California’s legislature has sent to the governor for signature the nation’s third “password protection” law. Unlike the preceding Maryland and Illinois laws, California’s pending statute takes into account employers’ legitimate business interests by not imposing a blanket prohibition on all employer requests for personal social media login credentials. In this way, California’s bill adopts a more balanced and reasonable approach, which also permits employers to request that an employee divulge personal social media believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct. However, this exception does not apply to job applicants. In addition, employers remain barred from asking current employees to disclose their social media login credentials or to permit the employer to “shoulder surf.”

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