessary intrusion by employers in their presence and reproduce content from personal social media accounts.
This legislation is part of ongoing efforts to balance the interests of employers with the privacy rights of employees in the digital age, prohibiting employers to discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize, or threaten to discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize, employees who refuse to disclose access information to their personal accounts.
However, there are some exceptions in this legislation, and they can be reviewed via the bill link below.
Employees or applicants voluntarily adding employers or their agents to their personal social media contacts is not considered access under the law.
For more information, please see the links below:
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