AB 25, as amended, 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 980 of the Labor Code is amended to
(a) As used in this chapter:
4(1) “Employer” means a private employer or a public employer.
5For purposes of this chapter, “public employer” means the state,
6a city, a county, or a district.
7 (2) “Social media” means an electronic service or account, or
8electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still
9photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text
10messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site
11profiles or locations.
12(b) An employer shall not require
or request an employee or
13applicant for employment to do any of the following:
14(1) Disclose a username or password for the purpose of
15accessing personal social media.
16(2) Access personal social media in the presence of the
18(3) Divulge any personal social media, except as provided in
20(c) Nothing in this section shall affect an employer’s existing
21rights and obligations to request an employee to divulge personal
22social media reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation
23of allegations of employee misconduct or employee violation of
24applicable laws and regulations, provided that the social media is
25used solely for purposes of that investigation or a related
27(d) Nothing in this section precludes an employer from requiring
28or requesting an employee to disclose a username, password, or
29other method for the purpose of accessing an employer-issued
31(e) An employer shall not discharge, discipline, threaten to
32discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliate against an employee
33or applicant for not complying with a request or demand by the
34employer that violates this section. However, this section does not
35prohibit an employer from terminating or otherwise taking an
36adverse action against an employee or applicant if otherwise
37permitted by law.
Because of the crucial privacy rights at issue and the
2growing abuse of those rights, the Legislature finds and declares
3that this act addresses a matter of statewide interest and applies to
4public employers generally, including charter
5cities and counties.