New Maine Law Restricts Social Media Access

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(Post by Rick Dacri, September 3, 2015)

Beginning October 14, 2015, new legislation in Maine will restricts an employer’s ability to demand information regarding their employee’s or a job applicant’s social media account. The Act applies to both public and private employers, including the state, county and municipalities.

The Act prohibits employers from requiring, coercing or requesting an employee or job applicant to provide their employer with the password or other means of accessing his/her social media accounts.  This applies to any online account or service through which users share, view or create user-generated blogs, videos, instant and text messages, e-mails, and photographs.  The law also prohibits employers from requiring, coercing or requesting an employee or job applicant access to a personal social media account in the presence of the employer. Under the Act, employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining or otherwise penalizing or threatening to discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize an employee for refusing the employer’s request made in violation of these restrictions.

Dacri Recommendation: 1)Train all your managers, supervisors and recruiters on the new
law. 2)Policies and procedures should be updated.

This update is merely a summary of the key points of the Act. Call me for a more detailed review.

This topic will also be covered in Dacri’s upcoming webinar series, Accelerated Supervisory Development Program for Municipal Managers.

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Filed under communications, Compliance, Employee Relations

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