By Eric B. Meyer
Two quick updates for you today — one labor, one employment.
Word has trickled in that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held a conference call with lawyers from the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, and informed them that the Court would rule by May 15 on a pending challenge to the NLRB “quickie” election rule changes. You can view those rule changes in this post I did last week.
And in case you missed yesterday’s post on new federal legislation that would bar employer demands for online passwords, be sure to check it out. Late in the day, I scored a copy of the bill, known as Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA), and added a link.
Fines up to $10k for violating the law
We know now that employers that violate the law will be subject to civil fines of up to $10K. The Secretary of Labor may also seek injunctive relief. However, the federal law does not mention a private cause of action for individuals.
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Unlike the legislation passed in Maryland, there is no safe-harbor that would allow an employer to require or request that an employee provide the employer with access to a social media account to investigate, for example, an allegation that the employee downloaded the employer’s proprietary data without authorization.
Additionally, the federal legislation would also prohibit grade schools and universities from getting social-media log-in information from students.
This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.