|August 07, 2012|
Illinois Enacts Law Prohibiting Employers From Demanding Social Networking Passwords
Illinois recently passed a law which will make it the second state (joining Maryland) to prohibit companies from demanding an employee's social networking password. Signed August 1, 2012, Illinois' new law takes effect on January 1, 2013, and prohibits an employer from (1) requesting, or requiring, any employee or job applicant to provide his or her social networking password or other account information, and (2) demanding access to an employee's or applicant's social networking account. This prohibition relates to sites such as Facebook, among others. The law applies to Illinois employers of all sizes, is enforced by the Illinois Department of Labor, and ultimately provides a private right of action for individuals to sue employers in state court.
It is important to note that the Illinois law allows employers to continue to monitor employees' use of the company's network, electronic equipment and e-mail. In addition, companies are still permitted to promulgate and enforce lawful social media and electronic resources policies.
At least a dozen other states are considering joining Illinois and Maryland in enacting similar prohibitions. In light of this increased interest in state regulation, and in light of the National Labor Relations Board's critical view of social networking policies (as we reported to you previously here and here), now more than ever employers need to be aware of the changing legal landscape related to social media and social media policies. For further information about this topic, please contact any member of the firm's Labor and Employment Group.
RECENT LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT PUBLICATIONS"Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act," Labor and Employment Update (June 28, 2012)
"Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Are Exempt Under the FLSA," Labor and Employment Update (June 26, 2012)
"NLRB General Counsel Issues Further Guidance on Social Media Policies," Labor and Employment Update (June 14, 2012)
"Ninth Circuit Holds Statistics Alone Can Establish Prima Facie Case of Age Discrimination in a RIF," Labor and Employment Update (June 1, 2012)
ABOUT SCHIFF HARDIN LLP
Schiff Hardin represents management in employment-related litigation and labor matters, and provides counsel to employers with respect to all legal aspects of employer-employee relations. Our firm's labor law practice encompasses both the private sector and the public sector for large and small employers in a broad range of markets and industries.
Schiff Hardin represents clients in complex, multi-party litigation, including class actions under Title VII and various state anti-discrimination laws; and collective and class actions under both federal and state wage and hour laws. We regularly counsel clients in helping them comply with federal and state laws governing all aspects of the employment relationship. We offer both standardized training modules and training programs that are individually tailored to the client's needs and requests.
For more information, please contact any attorney in Schiff Hardin's Labor and Employment Group.