New York bosses are now barred from asking job applicants and employees for access to their private social-media accounts, thanks to a new law just approved by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Under the legislation, employers are forbidden from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose “any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account” such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
The private information is forbidden from being used for hiring or disciplinary purposes, said state Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx), who authored the bill along with state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens).
Such snooping by employers has become common.
“Gov. Hochul signed this law to protect the privacy of New Yorkers and protect their rights in the workplace,” said the governor’s spokesman, Avi Small, on Monday.
Dinowitz said he’s been pushing for such restrictions on social-media monitoring for a decade.
“The proliferation of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Threads has vastly increased the accessibility of information,” Dinowitz said in a statement. “Nevertheless, certain employers go to great lengths beyond publicly shared data when making hiring and disciplinary determinations.
“This includes the unwarranted solicitation of social media usernames and passwords and access to personal email and other highly private accounts from prospective and current employees. Such requests represent a grave breach of privacy on the employer’s part and can raise concerns regarding unfair and discriminatory hiring and admission practices,” he said.
Dinowitz said the law gives individuals the discretion to decide whether to keep such information public or private.
“They should be afforded the complete freedom to safeguard their privacy regarding workplace matters, interviews, or admissions processes, without the apprehension of job loss or rejection due to non-compliance with such requests,” the pol said.