New California Law Limits Employer Access to Employee Social Media Accounts

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On September 27, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that restricts employer access to the “personal social media” of employees and applicants for employment.

Assembly Bill 1844 (“AB 1844”)2 adds to the California Labor Code new section 980. Under this section, an employer may not “require or request” an employee or applicant to do any of the following:

• Disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media;

• Access personal social media in the employer’s presence; or

• Divulge any personal social media, except in connection with the investigation of allegations of an employee’s misconduct or violation of applicable laws.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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