Quinn signs law banning employers from requesting social media passwords

By Vanessa Johnson

August 1, 2012 Updated Aug 1, 2012 at 7:42 PM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill -- Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law Wednesday designed to protect employees' right to privacy.

House Bill 3782 makes it illegal for an employer to request an employee's or job candidate's social network account information in order to gain access to their account or profile.  Illinois is the second state to enact such a law.

"Members of the workforce should not be punished for information their employers don't legally have the right to have," Governor Quinn said.  "As use of social media continues to expand, this new law will protect workers and their right to personal privacy."

The bill prevents employers from screening potential job candidates or reprimanding current employees based on information from their social network accounts that would otherwise be private.

The new law is effective January 1, 2013.

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