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Social Media Update

08.23.2012

Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act - Effective January 1, 2013, it will be unlawful for any Illinois employer to request, demand or require an employee or prospective employee to provide the employer with access to the employee’s or prospective employee’s social networking account or profile. This includes requesting account numbers or passwords, or simply asking to be "friended." The law does not prohibit the employer from maintaining workplace policies governing applicable use of the Internet, e-mail, and social networking sites, or from monitoring public social media posts made by the employee or prospective applicant.

Notably, some commentators indicate that Illinois is joining a "growing trend" in passing such laws. Our research has indicated that Maryland and Delaware are the only other two states that have passed such laws, and Delaware’s law only applies to educational institutions. We will continue to watch this developing area.

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