Over the past couple of years, this blog has discussed some of the new issues that employers should consider in connection with social media in the work place. (For example, see http://www.employerdefenselaw.com/legislation/should-employers-and-facebook-be-friends/ ). A recent development in Illinois gives employers yet one more issue to consider on that front.
On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law which prevents employers from requesting or requiring employees or job applicants to provide social media passwords. The law amends Illinois’ Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS 55/10) and becomes effective on January 1, 2013. Despite the new law’s prohibition on employers accessing employees’ or applicants’ password-protected social media accounts, the law does not prevent employers from: