Not as widely covered as a bill currently pending before the Massachusetts legislature that would ban employee non-competes in the Commonwealth is a lesser known bill, entitled “An Act Relative to Social Media Privacy Protection” (S.2118), that would prohibit employers from requiring employees or applicants to hand over their social media log-in information, or requiring employees to accept invitations to connect on social media. We first reported on a previous version of this bill in 2012.
Although the social media bill was recently added as an amendment to the Massachusetts Senate’s proposed budget, it did not make it into the final budget that the House and Senate are expected to pass. The bill may, however, still pass this legislative session. According to the Boston Globe, a spokesperson for the bill’s lead sponsor, Senator Cynthia S. Creem, said that her office will work to advance the bill before the session closes on July 31.
As we have previously reported, at least a dozen other states have passed similar social media legislation. Regardless of whether your state has passed or is considering such legislation, all employers should be cognizant of how to protect their trade secrets in the age of social media without running afoul of state social media laws or the NLRA. More on that here.
We will continue to monitor the status of this legislation and report back with any developments.
And speaking of social media, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and download our Social Media Privacy Legislation Desktop Reference.