New York joins a growing list of states that have enacted laws that protect the rights of job applicants and employees when it comes to their personal social media.

In New York, an employer or potential employer cannot demand access to personal social media accounts. This includes online photographs, videos, posts, messages, podcasts, blogs, and profiles.

Other states, including California, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont, have already enacted similar laws to protect individuals from employers looking into their private social media accounts. These laws recognize that an employee’s personal information, especially those that are private social media accounts, deserves privacy and protection.

However, protection does not extend to company-owned electronics or employer-provided business accounts. Employers can create their own rules in these areas, but they must inform employees of their policies. An infraction example: an employee using a company-owned phone or laptop to access company-restricted websites.

Also, if a person chooses to make his personal social media accounts public, vs. being limited to friends only, employers can view the media and take steps if there is evidence of misconduct.

The laws are constantly changing when it comes to an individual’s privacy. Legal Locator Service stays on top of the laws that impact your hiring procedures, compliance, and your rights. We’ve been conducting background screening for 28 years. Call us at 866-225-2435 (toll-free) or 503-697-5821. Certified Wome-Owned Business. Multilingual speaking office.