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PA Bill Will Protect Privacy of Employee Social Media Passwords

On June 18, 2012, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives introduced the Social Media Privacy Protection Act, which would protect the privacy of employee online user names and passwords. The bill provides that an “employer may not request or require that an employee or prospective employee disclose any user name, password or other means for accessing a private or personal social media account, service or Internet website.” Employers may not discipline, penalize, or threaten an employee for refusing to provide this information, nor can they refuse to hire any prospective employee as a result of the prospective employee’s refusal to disclose this information. Those who violate these rules face a civil penalty of up to $5,000 in addition to reimbursement for reasonable attorney fees.

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