State Law Forbids Employers From Requesting Social Media Passwords From Job Applicants


This month, Maryland became the first state to pass a law that prohibits an employer from requesting or requiring job applicants to hand over username and passwords for social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Maryland passed Senate Bill 433 and House Bill 964, which forbid employers from 1) requesting or requiring a job applicant to disclose user names or passwords for a personal electronic service; 2) refusing to hire an applicant for not providing access to such information; and 3) terminating or disciplining an employee for refusing to provide this information. However, the law also protects employers by prohibiting employees from downloading employer proprietary information to personal accounts and allowing employers to require that employees provide password and login information for company email accounts.

The law takes effect October 1, 2012, and may be found here.

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