Colorado Now the 8th State With a Workplace Social Privacy Law

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By Eric B. Meyer

Over the weekend, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill making Colorado the eighth state to have a social media workplace privacy law. (The others are Maryland, Illinois, California, Michigan, Utah, New Mexico, and Arkansas).

You can view a copy of the new Colorado  law here.

The new law places three restrictions on employers with respect to access of employee and applicant social media accounts:

  1. No requests for social media user names and passwords;
  2. No forced-friending or requiring that the employer be added as a contact; and
  3. No requiring that privacy settings be changed.

Washington looks to be next

There are a few carve-outs that allow employers to obtain full access to an employee or applicant’s social-media account. One is if an employer reasonably believes that an employee has download proprietary information. Another carve-out applies to satisfy “applicable securities or financial law or regulatory requirements.”

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There is nothing in the new law that expressly permits an employer to get this information to investigate purported violations of non-harassment policies, although, I suppose an employer could rely upon the “regulatory” requirements exception.

Next up for a new social media workplace privacy law appears to be the state of Washington, where a bill now sits on Gov. Jay Inselee‘s desk for signature.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.

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