Legislation introduced in House to bar employers from requiring employees and applicants to provide social media information
Under legislation introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, employers would be barred from requiring employees or job applicants to divulge password information for their social media accounts. The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) is the latest legislative response by state and federal governments to reports that employers were making such demands.
Although the text of the legislation (H.R. 5050) is not yet available, its chief sponsor, Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) issued a statement explaining the parameters of the bill. It would prohibit current or potential employers from requiring a username, password or other access to online content and would extend that prohibition to colleges, universities and K-12 schools. In addition, the bill would prohibit employers from demanding such access in order to discipline, discriminate, or deny employment to individuals, and from punishing them for refusing to volunteer the information.
“Part of the attraction to social networking is that you can feel free to interact with those you wish to, and post content as if it were part of a group dynamic,” said Engel. “We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private. No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education. This is a matter of personal privacy and makes sense in our digital world.”
Engel announced the legislation on his Facebook page.
Source: CCH Editorial Staff.