As I prepare for a presentation I am giving tomorrow on hot social media issues for employers, I had the chance to do some digging for the current number of states that have enacted social media legislation concerning employees/employers. By my count (and research), 11 states now have social media laws that apply to them. Five states passed their respective social media laws in 2012: California, Delaware, Michigan, Illinois and Maryland. So far this year, six other states have followed their lead: Utah, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Oregon’s laws, which became effective just days ago, are similar to the laws of the ten other states. In summary, Oregon’s laws prohibit employers from requiring their applicants or employees to:
(1) provide their employers with access, including password and log-in information, to their social media accounts;
(2) add their employers to the employee’s or applicant’s social media contact lists; and
(3) allow their employers to view the employee’s or applicant’s personal social media accounts.
Employers that conduct business in these 11 states must tread carefully when addressing applicant/employee issues involving social media.