On March 21, 2013, the New Jersey General Assembly voted on legislation that prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that employees or applicants disclose user names and passwords for their social networking accounts. The Bill also prohibits employers from even inquiring whether these individuals have personal social networking accounts. Any employer who retaliates or discriminates against an applicant or employee based on the refusal to provide access to a social media account or to disclose a user name or a password may face a private cause of action by the applicant or employee and civil penalties. The protections under this Bill may not be waived.
The Bill passed with overwhelming support in the General Assembly by a vote of 75-2. As previously reported on our blog, this Bill was approved with similar support by the New Jersey Senate in October 2012. Governor Chris Christie will now consider the legislation.