California banned social media snooping in 2012, but other states have been slower to adopt similar laws.
This year, Maine will become the 23rd state to restrict employers' access to social media accounts of applicants and employees. The others are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
When the job market gets tight, some companies – unfortunately – take more liberties with what they're allowed to ask of you. One bone of contention between applicants and employers is the privacy of social media.
Do you have to give up your passwords to your accounts, show the employer your Facebook, Twitter or other personal pages, or add the employer to your friends or followers lists?
Well… yes and no. It depends on your state.
Here's what employers can't ask you to do under media snooping laws:
If you refuse to disclose this personal information, you can't be fired or disciplined for saying "no." If you're a job applicant, you can't be rejected for your refusal to comply with these demands.
You can be required to give up personal information if:
With any new employment law compliance, it's important that you stay informed, since laws vary from state to state. If you have any questions, be sure to check with your state's Attorney General's office.