Connecticut has a new law, set to go into effect on October 1, 2015, that will prevent employers from requiring employees or applicants to provide access to online personal accounts.
Connecticut has a new law, set to go into effect on October 1, 2015, that will prevent employers from requiring employees or applicants to provide access to online personal accounts. With this law, Public Act 15-6, Connecticut is now the 21st state to have such legislation on the books, after Missouri enacted a similar law in April of this year. The law limits employers from being able to request or require an employee or applicant to provide access or login credentials, verify or show the account to the employer, or invite or accept an invitation from the employer to join a group. These limitations apply to the applicant’s or employee’s personal online accounts, which include email, social media, and retail-based websites that are used exclusively for personal purposes and not the employer’s business purposes. Employers conducting pre-employment investigations of law enforcement personnel are not covered by the law. Fines for violations of the law range from $25 to $1,000.
Tip: This new statute is a reminder that access to social media accounts by employers remains a concern for regulators. Employers should check their practices with counsel to ensure they are compliant, considering factors such as not requiring employees or applicants to provide login credentials to the individuals’ social media accounts.