New York Employers Banned From Requesting Social Media Passwords
Imagine applying for a new job only to have your employer insist that you share your social media passwords. Thanks to a new law, employers in New York will no longer be allowed to.
As social media has woven itself into every aspect of your lives, employers have tried to gain access to employees' social media accounts in order to get a better understanding of who they are outside of work. However, this practice is becoming more frowned upon, with some states even enacting laws prohibiting it- including New York.
There have been cases where employers have pressured job candidates into handing over their social media passwords during the interview process. This is deeply invasive and violates an employee's privacy rights. The turning over of passwords is also problematic for people who feel the need to separate their personal and professional lives online, or who have concerns about potential bias or discrimination based on their social media activity.
In response to these concerns, a number of states have passed laws making it illegal for employers to ask for social media passwords. The first states to enact these laws were Maryland and Illinois, in 2012. Since then, other states, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, and New Jersey, have passed similar laws.
In addition to being illegal in some states, the practice of asking for social media passwords has also been widely criticized by privacy advocates and civil liberties groups. They argue that social media passwords are highly sensitive information that should be protected from unauthorized access.
Employers who rely on social media to screen candidates should be aware of the risks associated with relying on this information. Social media profiles can be easy to fabricate or manipulate, and relying too heavily on this information may lead to unfair hiring practices.
The new law in New York will prevent an employer from requiring or requesting that an employee or a person applying for a job hand over their user names or passwords for accessing their personal social media accounts.