BILL NUMBER: AB 25 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Campos DECEMBER 3, 2012 An act to amend Section 980 of the Labor Code, relating to employment. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 25, as introduced, Campos. Employment: social media. Existing law prohibits a private employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media, to access personal social media in the presence of the employer, or to divulge any personal social media. Existing law prohibits a private employer from discharging, disciplining, threatening to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliating against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand that violates these provisions. This bill would apply the provisions described above to public employers. The bill would state that its provisions address a matter of statewide interest and apply to public employers generally, including charter cities and counties. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 980 of the Labor Code is amended to read: 980. (a) As used in this
chapter, "socialchapter: (1) "Employer" means a private employer or a public employer. (2) "Social media" means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations. (b) An employer shall not require or request an employee or applicant for employment to do any of the following: (1) Disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media. (2) Access personal social media in the presence of the employer. (3) Divulge any personal social media, except as provided in subdivision (c). (c) Nothing in this section shall affect an employer's existing rights and obligations to request an employee to divulge personal social media reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or employee violation of applicable laws and regulations, provided that the social media is used solely for purposes of that investigation or a related proceeding. (d) Nothing in this section precludes an employer from requiring or requesting an employee to disclose a username, password, or other method for the purpose of accessing an employer-issued electronic device. (e) An employer shall not discharge, discipline, threaten to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliate against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand by the employer that violates this section. However, this section does not prohibit an employer from terminating or otherwise taking an adverse action against an employee or applicant if otherwise permitted by law. SEC. 2. Because of the crucial privacy rights at issue and the growing abuse of those rights, the Legislature finds and declares that this act addresses a matter of statewide interest and applies to public employers generally, including charter cities and counties.