Louisiana Enacts Social Media Policy to Limit Employers' Access to Online Accounts

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal signed the Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act.  The Act prohibits employers and educational institutions from requesting or requiring employees and job applicants to disclose information that allows access to or observation of personal online accounts.   The Act further prohibits employers and educational institutions from penalizing employees and job applicants for failing to disclose information that allows access to personal online accounts.  The Act was signed on May 22, 2014 and went into effect immediately.  

Employees and applicants who refuse to provide access to their personal online accounts are protected from adverse employment actions such as termination, discipline, denial of employment, or other penalty or threat. 

The Act does not, however, protect activities on devices owned or services provided by the employer.  It also allows the employer to discipline or fire an employee who transfers the employer’s proprietary or confidential information or financial data to the employee’s personal online account without authorization.

Employers may also access and view information about an employee or applicant that is in the public domain and can be obtained without the employee’s or applicant’s username, password or other authentication information. 

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