What to Know About New York’s Upcoming Social Media Privacy Law for Employees (March 2024)
Earlier this year, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill S2518A into law. The law will put strict limitations on an employer’s ability to request sensitive social media account information from job applicants and employees. It is set to take effect in March of 2024. Within this article, our New York City employment law attorney highlights the key things to know about our state’s new social media privacy law for workers.
An Overview of Senate Bill S2518A: New York’s Worker Social Media Privacy Law
Most people in New York use at least one social media account on a regular basis. The data suggests that somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of Americans under the age of 65 log in to a social media account at least once per week. Social media accounts often contain sensitive, personal information. With this in mind, New York lawmakers have passed a new statute designed to restrict an employer’s ability to seek sensitive social media information from job applicants and employees. Here are the key points workers in New York should know about the upcoming law:
- Basic Privacy Protections: The new New York workplace law prevents employers from requiring job applicants or employees to turn over the personal usernames, login credentials, passwords, or access to social media accounts during the hiring process or during their period of employment.
- More Comprehensive Privacy Protections: Employers will be barred from requiring or pressuring a job applicant or worker in New York from 1) Sharing the usernames, passwords, or any other login details, 2) Opening their personal social media accounts in the presence of the employer/supervisor, or 3) Duplicating images, videos, or any other data housed in their personal social media accounts.
- The Limitation: An exception is made for employers who ask or mandate employees to reveal login details for accounts supplied by the employer for professional reasons, given that the employees have been informed of the employer’s rights to ask for such details. Employers are also exempt if they ask or mandate employees to share login details for accounts that are acknowledged by the employee as being used for professional reasons.
At its core, the law is designed to help ensure that the rights of workers are protected. What happens on an individual’s personal social media account is not automatically an employer’s business. That being said, workers should know that if an employer can access their personal social media account using lawful public means that there is nothing in the law to prevent them from doing so. What is shared in public on social media is not protected content.
Note: New York’s worker social media privacy law will officially take effect on March 12th, 2024.
Get Help From Our New York City Employee Rights Attorney Today
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New York City employment lawyers provide proactive legal representation to clients. If you have any questions about our state’s upcoming social media privacy law for workers, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a fully confidential consultation. With an office in Manhattan, we serve communities throughout the surrounding region.