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August 13, 2012

Illinois Passes Law Protecting Employees and Job Seekers

Earlier in the year I wrote about a bill Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was reviewing that would make it illegal for employers to ask potential employees for their social media passwords during interviews. I’m happy to report that Governor Quinn signed the bill into law earlier this month.   

The new law, the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, protects both current employees and prospective new hires from being required to share their passwords to social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) with employers in order to gain access to their private account. 

Illinois is now the second state to have such a law, along with Maryland, and other states including Washington, Delaware and New Jersey are considering similar bans as the law works to keep pace with technology today.

My opinion: Governor Quinn made the right call in taking on a big issue for employees and employers.

Asking current employees or prospective new hires for private information is no way to begin or maintain a healthy employer-employee relationship. It’s an issue of trust, and trust is critical to fostering an engaged, productive workplace.

I say congratulations to those taking on the difficult issue of online privacy, especially today when information is only a click away.

What do you think of Illinois passing The Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act?

--David Grossman


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