Connecticut Passes Law Protecting Employee Online Privacy

83707_t[1]Starting October 1, 2015, Connecticut employers will be prohibited from requesting employees and prospective employees’ personal online accounts passwords. Under the enacted Bill 426, employers may not request or require employees or applicants to authenticate or access a personal online account in their presence, nor can they require employees or applicants to accept an invitation to join a group affiliated with any personal online account or the employee or applicant. Personal online account is defined as any online account that is used by an employee or applicant exclusively for personal purposes and unrelated to any business purpose of such employee’s or applicant’s employer or prospective employer. However, personal online account does not include any account created, maintained, used or accessed by an employee or applicant for a business purpose of such employee or applicant’s employer or prospective employer.

Employers may request access to personal online accounts if he or she has specific information about an activity that indicates an employee’s work-related misconduct, or unauthorized disclosure of the employer’s confidential information, or proprietary information. Employers may also request access to accounts to ensure compliance with federal laws or regulatory requirements.

If an employee or prospective employee’s right is violated, he or she may bring an action against the employer.

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