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Washington State Limits Employer Access to Social Media Sites

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Reprinted from Business Examiner May 22, 2013.

Yesterday Washington became the fifth state this year to sign into law protections of social media passwords at the workplace and job interviews.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, bars employers from asking for a Facebook, Twitter or other social media personal passwords during a job interview or at the workplace.

“We don’t have to sacrifice our privacy for advances in technology,” Hobbs said. “As the social media technology advances, people are afraid about their privacy, so it’s good to be ahead on this one.”

The bill also bars employers from making workers friend managers so that their profile is viewable.

However, the bill does allow companies to request “content” of employee social media sites during internal investigations, which can be opened if an employer has received a tip that a worker may be leaking information.

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About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.

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