Arkansas Gets a Workplace Social Media Privacy Law

Arkansas has a new social media privacy law, which prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting that a current or prospective employee do any of the following: 1. Disclose his/her username or password for a social media account; 2. Add a co-worker “to the list or contacts associated” with the account; and 3. Change his/her account privacy settings. The Arkansas law carves-out some exceptions and unties HR’s hands, allowing it to conduct effective investigations should the need to access social media accounts arise. In addition, the Arkansas law prevents an employer from complying with the requirements of federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations or the rules or regulations of self-regulatory organizations. It also allows an employer to request an employee to disclose his or her username and password for the purpose of accessing a social media account if the employee’s social media account activity is reasonably believed to be relevant to a formal investigation or related proceeding by the employer of allegations of an employee’s violation of federal, state, or local laws or regulations or of the employer’s written policies.

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