Employers in N.J. may be banned from asking workers for social media passwords

The New Jersey Senate has given final legislative approval to a measure that prevents employers from asking job applicants and employees for their social media passwords.


The bipartisan bill was passed without opposition.

Republican Sen. Kevin O’Toole says it’s not appropriate for employers to seek access to workers’ social media sites.

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“Someone’s private Facebook account is their privacy, no different than their own journal or their own notes that they have in their home,” said O’Toole, R-Essex. “So we’re trying to draw a line of what’s appropriate for an interview or keeping one’s job.”

The bill provides for fines up to $2,500 for violators and allows employees and job seekers to sue for injunctions or damages.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association is concerned that could cost companies tens of thousands of dollars even if a lawsuit is without merit.

There’s no indication whether Gov. Chris Christie will sign the bill into law.

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