On August 19, 2013,New Jersey’s state legislature passed A2878, to prohibit employers from requiring or requesting that prospective and current employees disclose their user names and passwords to their personal social media accounts. The bill incorporated changes proposed by Governor Chris Christie, who had vetoed an earlier version of the bill, and was signed into law by the Governor on August 29, 2013.
New Jersey joins eleven other states granting similar social media protections: Maryland, Illinois, California, Michigan, Utah, New Mexico (which seemingly covers prospective employees only), Arkansas, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. What is more, dozens of other states and the U.S. Congress are considering comparable legislation. To help employers navigate through New Jersey’s new law, which takes effect on December 1, 2013, this alert discusses its coverage, prohibitions, exceptions, and remedies.