New Mexico has joined California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Utah in enacting legislation to protect the online privacy of job applicants.
New Mexico's new law prohibits employers from requesting or requiring that prospective employees provide passwords or access to social networking accounts or profiles. +2013 Bill Text NM S.B. 371. Unlike the social media privacy laws passed in other states, New Mexico's law only applies to prospective and not current employees. However, the Act does not define the term prospective employee.
The Act, which takes effect on June 14, 2013, does not apply to federal, state or local law enforcement agencies. In addition, under the new law employers may continue to:
Maintain policies regarding workplace internet use, social networking site use and email use;
Monitor use of the employer's electronic equipment and email; or
Obtain information about prospective employees that is in the public domain.
New Mexico employers should review and revise their workplace policies and practices regarding social media as well as hiring. Supervisors and those with hiring responsibilities should be notified about the Act's requirements.
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