The New Jersey Legislature has passed a bill (A2878/S1915) banning employers from asking applicants and employees for social media passwords or even if the person has a social media account. It has not yet been signed by the Governor, so employers do not need to do anything yet.
We previously blogged about the bill on May 11, 2012 and our concern that the bill as drafted would prohibit employers from investigating complaints of harassment. Since that blog post, I am proud to say that I worked with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association to add language that would permit employers to request access to social media accounts to the extent necessary to investigate complaints of harassment and discrimination.
Still of concern to employers is the fact that the law provides a private right of action for violations of the statute and an award of lost wages to any aggrieved person who was not hired or fired as a result of a violation to the law. Employers with concerns may want to raise those concerns before the Governor signs the bill.