Employers in Illinois and California will be prohibited from demanding access to worker' password-protected social networking sites such as Facebook. As revealed by Reuters on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, this new law will go into effect in 2013.
Social networking sites have long been a gray area for employers and employees, and what could be used in prospective jobs. There have been numerous occasions in which employees have lost their jobs or prospective employees were passed over due to what has ended up on Facebook.
Many have gotten smart though and made their privacy settings as strict as possible and also not added co-workers to their lists so that nothing can get back to their bosses.
Some employers still would demand passwords of their workers' social networking sites or fire them anyway. Now, that won't be legal anymore. Well, at least in a few places so far.
As of 12:01 a.m.local time on Jan. 1, 2013, California and Illinois will have laws go into effect that give employees a bit more of a sense of privacy.
These new laws will make it illegal for bosses to request social networking passwords - like for Facebook - or non-public online account information from their employees or job applicants. There will be no threatening or ultimatums. Bosses simply can't do it.