As we noted a while ago, Oregon recently joined the growing number of states that prohibit an employer from demanding access to an employee’s personal social media account. An Oregon employer may not require an employee or applicant to disclose her username, password, or “other means of authentication that provides access to a personal social media account.” Neither may an employer require an employee or applicant to friend, follow, or otherwise connect with it via a social media account, or to permit the employer to “shoulder surf” while the employee is logged in. There are exceptions—business-related social media accounts and workplace investigations are notable ones—but the rule is fairly clear: When it comes to employees’ personal social media accounts, it’s probably best for an employer to keep its distance.
Seems simple enough, right? Maybe, but here in Oregon, we like not to be outdone by our neighbors. So, last week, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 185, which adds a few interesting tweaks to the “model” approach that most other states (including Oregon) have followed when adopting social media protections for employees.Continue Reading Oregon Legislature to Employers: Stay Out of Employees’ Personal Social Media Accounts!