Eyes on Legislation: New Hampshire Passes Social Media Privacy Law

Document created by 1050210 on Nov 14, 2014
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Published Date: 09/08/2014


George; Ports

By George Ports


The Employers Coalition of North Carolina (ECNC) was created to give the business community a more focused avenue of public policy input concerning day to day employer-employee workplace issues. ECNC is a partnership of three North Carolina employers’ associations: CAI (Capital Associated Industries), TEA (The Employers Association) and WCI (Western Carolina Industries) and their 2,500 members.


New Hampshire has followed Rhode Island in passing legislation that will prohibit employers from requiring employees or prospective employees to disclose their social media or e-mail passwords (see Eyes on Legislation in CAI’s 7/21/14 Management Newsletter - Eyes on Legislation - Rhode Island's New Social Media Privacy Law). In addition, employers cannot require an employee or applicant to add anyone, including company officials, to a list of contacts connected to their electronic system accounts.


This new law, effective September 30, 2014, also protects employees from disciplinary action for refusing to comply with an employer’s request or demand to violate these privacy protections. The law does not, however, limit an employer’s right to:


  • Adopt and enforce lawful social media and company electronic communications policies.
  • Monitor the use of company electronic systems.
  • Require an employee to provide login information for access to a company account.


The law also does not prohibit employers from obtaining information that is part of the public domain or from conducting compliance investigations or investigations into alleged employee misconduct or illegal activity.


As CAI has previously reported, similar legislation is being considered across the US including in North Carolina. However, NC’s legislation (The Job and Education Privacy Act: H 846) hasn’t gained any momentum since landing in the Senate. CAI/ECNC will inform you of the final disposition of this and other workplace-related legislation when the final gavel sounds at the North Carolina General Assembly.


To read H 846, go to http://j.mp/HB-846.