Blog

 
     

Vermont Restricts Employer Access to Social Media Accounts

By Michael Klazema on 3/5/2018

Under newly adopted 21 V.S.A. § 495k (b), an employer may not require, request, or coerce an employee or applicant to do any of the following:

  • Disclose a username, password, or other means of authentication, or turn over an unlocked personal electronic device for the purpose of accessing the employee’s or applicant’s social media account;
  • Access a social media account in the presence of the employer;
  • Divulge or present any content from the employee’s or applicant’s social media; or
  • Change the account or privacy settings of the employee’s or applicant’s social media account to increase third-party access to its content.

In addition, an employer may not coerce or require an employee or applicant to add anyone—including the employer—to their list of contacts associated with their social media account. 

There are exceptions to this law. An employer may request an employee to share specifically identified content for the purpose of:

  • Complying with the employer’s legal and regulatory obligations;
  • Investigating an allegation of the unauthorized transfer or disclosure of an employer’s proprietary or confidential information or financial data through an employee’s or an applicant’s social media account; or
  • Investigating an allegation of unlawful harassment, threats of violence in the workplace, or discriminatory or disparaging content concerning another employee.

Please note that the law may not be construed to prevent an employer from complying with the requirements of state or federal law. The law does not apply to the employer’s own social media account.

What This Means to You

  • This update applies to all employers in Vermont.
  • Vermont made it illegal for employers to require employees and applicants to disclose user names and passwords that would allow the employer to access personal online accounts.
  • Vermont made it illegal for employers to require an employee or applicant to add them (employer) to their list or contacts associated with their social media account.

House Bill 462 is accessible here for review: https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/Docs/ACTS/ACT037/
ACT037%20As%20Enacted.pdf


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • November 08 A Texas-based company was found to be supplying landlords with inaccurate background check results, potentially affecting housing decisions. The company must pay a record-setting settlement.
  • November 07 Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt brand trusts backgroundchecks.com to perform the crucial function of background checks on job candidates before extending offers of employment.
  • November 06 The man previously responsible for running background checks on New York City’s school bus drivers says the city’s Department of Education has been pushing back against more thorough checks. The DOE reportedly circumnavigated proper bus driver vetting channels for most of the spring and summer this year.
  • November 06 If you have a series of speeding tickets or other traffic violations, do you need to disclose them as criminal history?
  • November 01 South Carolina's legislature recently adopted a measure to expand access to expungement opportunities for the state's ex-convicts, but other gaps in the process remain. Advocates disagree on how to address the problem to protect offenders as well as the public.
  • October 31 Background checks will show different things depending on the type of check. Here are a few ways employers can use background checks to learn about candidates.
  • October 30 The Pentagon recently disclosed a breach that exposed the personal information of roughly 30,000 personnel. The government blamed the breach on a contractor, calling into question background check policies for federal government vendors.
  • October 30 Just because a record has been expunged from the record or sealed from public view doesn’t mean all traces of it are gone. Expunged and sealed records can sometimes show up on criminal background checks.
  • October 29 What is the status of your driver’s license? Not only can driver’s license statuses impact your ability to drive legally, but they can also impact your auto insurance coverage.
  • October 26 As fresh details emerge in the long-running sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church, some efforts to mitigate risks and protect the vulnerable stand out from the rest, including those in the diocese of Austin, Texas.