Blog

 
     

New Hampshire Restricts Employer Access to Social Media and Electronic Mail

By Michael Klazema on 10/27/2014

The new Act amends New Hampshire’s Revised Statutes Annotated by inserting §§ 275:71 – 275:73. 

Under the new Act, employers may not:

  1. Request or require an employee or applicant to disclose login information for accessing any personal account or service through an electronic communication device;
  2. Compel an employee or applicant to add anyone, including the employer or its agent, to a list of contacts associated with an electronic mail account or personal account;
  3. Require an employee or applicant to reduce the privacy settings associated with any electronic mail or personal account that would affect a third party’s ability to view the contents of the account; or
  4. Take or threaten to take disciplinary action against an employee for refusing to comply with a request or demand by the employer that violates the Act.

The restrictions do not apply to an account or service provided as a result of the employment relationship or to an electronic communications device or online account paid for or supplied by the employer. Employers may adopt and enforce lawful workplace policies governing the use of the employer’s electronic equipment, including policies regarding Internet use, social networking site use, and electronic mail use. Employers can monitor usage of its electronic equipment and electronic mail. If it inadvertently receives an employee’s password or other authentication information, the employer is not liable for having this information, but it cannot use the information to access an employee’s personal accounts.

Nothing in New Hampshire’s new law prohibits employers from obtaining information about an employee or applicant that is in the public domain.

Employers may conduct investigations to ensure compliance with laws and work-related policies based on information about activity on an employee’s personal account or service. Investigations may also be conducted based on the receipt of specific information about the unauthorized transfer of the employer’s proprietary information, confidential information, or financial data to a personal online account or service by an employee or other service. Employees may be required to cooperate in these investigations and share only the content that has been received by the employer so that the employer can make a factual determination.

The labor commissioner may assess penalties for violations under the law.

New Hampshire is the fifth state to enact social media restrictions this year, joining Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Other states with similar laws include Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and Oregon.

You may access New Hampshire’s House Bill 1407 here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1407.pdf

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • February 18

    Many hiring decisions are based mostly on candidates’ past work experiences. Here’s how a background check can verify employers to make sure those hiring decisions are grounded in fact.


  • February 14 As more states legalize various forms of marijuana, past marijuana convictions are still causing concern while uncertainty over substances such as CBD drives new arrests. 
  • February 12 A new bill in the New York State legislature could add new requirements for school employee background checks. Currently, private schools are not required to follow state mandates regarding background checks.
  • February 07 Some parents in El Paso, Texas have been left wondering about the strength of their city's youth sports procedures after a felon fraudulently took funds for a girls' soccer team.
  • February 06 If there is one way that volunteer organizations could serve their communities better, it’s implementing more thorough volunteer screening policies.
  • February 05 Madison County, Illinois has created a new initiative designed to help individuals overcome barriers to employment. Clients of the initiative will be able to explore criminal record expungement among other options.
  • February 01 An OfficeTeam survey found that the two most common forms of resume dishonesty had to do with past employers: job experience and job duties or responsibilities.
  • January 31 During the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have gone without work for more than a month. Some are finding temporary alternatives elsewhere.
  • January 29 A Florida nurse has been arrested for allegedly stealing two types of prescription pain medications from the county jail where she worked. The case highlights the importance of rigorous drug testing procedures for employment situations in which employees have access to prescription drugs.
  • January 24 After the airline failed to adequately disclose to applicants that they would undergo a background check, a court has ruled Delta did not meet its legislative obligations. The settlement highlights the importance of rigorous compliance.